“I have bad knees” may be an easy excuse when you don’t want to exercise. But reducing your activity level to avoid pain may actually weaken your muscles and make your bad knees worse. Carefully managing your knee health with the right exercises will help your knees stay healthy for the long haul.
To help you avoid strain and pain we’ve compiled some of the best and worst exercises for bad knees.
1st Commandment of Proper Knee Form
When you have knee pain, avoid bending your legs to a point where your knees stick out past your toes—this puts lots of pressure under the kneecap. This not only applies to exercises, but when you stretch as well.
Dos and Don’ts
Keep this list handy when you do something physical to avoid aggravating the condition of your knees or making an injury worse.
- Don’t participate in sports that require sudden starting or stopping, jumping and twisting. These movements can put unnecessary pressure on your knees and lead to severe injuries like ACL tears
- Do try exercises such as swimming and low-impact cycling that will strengthen your leg muscles without straining your knees
- Don’t do any high-impact exercises like squats or lunges
- Do consider a yoga or Pilates class—there are poses that will support knee health
Some of the best exercises for bad knees:
Avoid these exercises if you have bad knees:
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