Don’t Let Bad Knees Stop You From Working Out, Do This!

After knee pain develops, how can you manage that pain and keep it from getting worse, or even help it heal? Here are the best ways to take care of your knees while keeping up (or increasing) your fun physical activity!

To keep working out in spite of knee pain, talk with your doctor or therapist to get advice from them before starting your workouts. Try to focus on being healthy with adjusted exercises like static wall sits, swimming, step exercises, half squats, or walking. Change the exercise if pain increases.

What causes knee pain in the first place? What are the best ways to stay healthy and happy, even while living with daily knee pain? Let’s go over in-depth what to think about and do to live your best lifestyle, no matter what state your knees and joints are in!

Staying Fit and Exercising with Bad Knees

Before doing workouts or exercises of any kind, always stretch out to prep yourself and your knees for the physical activity! Stretching before and after workouts is a wise investment in your longterm health. Stretching is an easy and simple way to warm up cold muscles. Make sure to warm up with an easy walk before stretching so that nothing gets pulled or injured during the stretching process.

The rule of thumb with the following workouts and exercises is to choose workouts that focus on improving your flexibility and balance! For every exercise and workout, the pattern should be to heat before and ice after. Heat up with a warm-up and stretching, then apply cold ice after working out to lessen the pain of achy joints.

Anyone with bad knees can reduce their pain and stay healthy if they learn and follow the best strategies and fitness routines! It is crucial to rebuild and maintain strength through mindfully working out. For those who attend the gym regularly for their workouts, you don’t have to stop just because of a knee injury or knee pain! Just replace running on the treadmill with using the elliptical or exercise bikes. Jumping in the pool and swimming around for a few laps is also great exercise that can give you the exercise you’re looking for, without putting your body weight on the knee itself. Avoid doing deep knee squats or using the leg extension machine at gyms since this will add to existing pain.

Using elliptical bikes, exercise bikes, lap pools, static wall squats, and recline squat machines will help you keep in the gym while putting as little strain as possible on your joints This way you’ll still be able to go to the gym regularly while avoiding the equipment and exercises that could cause you unnecessary pain!

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If you have never tried it before, water aerobics classes are a fantastic way to keep the knees and body healthy while also staying socially connected with others. Water holds up and cushions the body, which means these classes go very easy on the knees. Exercising like this in the water will lessen the impact on the knees while still offering an invigorating aerobic workout! Luckily, most bigger workout facilities and gyms will have a water aerobics alternative available.

Enduring serious young girl athlete runs on a treadmill after strength training in the gym. The concept of skinny and fat-burning

Next, remember to try to walk on level and shock absorbent surfaces as much as possible. This is crucial to know for people who have walking-centered fitness routines. If walking is a major part of your exercising patterns, you’ll need to carefully pick the surfaces that you’ll be walking on to avoid damaging your knees. Seek out level, even surfaces that will absorb the impact of your joints. Surfaces like dirt, grass, or a track are ideal. Avoid using hard concrete as a walking and exercising surface. If you’re walking on a circular track, try and change directions occasionally. If your knee is already hurt, making all of your turns in one direction may add unneeded stress to the joint, and changing it up will help keep it limber.

There are tons of great exercises and routines online that take the weight and strain off the knees too. Straight leg raises, prone straight leg raises, lying hamstring stretches with a resistance band, standing quadricep stretches, half squats, wall sits, step exercises, and standing calf raises are terrific ways to work out without further damaging knees! These exercises are pretty cost-effective, and easy, and are all explained in this article, which also has further exercises and sports to try!

If a certain activity seems too strenuous or taxing, do not overwork or overextend yourself! Injured or painful knees already have distressed joints and you don’t want to add to or worsen existing problems. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist if exercises or workouts seem too painful or dangerous for you. Doctors and experts can be a great resource in helping you decide what physical activities are best for you and your knees.

Exercising with Bad Knees to Lose Weight

Plenty of people will assume that losing significant amounts of weight is off the table if knee problems crash the party. However, just as there are tons of adjusted exercises to use to strengthen the knees and stay active. There are also perfect fat-burning and weight-loss-focused exercises too! Anything is possible with your research, hard work, and dedication.

There are terrific ways to exercise with weight loss in mind, bad knees or not. Try out some tai chi for starters! Tai chi offers a low-impact workout that will improve your balance, strength, and flexibility all at the same time! Yoga is a great way to get stretching into your daily routine and it improves your self-image and sense of well-being while reducing stress and stress eating. Swimming, cycling, or stationary bike use can burn up a lot of calories in a short amount of time too. So try out some intense breaststrokes in the pool and cycle to shed some pounds over time, while keeping those knees in motion!

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If you want to focus on fat burning and don’t want your bad knees to stop you, there are ways to achieve this goal too! Use the aforementioned stretches and exercises above to burn the fat you want to shed. Stretches before and after knee-safe workouts–or any workouts for that matter–are crucial in preparing and protecting the body from hyperextensions and injuries. Stretching can also loosen your muscles up increase your blood flow before a workout and help your muscles heal faster after the workout too! Keep up tai-chi, swimming, yoga, ball marches, walking, and cycling to raise your heart rate and lower your weight!

