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Best Cardio For Knee Pain

What To Avoid With Knee Problems

97 Cardio Exercises for Knee Pain

Its important to take care not to irritate your needs more. Unfortunately, even stretching improperly can be problematic with knee issues. Full-arc knee extensions, lunges, and hurdler’s stretches are some of the worst exercises for people suffering knee problems as they further put great amounts of strain and pressure on the knees, Higgins says. These exercises integrate the knee as the focal point of the form, and therefore, utilize the knees more, which will be detrimental for any chronic knee pain.

Vassos says to take care in the weight room, too. Its best to avoid exercises that place additional load on the joint, she says. For example, any exercise performed in a standing position or a weighted position should be avoided.

If you do experience more knee pain or a flare-up while exercising, Vassos says you should stop and rest. If the pain continues, stop exercise for the day and ice for a minimum of 10-to-15 minutes. “The R.I.C.E. principle can be applied to the affected knee, too, she says, If pain continues beyond 24 hours or worsens, you should seek medical attention.

How To Stay In Shape With A Knee Injury

The knee is the largest joint in the body with many components making it extremely susceptible to a variety of injuries. Knee injuries do not only happen to athletes in America, there are 14 million individuals who have symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. These injuries can be sustained by anyone at any age and develop from a variety of causes. The most common knee injuries include fractures around the knee, dislocation, sprains, and tears of soft tissues, like ligaments. Symptoms of knee injuries include pain & swelling as well as instability. Even though knee injuries are highly common, many myths & unanswered questions surround the injury.

Here we will break down the most commonly asked questions & provide ways to keep your body moving with a knee injury.

How Do You Rehab A Knee Injury

You must begin by first seeking medical attention. Following this a period of rest is in order, possibly following the RICE method. You can then begin to incorporate physical exercise back into your routine slowly. Eventually, depending on the extent of your injury, you will find that your knee has sufficiently healed.

Also Check: How To Strengthen Knees And Ankles

Best Cardio Machine For Bad Knees

The best cardio machine for bad knees is an elliptical trainer. An elliptical trainer provides a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints.

In my article, I share hopeful medical research and expert opinion that suggests low-impact exercises can help with joint stiffness and pain. In the coming sections, well look at several exercises that people with knee problems can do on their own. Furthermore, Ill provide you with helpful workout advice from medical professionals during the course of the journey. If your knees have arthritis, you should use an elliptical to get your cardio workout in. Experts at Mayo advise people with stiffness or pain in their knees to exercise on a treadmill over a sidewalk. Stationary bikes are also recommended as a means of transportation by orthopedic surgeons. It is a cardio machine that targets a wide range of muscle groups, making it an excellent choice for a low-impact cardio workout.

The Best Cardio Exercises For Chronic Knee Pain

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Bad knees can be a big problem as chronic pain can make the simplest tasks and movements, like getting in and out of your car to walking down a flight of steps, incredibly challenging. And knee pain can also make exercise almost impossible! This is concerning as, often, the most effective method for reducing knee pain is light exercise targeting the muscles around the joints as well as fat-burning cardio to minimize the impact that weight gain has on the knees. That said, there are some helpful ways to introduce cardio into your daily routine that will benefit your bad knees. Lets take a closer look at some recommended exercises and common causes of bad knees to help you remedy any unwanted pain.

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What Are Some Good Cardio Exercises If You Have A Knee Injury

If you have an knee injury, its imperative that you carefully choose your exercises. In fact, a failure to do so can cause you to exacerbate the problem. This can result in a lot more pain and it can also delay healing. For instance, if you engage in vigorous cardio like running, a flair up is inevitable. Thats because running is hard on your knees. Even people that dont have any knee issues can experience knee joint pain from running too frequently, especially if they dont wear the proper shoes.

Since you must be extra careful with a new or old knee injury, what types of cardio exercises should you do? Generally, your goal should be activities that are low-impact. There are many options, its simply a matter of finding a program that works best for you. A key benefit of low-impact cardio exercise is that anyone without a lot of fitness experience can get started without feeling overwhelmed.

One of the challenges of keeping up with an exercise routine is consistency. With a low-impact program, youre less likely to feel overly fatigued. Subsequently, youre more likely to keep up with your exercise schedule. If you have a knee injury and your primary focus is rehabilitation, the right exercise will get the job done without causing additional damage.

Medicine Ball Knee Lifts

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

For some variety, it’s great to add a new tool to the mix. Grab your medicine ball. Around 4 to 8 pounds is a good range.

  • Hold it in both hands and march, like you did with the exercise ball.
  • Start with the medicine ball straight up and bring the right knee up, touching it with the medicine ball.
  • Lower and repeat with the left knee, alternating sides for 60 seconds.
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    How Else Can I Relieve Knee Pain

    Building leg strength reduces knee stress and pain. Think of the muscles around your knee like the shocks on your car.

