When your knees hurt, you don’t feel like exercising, but not exercising makes your knees hurt even more. The key is to get fit doing exercises that don’t put stress on your knees. Keep away from running and calisthenics, instead focus on gentle exercises like swimming and walking. Making sure you keep fit has big benefits in the way your knees feel. By strengthening the muscles surrounding your knees, you can actually reduce your knee pain. Incorporate these exercises into your fitness routine.
Swimming is the best exercise you can do if you have bad knees. It puts no stress on your knees and tones your entire body. Being in the water is enjoyable, and you will definitely stay fit and burn calories if you swim three or four times a week. You don’t need to swim for a long time either. 20 minutes is enough to get the cardiovascular benefits. The kicking motion of your legs will strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
Try focusing your workouts on your upper body. Rowing machines are easy on your knees, and the bending motion will tighten your leg muscles. It’s a good all over toner that works wonders on your arms. The upper body ergometer is a common piece of equipment at gyms that gives your upper body a good workout. Instead of using your legs to pedal, you use your arms to pedal.
Bicycling is also a low impact exercise that strengthens your knees. Use a stationary bike or get out in the sunshine and ride outside. Stationary bikes put less stress on your knees, so you might want to start with those. Riding a bike strengthens your knees and is great for your cardiovascular system. The elliptical trainer has the same effect and works well for people with bad knees.
Along with cardio exercises, you need to incorporate stretching exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees. The muscles that support your knees are on the front of your thighs, back of your thighs, inside your thighs and outside your thighs. Strengthening these muscles ensures your knees are strong and resistant to injury. Stretching these muscles will keep your joints from stiffening too.
The first stretch to try is a heel slide. Get on your back bending your right knee with your right foot flat on the floor. Slowly slide your left heel towards the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each leg.
Next try a hamstring stretch. Stand up and put one foot in front of you with your toes facing up. Hold on to a chair if you need support. Bend your opposite knee and hip until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Your upper body will move at your hip. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each leg.
Bad knees don’t have to hold you back from starting or sticking with a fitness routine. Keep your knees strong with these exercises and stretches and you can lose weight and get fit. These exercises are easy to do and give your knees the workout they need.