The Best Workout for Someone with Bad Knees

Struggling with sore or achy knees during your workout? You’re not alone. Discover the best workout for someone with bad knees to stay active and healthy without putting strain on your joints.

Quick facts: Best Workout For Someone With Bad Knees

✅ Aquatic exercises are one of the best workouts for someone with bad knees due to its low impact properties – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
✅ Pilates is a beneficial workout for those with bad knees, as it strengthens muscles that support the knee joint – Harvard Health Publishing
✅ Using a stationary bike is an effective exercise for people with bad knees, as it helps improve leg strength – WebMD
✅ Swimming is an ideal workout for people with bad knees because it doesn’t put strain on the joint – Mayo Clinic
✅ Tai Chi is an excellent exercise for people with bad knees, as it helps strengthen the muscles around the knee joint – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Taking the time to warm up before any type of physical activity is essential for those with pre-existing conditions like bad knees. A good warm-up will get your muscles ready to take on the exercise and can help reduce the stress put on your joints. It’s important to take it slow and focus on stretching and light cardio before you move onto more intense exercises.

Let’s look at the best warm-up exercises for someone with bad knees:

Stretch your muscles

Stretching your muscles is one of the most important warm-up exercises for someone with bad knees. Stretching before any type of exercise is important because it helps improve flexibility, range of motion, and balance, all important for keeping joints healthy.

When stretching before any activity, focus primarily on the major muscle groups that will be used during your workout. This could include quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Also remember to stretch both legs equally so to maintain balance and avoid overcompensating with one side.

  • Hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds
  • Repeat each stretch two or three times to get the full range of motion out of each joint.
  • Make sure not to overstretch – try using gentle movements that don’t put too much strain on your bad knee joint.
  • Finally, always remember to stay relaxed while stretching as it can help prevent injury and maximize flexibility.

Do a light cardio warm-up

Doing a light cardio warm-up before any workout is beneficial for someone with bad knees because it can help to get the muscles in the lower body warmed up, increasing blood flow and overall mobility. Cardio warm-ups are also important for helping to prevent injury by gradually increasing heart rate and body temperature.

These exercises could include a light jog, running in place, or walking on an incline. This type of warm-up should not be strenuous or cause any pain, but should be enough to raise your core temperature so you can continue with your other exercises safely and effectively. Doing a light cardio warm-up can help people with bad knees avoid injuries while still getting the most out of their workouts.

Strength Training

Strength training can be an excellent way to exercise for someone with bad knees, as it helps to build muscle around the knees that can provide extra support and stability. Additionally, strength training can also improve the balance of your muscles and can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint, providing the knee joint added support.

Let’s look at some of the best exercises for someone with bad knees:

Focus on bodyweight exercises

Bodyweight exercises offer an excellent way for people with knee issues to get the strength training they need without stressing their joints. By using your own body weight to exert resistance, you can build strength without impacting or aggravating your knees.

Some great bodyweight exercises to consider include:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Burpees
  • Push-ups

You can start out by focusing on one exercise and gradually increasing the number of repetitions as you become stronger. As your conditioning improves, add in more exercises or even more challenging variations of each exercise set. It’s important to make sure that your form is correct throughout all movements – use a mirror or trainer if necessary – so that you are not overstraining yourself or risking any further damage to your joints.

Use resistance bands

Resistance bands are an excellent tool for strength training if you have bad knees. These bands are often used to assist with stretching and strengthening muscles, but they can also be used to increase strength and build muscle definition. Resistance bands provide a form of resistance that is adjustable, so you don’t need to worry about putting too much strain on your knees or other joints. With the right form and technique, you can get a great full-body exercise with just the use of resistance bands.

The major benefit of using resistance bands is their ability to provide varying levels of tension and assistance while performing exercises such as squats, lunges, core exercises, bicep curls, triceps extensions, chest presses and more. Additionally, they’re easy to store away when not in use and don’t require much space at all.

Overall, using resistance bands is an ideal form of strength training for someone with bad knees because it doesn’t require heavy equipment or large spaces.

Try low-impact exercises

Low-impact exercises are an ideal way to strengthen the muscles around your knees while avoiding unnecessary strain. This approach is also beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels! Any kind of low-impact exercise such as swimming, biking, yoga, or Pilates can help maintain strength and flexibility in the knee area. Walking is also great for increasing circulation and providing a low-impact workout for your joints. Even exercises like squats and lunges can be modified to reduce their intensity if you have bad knees.

Additionally, using lightweight machines or just bodyweight exercises to maintain overall strength can be helpful. By avoiding high impact activities like running or jumping that put a lot of stress on the legs and knees, you’ll reduce your risk of further damaging the joint in the long run.

Cardio Workouts

Cardio workouts can be an effective way to get in shape if you’re dealing with knee pain. Low impact activities like swimming, biking and walking are a great way to stay active without putting too much stress on the joints. Additionally, these types of exercises can build up strength and endurance, which can help to reduce the discomfort in your knees.

Let’s take a closer look at the best cardio workouts for someone with bad knees:

Try swimming

Swimming provides an excellent form of low impact cardio exercise for people with bad knees. Swimming allows you to move your body freely without the extra weight that comes from gravity placing unnecessary stress on your joints. It can also help work muscles throughout your entire body, improving flexibility, balance and coordination without placing strain on areas such as your knees and ankles.

Swimming is also a great way to work out your cardiovascular system without putting too much stress on a joint that may not be in top condition. Additionally, the water can help reduce swelling and discomfort by providing some cushioning for the joints. All these qualities make swimming one of the best exercises for someone with bad knees or any other joint issue who is looking to stay fit.

