View Full Version : Stair machine / treadmill rehab

07-30-2004, 10:08
I've got to rebuild my horribly atrophied quadricep after tearing the quad tendon off my kneecap four months ago. It's been suggested I use a stair machine and / or inclineable treadmill to simulate hill climbing. I've never used either.

The gyms I've checked out have a wide variety of stair machines: "ergonometers", "linked" pedal machines, "non-linked" pedal machines, treadmill type where a set of stairs continuously rotates around. The treadmill type seems to simulate real stair climbing best.

Any suggestions on which stair machine to use? Maybe a treadmill is better? Any other hiking-oriented rehab suggestions ? I'd rather just hike, but I'm not ready yet for anything but smooth, flat ground.



07-30-2004, 11:21
What has your Physical Therapist suggested?


07-30-2004, 13:03
What has your Physical Therapist suggested?


Stair machine or inclined treadmill. He doesn't seem too concerned about specific types. Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it has to be. I just wasn't ready for the variety of machines and the sales hype from the gym people.

My P/T is geared mostly to regaining range of motion, not regaining strength. First things first. I'm at about 110 degrees knee flexion, 135 being full.

In other words, rebuilding my bad quad to pre-injury level is going to be up to me.

07-30-2004, 13:48
My wife and I have a Nordic Track E 3800 we use when it is foul weather outside ( rain or snow). This machine has 12 different levels of incline with many speed settings to chose from. We like to walk around the neighborhood. We live in the mountains of NC so we get a good workout doing 4 miles each morning before going to work. When it rains we use our treadmill. If you are going to spend the money get a good one. Motor size is key. 2 1/2 hp or up would be good. Some of the extras (heart rate monitor) are nice too!

Best of Luck !
Chip ;)

Steve W
07-30-2004, 16:26
I'm also rehabing my knee and quad muscle after knee surgery in April. My physical therapist has me on a stair machine (stairmaster), a treadmill, and a stationary bike. I'm also doing several variations on squats and leg presses. Very limited weight and only the way I've been instructed to do it. As for range of motion vs. strength, once the range is back you can really begin to work on strength. It all takes time, I'm learning patience this year. Things are going quite well so far. The leg feels pretty strong and if all goes well at my three month checkup next week, I'll be heading out in two weeks for a short overnighter.
Good luck, keep working it, all will be well in the end.

07-30-2004, 21:20
To C.Coyle and Steve W.,Hang in there those knees will get better !! I blew my left knee back in 1981 playing racquetball. For the last 23 years no problems. In 1995 the right one needed surgery and so far doing great. My wife had her left knee worked on back in January of this year. In May we hiked the entire Georgia section of the
AT up to Standing Indian Campground (NC). Follow the Doc's advise and do those exercises :clap , keep to the routine and before you know it your back on the trail !

Best of Luck to both of you, "Keep On Truckin" !!!! ;)