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Leg Workout For Bad Knees

Prone Straight Leg Raises

5 Leg Exercises for Arthritic Knees AND Bad Knees

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and the hamstring of one leg, and lift toward the ceiling. Hold 3-5 seconds, lower, and repeat. Do 10-15 lifts and switch sides. You can add ankle weights as you gain strength. You shouldnt feel back pain. If you do, limit how high you lift up. If it still hurts, stop and talk to your doctor.

Smith Machine For Front Squats

The Smith machine is a great alternative to a barbell front squat for those who lack shoulder or wrist mobility or have an injury. But it’s also an excellent tool for understanding the natural movement pattern of the front squat.

“Front squats are more of a quad-dominant lift compared to the back squat based on bar path and position,” Watkins says. It also activates some of your upper-body muscles, such as your trapezius and rhomboid to keep the bar in position.

“Most people struggle or even fail at this lift due to upper body breakdown or weaknesses. This is where the Smith machine shines because you can work on leg drive, which gives an opportunity to understand and feel the weight without having to focus as intensely on balance,” Watkins says.

How to Use the Smith Machine to Improve Your Front Squats

Front squats are usually performed with the barbell in the front-rack position with the bar resting above your shoulders, which can sometimes be uncomfortable.

“The Smith machine helps simplify the exercise and help target weak quads with less weight than a back squat. Always remember to engage the core and work on learning to lower yourself down in a controlled fashion. Pause slightly at the bottom of each rep and use the entire body together to stand up safely,” Watkins says.

How The Knees Work

Lets take a quick look at how your knees function.

The knee represents the joint behind the kneecap between the thigh bone and the shinbone . It also consists of tendons and ligaments to keep the bones and muscles in place, and protective cartilage over the joint. The causes of a bad knee vary and include pain from an injury, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, or carrying excess body fat. Your quadriceps and glutes which offer support above the knee could be weak. Bad knees could also be as a result of weak calves, which are the bottom support for the body part.

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Instead Of: Side Planktry: Modified Side Plank

If you have any sort of knee instability, side planks can be bothersome, says Bethanie Bayha, D.P.T., an orthopedic clinical specialist and clinic director at Real Rehab in Seattle. The extended-leg position puts a high demand on the sides of your knees to stay in place. Dropping to your knees, and bending them about 90 degrees so that your feet are behind you, is a standard adjustment, Bayha says. You can still focus on engaging your core and glutes, but you dont need to worry about your knees in the process.

Lie on your left side with your knees bent about 90 degrees so that your feet are behind your body. Prop your upper body up on your left forearm with your elbow bent and directly below your shoulder.

From here, raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to knees. Make sure youre pushing straight up, not toward your feet. Your top hip should also be rolled slightly forward. Rest your right hand on your right hip. Hold for as long as your workout calls for, then repeat on the opposite side.

The Straight Leg Raise

6 Best Leg Exercises For Bad Knees

Dr of Physical Therapy Nick Salinas, who owns Functional Movement Therapy PLLC said, typically, the inside of the knee joint breaks down most often.

So, how can we try and fix this?

Nick Salinas said, In my professional opinion, one of the best and most commonly incorrectly performed exercises for the quadriceps is the straight leg raise.

In this exercise, the athlete engages the inner thigh quad muscle , engages the deep core muscle , and lifts the leg against gravity to approximately 30-40 degrees.

The most challenging aspect of this exercise is not using everything else.

Be sure not to flex the toes back towards the nose, do not push down with the opposite leg, do not allow the pelvis to tip or rotate, and do not hold your breath as you engage the muscle and lift the leg up.

Heres a video of it being demonstrated:

This truly is one of the best quad exercises for bad knees.

Just make sure youre doing it right, as Dr.Salinas said earlier, its performed incorrectly often- and this can lead to more bad than good.

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Can You Exercise With Sore Knees

Exercising a knee thats sore or arthritic may seem contradictory, but exercise can often be better for your knees than keeping them still. Not moving your knee may cause it to stiffen, making it harder to go about your daily activities.

Physiotherapist Rebecca Sessions says, Exercise is super important with sore knees to ensure that you keep a good range of movement and strength in the main muscle groups supporting the knee. Depending on the severity of pain, exercise is considered anything from bending and straightening the leg all the way through to walking, cycling, swimming, and running.

Before starting an exercise program for knee pain, talk to your doctor or physical therapist to make sure the exercises are safe for you.

What Causes Knee Pain

Knee pain can rear its head for a multitude of reasons. Common causes include eating a lot of processed and sugary foods that can cause joint inflammation, lack of omega-3, being overweight, poor exercise form, and overuse1,2,3.

