8 best Cardio exercises for bad knees

cardio exercises for bad knees

When you’re getting old or in your late 30s even if you don’t want them, knee pain will always show up. More than 30% of adults go through experiencing chronic knee pain. Having chronic pain will make the simplest things like walking, climbing stairs hard for you. You shouldn’t diminish the quality of your life just because of knee pain below mentioned cardio exercises for bad knees might help you.

When your knee health is declining best way to improve your knee health is by exercises but hard impact cardio can cause you even more pain. When we’re trying to improve the health of a muscle or joint that is suffering from chronic pain, you should start by doing exercises that have a low impact on the suffering muscle or joint. There are some cardio exercises for bad knees. Just because they will be low-impact cardio exercises for bad knees doesn’t mean that it will be easy for you to do.

Before we get into the cardio exercises for people with bad knees, if you have an injury before starting any of these exercises it is necessary for you to get in touch with your doctor and seek professional advice.

Cardio exercises for bad knees

While doing these exercises if you feel mild tension that’s okay but if you’re experiencing pain while doing these exercise or doing certain movement that triggers pain then you should stop and seek professional advice from your doctor.

  1. Elliptical

This is one of the best cardio exercises for bad knees, not only that this exercise will help your knee health while it will also prevent any further injury and this exercise will be easy on your knees.

You may think that running and an elliptical machine, The movement seems the same so I will opt for running. They are not the same if you choose running the impact of running will cause inflammation and pain that’s the last thing we want for our knees. While in an elliptical machine your feet will always stay on the pedals which will prevent further injuries to your knee it will also increase the heart rate that will help you burn more calories and it will also improve your cardiovascular health.

Elliptical machines are a more supportive form of cardio, nod doubt running will help you burn more calories but it will also increase your knee pain so an elliptical machine is a right choice for a person suffering from bad knees.

2. Swimming

Oh, that sounds refreshing, swimming is a great way for the person with bad knees to exercise. It will have a very low impact on your body with also being versatile also swimming is better than running. In swimming, you will be working out all of the major muscles in your body like pecs, glutes, and core. Freestyle swimming is the best and also the fastest form of swimming just doing freestyle swimming for 20 minutes will help you burn around 200 calories or even more. So swimming will be also a great way to lose weight.

3. Cycling

Cycling is a great form of cardio and easy to do, doesn’t matter if you prefer exercise bike or riding cycle outside both will burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health and also improve your knee health, flexibility, and strength.

While we’re on the topic of riding cycle safety comes first wear helmets. As you’re a person suffering from knee pain you should avoid terrains like mountains or unstable roads riding on these terrains will create an impact on your knees and might cause knee pain. If you feel pain while pedaling due to bending of your knees just raise your seat slightly this will eliminate the extra bending of knees that cause pain.

When it comes to indoor cycling there is a way to increase the level of resistance I would advise against it as you’re a person suffering from bad knees you should start with low resistance that will help you build up your knee strength and stamina. Cycling on a medium or high level of resistance will put a lot of pressure on your knee and that will just cause your pain to worsen. Start from low and gradually work your way to the top.

4. Pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on controlled body movement, core strength, body flexibility, and mobility. Unlike isolated exercises, pilates focuses on the smaller muscles that provide support and structure to your body that enhances your overall health, also it is an effective low-impact exercise making it a good pick for your cardio exercises for bad knees. Pilates won’t just focus around your knees or a particular body part it’s a full-body workout.

In pilates, there are many moves that involve good lower body movement that will help you improve your joint mobility and strengthen lower body muscles. Regular Pilates can help you achieve stronger muscles, improved posture, strengthened core, and body balance.

5. Walking

You can do exercises like running or jumping because of your bad knees they will do more damage than good so you should pick walking. It is one of the easiest and low-impact exercises out there when compared to other cardio exercises for bad knees, brisk walking will also help you burn calories. Brisk walking can be hard and doing it daily can be even harder so take company with you.

Make sure to wear good shoes and start with a flat surface then you can gradually progress as your knees get stronger to hikes. Before you start brisk walking it’s important to do some basic stretching.

6. Rowing

If you’re a person that has a problem with the impact and not the bending of the knee, this cardio exercise is for you. It is a great way for you to burn calories without putting pressure on your knees, rowing is a great full-body workout that will improve your core strength, increase your stamina, and it will boost your immune system function.

If at any point rowing gets easy for you there is a way to increase the intensity of the workout by adjusting the resistance.

7. Step-ups

This cardio exercise for bad knees can be done anywhere all you need is just a few stairs or a bench/elevated flat surface would do the trick. It is a very good low impact exercise with the ability to elevate your heart rate hence enabling you to burn calories.

How to do step-ups – Step up onto the step with your right foot, this is your starting position. Now tap the step with your left foot so that it may look like you’re standing on the step for a second then return to the starting position. As you step your knees should be above the ankle, rather than going over your toes.

Step-ups will work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. As long as you don’t step on the surface that is too elevated you won’t have a problem doing step-ups even with bad knees.

8. Partial squats

Doing full squats might not be a good approach for your bad knees but partial squats can be a good way to strengthen your joints, strengthen your quad muscles, and train you for future bigger lifts.

How to do partial squats – Place your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes should be pointing forward this will be your starting position. Engage your core and start lowering your body till it feels comfortable, now return to the starting position. Your knees should remain behind the toes throughout the exercise movement.

Final words

Any kind of pain is challenging enough for anyone to endure and knee pain lasts for a month or even a year with help from your doctor and by doing some cardio exercises for bad knees, you can get rid of the knee pain. It won’t happen in a day or a week but consistently doing cardio exercises for bad knees will surely get you there.

There are many other easy exercises that can be done at home that will help you build strength and flexibility without further damaging your knees. if you don’t know about them you can keep doing these cardio exercises for bad knees.