Bad knees may seem like a legitimate excuse to dodge the gym, and when you partake in high-impact activities, we can see why exercising might lose its allure! One of the best treatments for knee pain, however, is actually fitness! Exercise can be a potent medicine for bad knees, as long as you use the correct form and technique. Building up muscle around your joints can protect you from further injury by alleviating extra stress on your knees! So instead of skipping out on a workout altogether, try avoiding these high-impact exercises and work on maintaining good posture!
Lunges: Not all lunge variations are bad for the knees, but we tend to overextend our legs over our toes during lunges. That puts a lot of pressure on the kneecap, which can cause some serious damage over time!
Burpees: Don’t get too excited! Burpees themselves have the potential to be the perfect exercise for a tight, toned body. However, good form is absolutely essential in order to avoid injury. The more we do, the more lazy we get, and that is when we start running into knee problems! If you find yourself getting tired, try jump-free burpees instead!
Deep squats: Just like with lunges, we often allow our knees to go past our toes when we squat. This can cause extreme wear and tear on those joints, so if you are going to do do squats, make sure your posture is pristine!
Running: Running is a very high-impact form of exercise, so if your knees aren’t as strong as they used to be you may be better off giving up on your dreams of running a marathon. Try out a lower-impact workout like swimming or using the elliptical.
Hurdle stretches: While we always encourage stretching before and after working out, some stretches (including this one!) can really take their toll on bad knees! The hurdle stretch in particular, which requires you to sit with one leg tucked back by your bottom, can put a lot of unnecessary stress on your joints.
Seated Knee Extensions: This machine can cause you to fully extend your knees, and if you are accustomed to churning out several reps at a high weight, those toned quads may be more trouble than they are worth! You will put a lot of stress on the cartilage and the joint of the knee. Looking to tone those legs?
Jumping: Like running, jumping tends to be a high-impact exercise that can put a lot of pressure on our joints. Plyometrics can be incredibly effective if you are looking to whip yourself into shape, but often leads to the application of more than 2 to 3 times your body weight on your joints. Try a spinning class instead for a low-impact workout that is sure to crush those calories!
Kickboxing: Kickboxing can be a blast, but any exercise that requires sudden, directional changes can have a negative impact on weak knees. It’s easy to overextend your legs during high kicks, so make sure you are concentrating on your posture as well as your power!
Remember, you’ve only got the one body so be sure to treat it well! Simple modifications or variations on these exercises can go a long way in reducing any unnecessary stress on the joints. Fitness is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle, so don’t be discouraged by weakening knees! There are many ways to freshen up your fitness goals to suit your lifestyle.