When these variables are present, it can result in several conditions such as:

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome : Patellofemoral pain syndrome injury occurs when the patella rubs on the femur bone beneath it.
  • Patellar Tendonitis : An injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap to your shinbone.
  • Chondromalacia Patellae: A softening of cartilage beneath the patella, causing pain and swelling.
  • Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone.
  • Meniscus Tear: This occurs when the knee cartilage tears. This is the most common knee injury that’s directly caused by squats.

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Take It To The Next Level

If completing the standard hip hinge is easy for you , try doing it on one leg.

  • Stand on one leg. Keep your hands on your hips.
  • With a soft bend behind the knee, hinge forward on one leg as the opposite leg extends backward behind you. Do this until you feel a full stretch in the hamstring of the leg youre standing on.
  • With hips level to the floor, use your single leg glute and hamstring to stand upright.
  • Without touching the floor, complete 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps on each leg.
  • The last few degrees needed for full leg extension come from a muscle in the quads called the vastus medialis. This exercise will help strengthen your quads.

    Equipment needed: 1- to 3-pound ankle weight

    Muscles worked: quadriceps

    To ensure that you have the right form and are using the correct muscles for this exercise, youll need to start by facing an open wall or door.

    Equipment needed: standard table chair

    Muscles worked: all the muscles in the lower body

  • Stand about 1 foot away from the wall you are facing. Place the chair just behind you. It should be at a comfortable enough height for you to sit down.
  • Facing forward with your feet parallel and hip-width distance apart, slowly lower yourself down to sit in the chair. Do this without turning your head, face, hands, or knees to the wall.
  • Throughout the movement, brace your core. Drive down into the floor through your legs and stand all the way back up. You should lock out your hips at the top with good posture.
  • Exercise And Knee Pain

    Working Out Legs With Bad Knees – 5 Exercises!

    If your knee pain is due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and range of motion.

    Exercising a knee thats injured or arthritic may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, exercise is better for your knee than keeping it still. Not moving your knee can cause it to stiffen, and this may worsen the pain and make it harder to go about your daily activities.

    Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your knee joint. Having stronger muscles can reduce the impact and stress on your knee, and help your knee joint move more easily.

    Before you start an exercise program for knee pain, be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist to make sure the exercises are safe for you. Depending on your situation, they may recommend some modifications.

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    Glute Ham Raise Machine

    GHRs are another knee-friendly, hip dominant movement. Since we’ve done single-leg RDLs, we can focus on the hamstring dominant variation of the glute ham raise.

    Lock your feet into the machine and begin with bent knees and an upright torso. Flex the abs to maintain a neutral spine through all phases. Lower your torso forward through a controlled negative until your knees and entire body are straight.

    Pause briefly and reverse direction by curling your bodyweight back to the starting position. You should experience a loaded stretch of your hamstrings. Avoid extending your lower back to cheat. To make the movement more glute dominant, add hip flexion and then extension to the end of the movement.

    If you can do more than 8 reps using bodyweight, hold a plate to your chest. If it’s too difficult to perform the positive portion, use the bars to push yourself back to the starting point and focus on the negative. Keep practicing these until you’re strong enough to do the full movement.

    If your gym doesn’t have a GHR, any hamstring curl machine can fill in.

    Best Glute Exercises For People With Bad Knees

    Just because you have bad knees doesnt mean you cant work that booty.

    If youre someone who wants a comprehensive, full-body fitness routine, then you dont want to sacrifice one muscle area just because you have bad knees. Knee pain can be frustrating. But, it doesnt mean you cant target certain areas such as your glutes. Theres a number of glute exercises that work your butt without putting strain on your knees. They just require some thinking beyond the typical squat.

    Most people think of squats or lunges as the only exercises to work glutes. Although these are both great exercises, they can also put a lot of pressure on your knee joints, says Aaptiv Trainer Kenta Seki. If you have any type of knee injury or just have sensitive knees, its important to avoid overdoing exercises that can put a lot of strain on your knees.

    The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most vulnerable to injury. This makes maintaining proper form and technique during any exercise crucial to knee health. Optimal organization of the entire body is required for knee function to remain excellent, says personal trainer Becky Behling, M.S., G.C.F.P., C.P.T. .

    Its important to pay attention to your knee health and avoid any glute exercises that could cause harm. But there are alternative options to work that behind. Here are six of the best glute exercises for people with bad knees.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Knees

    Benefits Of Knee Strengthening Exercises

    The Arthritis Foundation state that exercise may be the most effective way to treat osteoarthritis without surgery, while the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons note that strong and flexible muscles can keep knees healthy and prevent injury.

    Knee strengthening exercises do not affect the knee joint directly, but they strengthen the muscles surrounding it. Strong muscles in the legs can help provide support for the knees. This support may alleviate pressure and strain on these joints, which can relieve pain and help a person be more active.