Exercises to Avoid When You Have Bad Knees

Just as there are things to do to stay active despite knee pain, there are also things to not do! These listed workouts and activities may contribute to or even worsen your knee pains. Stay away from deep squats, full squats, running, jogging, lunges, deep lunges, and full-arc extensions. These types of exercises could apply too much pressure to the knees and joints in the wrong places.

It is a smart rule of thumb to simply stop working out if it feels like your knees and joints can’t take it. It is never worth it to strain and push yourself beyond your limits! Working too hard can lead to worsened knees and injuries on top of already-existing pain. Listen to your body carefully. Lighten the weight in the gym or use lighter dumbbells and weights if you feel pain flaring anywhere especially the knees.

Doing Cardio with Bad Knees

Just because the knees are complaining doesn’t mean you have to give up running! To be safe, consult with a doctor or physical Cardio-focused exercises and routines are important since they strengthen your lower body and raise your heart rate, which all work together to raise your endurance level. If you have a local gym or a membership plan to one, use their pool and machines like the treadmill, ergometer, and rowing machine to get a cardio workout that is safe for your knees. Should any of the exercises involving these tools or machines worsen the existing pain, discontinue the exercise immediately.

Swimming is another terrific exercise to take on to get some cardio type working out in the schedule. The water will carry your body’s weight and the buoyancy will take all the impact off of your knees. The best swimming strokes for the knee are the backstroke and freestyle. Some other beneficial swimming exercises are the reverse kick, walking in the pool, and water aerobics. If you want to increase the intensity of water-based cardio, try to do the above exercises for longer and longer periods.

Undergoing an upper-body workout with an upper-body ergometer will also serve to get your heart rate elevated. Use this workout tool to complete interval training, steady-state cardio, and time trials as detailed in this linked article. If you can walk without too much pain, a treadmill can be great for cardio and building leg strength, along with a rowing machine since these movements strengthen the legs, hamstrings, and quads!

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There are also other great exercises to try that also involve cardio. Some of them involve the use of an exercise ball or medicine ball, both great and affordable devices to add to your at-home gym. Try out step touches, low-impact jumping jacks, marching with an exercise ball, medicine ball knee lifts, doing around the world with an exercise ball, straight leg kicks with a medicine ball, medicine ball chest squeezes, hamstring curls, side leg lifts, knee lifts with punches, and punch-punches with knee lifts! Foam rolling at the end will help loosen the muscles and end the workouts.

Doing Lower-Body Exercises with Bad Knees

If you’re interested in growing the muscles of the lower body, try out some of the following steps and exercises. Banded lateral walks, kettlebell swings, dumbbell deadlifts, hip openers, single-leg deadlifts, glute bridges, monster walks, and donkey kickers are all effective moves that will build up your leg and lower body muscles! Refer to this helpful article to learn the steps for each of these listed exercises.

Balance lower-body exercises with upper-body exercises by alternating your styles of workouts and exercises each day. This is why people will exercise with a leg day on Monday, a cardio day on Tuesday, a lower-body day on Wednesday, and an upper-body day on Thursday–to make sure they are never overworking a certain area or part of their body.

Staying Active in Older Age with Bad Knees

The best defense against knee pain is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This way, if an accident or injury occurs, or if the knees naturally develop pain, your body is prepared to deal with it! Older people will often experience knee pain from osteoarthritis, which is often part of the normal aging process and occurs from degeneration of the joint surfaces in the knee. If you are overweight, this can lead to knee pain as well due to the resulting extra pressure placed on all joints in the body, especially the knees themselves. Those who run a lot could develop a runner’s knee, which is pain around the kneecap and in the front of the knee, and it can come from running, walking up and down stairs, sitting for long periods, and squatting.

These are all common knee ailments for people, especially if they are older. The best way to maintain the knees under these restrictive conditions is by careful and purposeful exercise. Do exercises like modified plyometrics, glute bridges, Bulgarian split squats, box squats, and lots of stretches to manage knee pain and strengthen the whole body!

How can I get rid of knee pain at home?

Final Thoughts

The best way to prevent knee pain is by keeping up a healthy lifestyle in the first place–then injury is less likely to occur. The less weight on your body’s joints and the stronger your existing muscles, the better! Most people develop knee pain from time or accidental injuries anyway, so just follow the above steps for stretches and exercises and follow a healthy diet to mitigate and lessen knee pain!


Empowering minds and bodies through my fitness journey! Passionate fitness enthusiast and blogger on a mission to inspire and motivate. Transforming lives one post at a time with evidence-based workouts, nutrition tips, and a sprinkle of wellness wisdom. Join me on this sweaty adventure to unlock your full potential and cultivate a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Let's break a sweat, embrace the grind, and celebrate the victories together! ✨ #FitLife #WellnessWarrior #FitnessBlogger"

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