Use an elliptical machine

The elliptical machine is an ideal way for someone with bad knees to perform aerobic exercise. This type of low-impact, full-body apparatus provides a total body workout and uses a variety of motions to reduce stress on the joints while still providing an effective exercise.

With the capability to adjust incline, resistance levels, and stride length, the user can customize their exercise to suit their physical needs. The elliptical also allows for varying intensity workouts – from walking to jogging or running – depending on individual preference and ability. Most machines are equipped with built-in programs that allow users to track speed, time, distance and calories burned as well as monitor their heart rate.

By reducing impact on the lower extremities, an elliptical machine provides an ideal cardio workout for someone with bad knees.

Do low-impact aerobics

Low-impact aerobics are ideal for those with bad knees. This type of exercise puts minimal strain on the joints and provides a great cardiovascular workout.

There are many different types of low-impact aerobic exercises that you can choose from such as:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Cycling

These activities may be done in the gym or outdoors. Low-impact aerobics provide an excellent way to get a full body workout while protecting your joints from further damage. Adjusting the intensity of the activity according to your ability will help ensure you get the most out of your workout without overdoing it and causing further damage to your knees.

Low impact aerobic exercises can be supplemented with other forms of exercise such as strength training, stretching and core stability exercises to provide a balanced fitness program for those with bad knees.


Stretching is an important part of any workout, especially for someone with bad knees. Cooling down after exercise is essential in order to prevent soreness and tightness in the muscles. Stretching not only helps to reduce injury, but it also improves flexibility and range of motion.

Continue reading to learn more about why it is important to cool down properly after a workout.

Stretch your muscles

Stretching is an important part of any workout, but it’s especially important for someone with bad knees! Stretching allows you to gently work your muscles without putting strain on your joints. After each exercise session, try to spend some time stretching your muscles. This will not only help prevent injuries, but it will also help increase your range of motion and flexibility.

Additionally, if you have experienced any knee pain or discomfort during the workout, take extra time to stretch the surrounding muscles—hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves—to improve recovery and reduce soreness.

If you’re looking for some general ideas on stretches that specifically target bad knees, there are plenty of easy-to-follow tutorials online!

Do some light yoga

Light yoga is an effective way to help the body cool down from a vigorous workout. Stretching, in general, can be very helpful for someone with bad knees because it helps stabilize muscles and tendons around the knee joint. Not only does it serve to help with muscle tightness and pain relief, but also provides full range of motion exercises which could assist in restoring normal motion back into the knee joint.

Light yoga can include exercises such as:

  • Child’s pose
  • Cat/cow pose
  • Easy pose
  • Seated spinal twist or forward folding

These poses will help stretch and strengthen the surrounding muscles of your knees as well as promote improved mobility and range of motion. Moreover, deep breathing techniques will bring calming effects to your mind and body resulting in a feeling of relaxation after a workout session.


When it comes to exercising with bad knees, prevention is key. It is important to take the necessary precautions to reduce the stress that you put on your knees while working out. Being mindful of the exercises you do and the intensity of the workout can help you achieve your fitness goals without putting too much strain on your knees.

Let’s explore the different ways you can prevent knee injuries during your workouts:

Wear a knee brace

Wearing a knee brace can help protect and support the knee joint for those with bad knees. It can also reduce stress on the knee by providing additional stability.

When choosing a knee brace, it’s important to consider the type of activity you are doing. Knee braces are usually made of neoprene and other breathable, lightweight materials such as spandex and Lycra that offer flexibility and support to the joint. They also come in a variety of sizes so you can find one that fits properly. Additionally, some braces come with straps that allow you to adjust the level of compression for added comfort and stability.

Wearing a knee brace during physical activity is an effective way to help prevent knee injuries and alleviate pain associated with existing ones.

Strengthen your core and leg muscles

Strengthening your core and leg muscles is one of the best preventative measures you can take when it comes to protecting your knees. People with weak core and leg muscles are more likely to hurt their knees during movements like squatting, jumping, or running. Strengthening your muscles will help stabilize your body, reducing the amount of force being put on the knees during movement.

Strengthening exercises can include body weight exercises such as

  • lunges
  • squats
  • planks
  • bridges

You can also use resistance bands for added resistance in order to target specific areas of the body. Make sure to pay close attention to your form when doing any kind of strengthening exercise in order to avoid injuring yourself further.

Take breaks between exercises

Taking breaks between sets and different exercises can help prevent knee joint pain. When performing any type of exercise, it is important to give your body time to rest and regain its balance. Allowing yourself a few moments between each set or exercise will ensure that you do not strain your muscles or tendons and that the knee joint does not become overworked. This break should be at least 30 seconds long in order to give the knees enough time to rest before continuing the workout.

Additionally, taking breaks can help prevent wear and tear on the joints, which is especially important for those with preexisting knee issues. Make sure to listen to your body and take extra time if needed!

FAQs about: Best Workout For Someone With Bad Knees

Q: What is a good workout for someone with bad knees?

A: Low-impact exercises are the best choice for someone with bad knees. Cycling and swimming are great aerobic workouts that won’t put too much strain on your joints. Yoga and Pilates are also good options since they focus on stretching and muscle strengthening without too much impact.

Q: What should I avoid when exercising with bad knees?

A: You should avoid any activities that involve jumping, running, and high-impact exercises. You should also avoid any activities that involve a lot of twisting or side-to-side motions, as these can be very hard on your knees.

Q: Are there any special considerations for someone with bad knees when it comes to exercising?

A: Yes. It’s important to warm up and cool down properly before and after any physical activity. Additionally, you should always listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Lastly, it’s important to wear the proper footwear to ensure your knees are properly supported.

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