    The following exercises can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. If a person experiences pain during these exercises, they should stop doing them and speak to a doctor. Anyone with severe knee pain should consult a doctor before trying to exercise.

    It is best to warm up with light exercise before starting any knee strengthening exercises. Examples of gentle exercise include walking, cycling, and using an elliptical machine, all of which put minimal stress on the knees. This activity will help increase blood flow to the muscles and allow them to be more flexible.

    Muscles involved: Quadriceps and abdominal muscles.

  • Lie down on the floor with the back flat. Use a yoga mat, folded blanket, or exercise mat for comfort on a hard floor.
  • Keep the left leg straight and bend the right leg slightly at the knee, bringing the foot closer to the body.
  • Hold the left leg up for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat two more times with the same leg.
  • Trx Assisted Split Squat

    10 Best Leg Exercises For Bad Knees (With Photos)

    The TRX assisted split squat is similar to the TRX squat, however the split squat is a unilateral leg exercise that has the lifter stand in a split stance and place more weight on their lead leg. By doing a split squat, you can increase the single leg strength of each leg, and address any muscle imbalances or movement asymmetries.

    Form Tip: By holding the handles, you aid in balance and allow the individual to use their upper body to assist if they are not strong enough to only use their legs in the movement.

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    Leg training. Ugh! Not everyone loves it, but the results are always worth the pain. The beauty of leg training is that it gives the body a fuller look and puts you far beyond the competition on the amateur level.

    For argument’s sake, let’s pretend that you love leg training. The feeling of not being able to walk for a minute or two after a set of squats makes you want to push yourself into the ground with more intensity.

    Time to reinvent your workout to get your legs shredded and full for the show.

    Leg Exercises Bad Knees

    TikTok video from DejiFitness : “How to grow your quads – Knee friendly quad exercises #fitnesstips #fittok #legs #workout #fyp #viral”. 4 exercises | Bad Knees?Grow your quads. Works Of Art.


    633 Likes, 16 Comments. TikTok video from Tim Buckley : “Youre looking for exerxises to do because you have bad knees #kneepain #knee #legworkout”. Alternative Exercise if you have Bad Knees . original sound.


    5.1K Likes, 111 Comments. TikTok video from My Trainer Phil : “Want a great leg workout without knee pain? Try these #kneepain #fitness #bodyweightworkout #homeworkout #beginnerworkout”. Exercises | 6 | For Bad Knees | …. TICTAC x FOOT FUNGUS x DOUGIE x BATMAN.


    733 Likes, 8 Comments. TikTok video from Harry Tritton | Online Coach : “Reply to @erika.klosinski leg exercises for bad knees! I hope this helps #OurHouse2021 #foryoupage #fyp #fitness #workout #foryou”. LOWER BODY EXERCISES FOR DODGY KNEES | NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! | GLUE BRIDGES | …. Aesthetic.


    4.7K Likes, 29 Comments. TikTok video from Mindy Hatch : “Lets roast that #ComeDanceWithMe #gymtok #ScreamItOut”. Leg day for bad knees | 4×12 RDLs | 5×12 hip thrusts | …. First Class.


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    The Mechanisms Of The Knee

    The knee is the space where our femur and tibia meet behind the kneecap, with protective cartilage in between. It’s known as a hinge jointlike our elbows, it is designed to bend one way and not the other.

    The knee is also made up of ligaments and tendons that secure the bones in place, and muscles that run the whole operation. A “bad knee” could mean anything from degenerative joint disease, pain from a previous injury to theACL or MCL, a tendency to overpronate when you walk, or a dozen other ailments that may compromise your range of motion.

    If you’re recovering from an injury, your best bet is to consult a physical therapist for knee-friendly exercises that won’t further damage the knee or hinder your recovery. However, for some general low-impact leg exercises that won’t put extra pressure on your knees, read on.

    Underrated Leg Exercise Machines For Powerful Lower

    22 Leg Exercises for Bad Knees

    Whether you’re looking to improve your deadlift or hip thrust technique, working out with weights isn’t the only way you can hone in on your form and become more powerful in your lifts.

    Video of the Day

    Using popular lower bodyâfocused exercise machines, like the rower and leg press, will help you emphasize proper form while helping you build strength, endurance and explosiveness. That last bit is particularly key if you want to have more powerful and heavier lifts.

    Ahead, experts share which leg exercise machines can improve your lower-body lifts and how to use them effectively.

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    Stability Ball Hamstring Roll

  • Begin lying on your back, arms by your side, and feet on top of a stability ball.
  • Squeeze your glutes and abs and lift your body up, so you are in a straight line with only your shoulders and head relaxed on the mat.
  • Pull heels toward glutes rolling ball in, then push the ball back out. Continue to pull the ball in and out for the desired number of reps. Slowly lower the body back to the mat.

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