Working out with Bad Knees

Working out with Bad Knees

Written by: Emma Anius

At least once in our life times we’ve experienced some kind of joint pain, and for those of you that are dedicated to exercising you know how much this can spoil a work out routine.  Especially if the pain you are experiencing is in the knee!

A regular work out does have a lot of emphasis on bending the knee because lets face it, we need to bend our knees to do just about anything.  Instead of turning your back on exercise, just tweak your routine slightly to accommodate your injury.  You will no longer be able to go for those long runs or do those deep squats until the joint heals properly.  If you continue to put stress on the knee while it is hurting that would only lead to further damage or improper healing.

Your first thought may be to just stop exercising completely once you feel that pain coming along; but exercise could be the best medicine for chronic achy knees.  Exercising strengthens the muscles around the joint and protects you from injury by decreasing the amount of stress on the knee.  But you must use good form and technique when doing exercises for knee pain.  Ensure you never bend your legs to a point where your knees stick out past your toes as this puts a lot of pressure under the kneecap.

If you usually do a lot of cardio work like running or jogging allow this time for you to focus on other forms of exercise, you never know you may find yourself preferring it and it’ll also bring some variation to your regular routine.

Squats are definitely a big part of any workout routine; if you find yourself struggling on what other exercises you can do- start focusing on your upper body.  Upper body weight training, including bench presses, curls, chin-ups, and pushups can be used for general fitness, if you use light weights and increase the reps, you can strengthen your upper body, tone your muscles and burn fat, all without using your knees.

An exercise that uses the leg muscles without putting much strain on the joints is bike riding. Whether you ride an actual bike or a stationary one at the gym, cycling can be the perfect exercise if you have bad knees, it is low impact and won’t put much stress on the knee joint.

If you don’t have access to a bike, the best cardio exercise you can do for a bad knee is definitely swimming, and living in St. Lucia you are never too far from a beach.  Swimming is a great exercise because not only does it benefit you aerobically by keeping your heart and lungs’ working effectively but the resistance that is produced by the water acting upon the body as you swim has many positive effects too.  It helps burn a lot of calories without straining the knees or other joints and also strengthens the muscles surrounding the knees; it is also a great option for weight loss, rehabilitation, or a basic fitness activity and is a lot of fun.

Walking is always an exercise that can be done come rain or shine and is a classic form of low-impact cardio. Make sure your pace is kept brisk to get the maximum results from this low-impact exercise.  If you decide to go for a walk up a hill make sure you don’t put too much strain on the knee, start off with flat surfaces and gradually build up the resistance as your knee heals.

Finding the right exercise for you is important. You can challenge yourself without getting an injury or pushing your body too far.


Looking after your body is the key to healthy living.


If you have no time to exercise or don’t know where to begin:




Medicine ball twists x 20, bridge x 15, side lunge x 10, squat x 10, plank x 30 seconds:




Medicine ball twists x 50, bridge x 25, side lunge x 20, squat x 15, plank x 60 seconds






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