    If your shocks work well, you wont be jarred and uncomfortable every time you hit a small bump in the road. Strong knee muscles absorb shock, stress, and force. Walking, running and jumping dont hurt as much.

    Weak muscles expose your joints to more loading and pounding. If you have knee problems, strong surrounding muscles translate to less pain.

    A few common culprits cause most knee pain. And simple exercises strengthen muscles around the knee and alleviate knee pain. Learn more in this article.

    As always, please seek professional medical advice from a qualified healthcare providerDr. Google doesnt count! Getting professional advice is especially important if you recently injured your knee or you are sidelined by chronic knee pain.

    What are your favorite cardio exercises for bad knees? Let me know in the comments.

    To learn more scientific strategies to get healthier, sign up for the free Facts & Physio weekly newsletter. Ill even send you a free gift!

    Run/walk On A Curved Treadmill

    The Best Cardio Exercises for Losing Weight with Bad Knees: Full 10-Minute Home Workout

    A very easy cardio exercise for those with joint issues is running or walking on a curved treadmill. The curved, self-propelled treadmills work best and allow you to simulate running or walking on the road. The curve at the front of the treadmill will help to dampen the impact, which makes it more joint-friendly than a regular treadmill.

    These are just five of the many good cardio training options for those suffering from joint pain. Whether you suffer from back pain, hip pain, or any other type of pain in your joints, you can still perform cardio training, with approval from your doctor, of course.

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    What Causes Bad Knees

    The tibia, or shin bone, fibula in the outer lower leg, femur in the thigh and patella â supported by muscles, tendons and ligaments â all make up the knee. When you have “bad knees,” your range of motion is compromised. Your knees feel weak and might be unable to carry your weight or the demands of certain exercises, and they hurt.

    More often than not, the reason your knees hurt is because the surrounding muscles such as your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles that support your knees are weak. Appropriate exercises to strengthen these muscles help reduce knee pain and sometimes eliminate it altogether.

    When the culprit is not an overuse injury or weak supporting muscles, the cause of sore knees could also be osteoarthritis, a degenerative inflammatory condition affecting the bones and joint, according to Mayo Clinic.

    Read more: The Best Workout for Bad Knees

    Are Elliptical Trainers Good For Bad Knees

    Elliptical trainers are one of the best cardio machines for people with bad knees. Here is why the elliptical works for bad knees and how to avoid knee pain on the elliptical trainer.

  • The Bottom Line
  • Bad knees are, sadly, an all-too-common problem that can make getting your daily exercise a LOT harder.

    No matter how faithful you are with your daily workouts, you know that pushing already injured or painful knees harder is just going to make the damage worse, so youve basically got to avoid lower body training entirelyor, at the very least, reduce the intensity to be gentle on your knees.

    Because of this injury or pain, you end up with a less-effective workout, less calorie burning and fat loss, and even less functional fitness.

    But for those who are looking for a solution to train your entire body even with knee problems, youll be glad to know that the elliptical trainer is just what you need.

    Below, were going to take a deep dive into the benefits of elliptical trainers for your knees specifically, looking at how this particular form of exercise can not only reduce the strain on your knees, but help you train the muscles around your knees to prevent further injury.

    Plus, well talk about some easy ways you can avoid knee pain on the elliptical, and answer some frequently asked questions about elliptical training and your knees.

    Read Also: What To Do To Stop Knee Pain

    When To Consult With A Healthcare Provider Or Specialist About Knee Pain

    In general, any time you feel pain in your knees and are unsure of the cause, it is a good idea to seek out guidance from a healthcare provider or specialist.

    Certain scenarios require immediate attention, including:

    • Sharp Pain: The sensation of sharp pain can be a major cause of concern compared to more dull pain. If you are experiencing sharp pain, there is a higher likelihood of injury or an underlying medical condition that you need to have checked out.
    • Inability to Move: When knee pain goes unchecked and untreated for long periods, it can result in a moderate to severe inability to move. If this occurs, seek out a professional, such as a chiropractor, to help identify why your mobility has not returned.
    • Dislocations: Knee dislocations occur when the kneecap is shifted out of place, often caused by an injury or sudden impact. Dislocations can take several weeks to heal and often will require surgery to prevent future dislocations.

    How Many Daily Steps To Aim For With Bad Knees

    Pin on Cardio

    If you have ever looked up how many steps it takes to stay in shape, you have likely seen the number 10,000 floating around.

    Yet, according to a 2014 NPR report, 10,000 steps might not be the ideal goal to aim for especially if you are dealing with bad knees. Instead, you should aim to walk roughly 6,000 steps per day or roughly one hour of walking per day.

    The NPR report further states:

    People who walked 6,000 steps a day on average were less likely to have problems standing, walking and climbing stairs two years later, the researchers found.

