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What kind of exercise is best if I have bad knees?

Aug 26, 2014

If you have bad knees, the first thing that you should do is check your form while doing exercises. For example, a lot of knee pain can be avoided during a squat making simple changes like keeping your weight on your heels and making sure your knees are not past your toes in the squat position. If you have had a knee injury or persistent knee pain, strengthening your weaker leg muscles will help take some of the pressure off of the knees. Start with lower impact exercises performed on both legs such as squats or single leg exercises such as lunges or split squats de-loaded with a TRX or cable. As you get stronger, more intense exercises can be incorporated to further strengthen and protect your knees.-Kristen

Different knee injuries or reasons for having "bad knees" will dictate different exercises that should be done. Avoiding high impact exercises is a good start, and performing targeted exercises to build strength around the knees are good places to start. That being said, exercises such as squats and step ups that people might feel they shouldn't do don't necessarily need to be avoided. When done with proper form and a trainers oversight many lower body exercises are OK unless someone has a specific documented injury. Often times the exercises that seem uncomfortable initially are the exact ones that should be done.-Keith

If you have bad knees, the best kind of exercise is low impact and performing exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the knee. Some of these exercises include quarter squats, hamstring curls, band walks and modified wall sits. Always remember to only push through a range of motion that is comfortable. -Sara


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