11 simple exercises that anyone with knee pain needs to start doing

Exercise is one of the best ways to address the issue of aching knees.  There are many different exercises which are highly beneficial for the knees, in terms of strengthening the muscles and ligaments as well as supporting the knee joints and lessening the chance of an injury.

Exercises for People with Bad Knees


1.     Warm Ups

Those with bad knees should do a proper warm up before doing any exercise regimen.  By doing so, the blood improves and the muscle stiffness significantly decreases.  Consequently, the exercise becomes easier and the risk of an injury and muscle sprains reduces.

So, before doing any exercises targeting the knees, warm yourself by doing stretches or some brisk walking. About 20 minutes are enough to prepare the knees for the workout.

2.     Swimming

Swimming is definitely one of the best exercises for those with bad knees. When swimming, the effect of gravity lessened, which in turn lowers the risk of any damage to an aching joint. Doing a few laps of the pool is a good way to strengthen the knees.  Twenty minutes of swimming are more than enough.

3.     Cycling

The quadriceps, hamstrings, and calve muscles are used when riding a bike and cycling, so this activity puts less pressure on the joints and makes the knees much more stable.  It also helps lose weight.  However, note that you need to go slowly in case you have recently undergone knee joint surgery.

4.     Walking

When walking ( brisk walking), the muscles of the upper and lower body get a full workout.  Walking holds a notable place in the list of effective exercises designed for those with bad knees.  Activities like jogging or running put a strain on the knees, but walking is completely safe and beneficial.

5.     Step Ups

Step ups are known to be extremely effective in terms of strengthening the muscle that support the knee joints.


  • Stand in front of a stair or a small bench
  • Place one foot on the step, making sure it stays firmly
  • Raise the other ft and put it on the step, then again on the floor
  • Repeat ten times with each foot
  • Do some curls with weight  if you want to add extra resistance while doing the step ups.


6.     Partial Squats

Those who are in pretty bad shape aren’t recommended to do full squats. Hence, partial squats are ideal for them as they put less strain on the knees.


  • Stand with the feet at should width, keeping the toes pointing forwards
  • Lower the body and go as low as possible. Keep the knees behind the toes when doing the squat
  • Go back to the original position
  • Repeat the exercise for a couple of times.


7.     Calf Raises

Calf raises are particularly effective for the muscles of the lower back.


  • Stand on a flat surface, making sure you straight and keeping the feet firmly on the floor
  • Lift the body while standing on the toes
  • Go back to the original position
  • Do twenty to twenty five repetitions.


8.     Scissor Kick

You will need an exercise mat for the exercise, as you are supposed to lie flat.


  • Lift the shoulders and leg, making sure they don’t touch the floor while doing the exercise
  • The legs should be lifted for 6 inches while the shoulders should be only an inch above the ground
  • Spread the legs as far as possible
  • Bring the legs closer and cross them one over the other,  making sure you don’t bend the knees
  • Keep the arms on the ground
  • Increase the number of reps over time, until you work your way up to 50.


9.     Dancing

Taking a dance class is a good way to strengthen the knee joints.  Most dance styles are suitable and beneficial for those with bad knees. The best thing is that the initial dance moves serve as warm-up exercises, preparing the body for the more intense workout that follows.

10.  Side-Lying Leg Lifts

Again, this is yet another effective exercise for people with bad knees.


  • Lie on the side, keeping the legs together and straight
  • Support the head with your arm
  • If you are lying on the left side, lift the right leg up.  Bring it back to the original position and repeat
  • Repeat the process with the left leg

Note: For optimal results, wear ankle weights.

11.  Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Instructions:


  • Lie on the side, putting on ankle weighs above the knee
  • If you are lying on the left side,  bend the left leg and keep the right one straight
  • Lift the right leg , bring it back, and repeat ten to fifteen times
  • Repeat the process with the left leg

Exercises to Avoid


  • Basketball, rugby, football, tennis, and other sports in which there are high chances of twisting the knees
  • Stair climbing
  • Skiing, snowboarding, jumping or other high-impact activities

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