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    What Exercises Can I Do

    Immediately after sustaining an injury, it is important to rest the affected area and speak with your doctor and physical therapist about what exercises work for you. Depending on the severity of your injury there are a variety of exercises they may recommend to keep you fit while not exacerbating your condition. The exercises listed below are a good starting point to keep your body active with a knee injury:

    1) Stretching & Warm-Ups

    The key to a well-rounded exercise routine always includes a warm-up. This does not change when you sustain a knee injury, rather it becomes more vital to your routine. A good way to warm up is to do some low-impact stretches. A great investment for warming up is a foam roller. Foam rolling is a great way to lessen tension in your lower body and legs. Properly warming up helps prepare you for your workout, gets your heart rate going, and keeps your body flexible!

    2) Cardio Exercises

    Although it seems difficult to think of doing cardio exercises without straining your knees, there are a variety of cardio activities that are knee-friendly. An effective cardio workout is an activity that increases both your heart and breathing rate. Swimming is the most popular amongst all these. The water keeps your body buoyant while taking the pressure off your legs. Of course, if a pool is not accessible there are a variety of other cardio workouts that can be done. These include activities such as one-legged cycling or using an upper-body ergometer.


    Should I Do Cardio If My Knee Hurts

    If you have knee pain, do these five exercises before going to bed. After youve been diagnosed with your knee problem and your doctor has cleared you to begin exercising, you can begin doing so. Its a great place to start, and it can help you strengthen your lower body, increase your heart rate, and lose weight.

    If you have a knee injury, you must exercise carefully to avoid further damage. If you fail to follow these instructions, you may exacerbate the situation. A general goal of your organization should be to engage in activities that have a minimal impact on the environment. The exercises are simple and low-impact. There are numerous options for exercising, but Pilates, Swimming, and Aerobics are some of the best. If you have a knee injury, you should consider purchasing an elliptical machine. Rowing is a type of exercise that can be performed in a gym or on the water. Your knees can be spared from the damage caused by the exercises. Cycling improves your joint flexibility in a variety of ways.

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    Obesity And Weight Problems

    Obesity in America is a major concern and among the many strains that being overweight has on the body, bad knees are extremely common. Beyond putting daily pressure on the knees, which can become increasingly painful, being overweight increases the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis in the knees.

    Top Exercises For Knee Pain

    KNEE-FRIENDLY Low Impact HIIT CARDIO Workout / Fat Burning Knee-Friendly Cardio / No Repeats

    Low-impact exercises like stretching, swimming, and water aerobics are good for relieving knee pain. Using an exercise bike or elliptical trainer can help, too. In addition, try these therapeutic exercises that you can do at home:


    This exercise is simple to do but can pay big dividends. As you get stronger, step up this exercise by using a resistance band just above the knees.

    Step 1: Lie on your side with your hips stacked and knees comfortably bent.

    Step 2: Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee up, mimicking the movement of a clamshell opening.

    Step 3: Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower the knee back down.

    Try for 15-20 repetitions on each side.

    Straight-Leg Lift

    Perform this exercise on the floor, not on a bed or other soft surface.

    Step 1: Lie on your back with one leg bent at about a 90-degree angle and the other leg straight.

    Step 2: With thigh muscles tight, raise the straight leg about a foot off the ground and hold.

    Step 3: After a few seconds, slowly lower the leg back to the ground.

    Step 4: Do several repetitions with the same leg before switching to the other side.

    Your level of strength will influence how many repetitions you can do. Start with a few and work up gradually.


    Be sure to use a sturdy chair for this exercise.

    Step 1: Sit slightly forward in a chair with your feet about shoulder-width apart.

    Step 2: Slowly stand up without using your hands.

    Step 3: Reverse the motion and sit down.


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    Should I Exercise With An Injured Knee

    The most commonly asked question is if it’s possible to keep working out with an injured knee. The answer, YES! Of course, if you have knee problems you need to be especially careful when performing weight-bearing exercises or anything that will put a strain on your joints. Research suggests that depending on the severity of your injury it is best to avoid high-impact exercises, but maintain a routine of low-impact upper body & cardio exercises.

    What Cardio Machine Is Best For Bad Knees

    Bad knees can quickly get in the way of regular exercise, especially with chronic conditions like arthritis. However, just because your knees are bad does not mean you have to give up aerobic exercise. There are equipment options at your local fitness center and for the home that can help you gain the benefits of aerobic exercise without painful side effects on your knee.

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    Best Cardio Exercises If You Have Knee Pain

    Once you know what’s going on with your knee and have clearance from your doctor, you can start exercising. Cardio exercise is a great place to start and one of the best choices for strengthening the lower body, getting your heart rate up, and losing weight.

    If you have access to a gym, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to cardio, including the below types of workouts.


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