A hurt knee more often than not forces you to restructure your movement completely. This is because the knee is the focal point of human activity.
As such, daily movements such as standing up, walking to the front door or getting in and out of a vehicle can be complicated.
When piled up with being overweight, it could spell great disaster. Even so, even if you’re not fat, putting pressure on a bad knee can be pretty uncomfortable.
Something that you can’t avoid altogether.
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As such, exercise might seem like something daunting in the wake of the pain you’ve probably been through, but it is necessary.
This is especially considering the impact of weight loss. Even if it’s a few pounds, weight can play a part in alleviating your distress.
Some of these exercises are specifically catered to helping you despite your bad knee—for instance, cardio for bad knees. There are also specifically tailored cardio exercises for someone with bad hips.
In a nutshell, there are a variety of exercises that can help with your bad knee. However, cardio exercises are a good place to start.
This is because they are great for strengthening the lower body; they also help in weight loss and getting your heart rate up.
Here are some practical cardio exercises for bad knees that you can do every day in hurt knees.
This exercise involves an inclining plane of activities. You first start with low-impact reps before progressively cranking it up. All you have to do is:
1.Step out to the right, taking the arms out to the sides.
2.Bring the left foot in, touching the floor next to the right foot, and immediately step to the left with the left leg.
3.Keep legs relatively straight; this is not a side lunge or squat.
4.Continue to step to the right and left, making the steps wider and the arms bigger to warm up the body.
5.Repeat for 60 seconds.
LOW-IMPACT JUMPING JACKS
Jumping jacks are a pretty popular form of exercise and can be pretty intense. However, you and your knees can relax as this variation of jumping jacks are not as intense. All you have to do is:
1.Take the right foot out to the right, pivoting slightly on the left foot so that your body is facing the left side of the room. At the same time, swing the right arm up.
2.Step back to start and pivot to the right, taking the left leg out and swinging the left arm up.
3.Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds.
Hamstring curl is a low-impact exercise that targets that hamstring muscle through isolation. It involves creating resistance by flexing the lower leg towards the buttocks.
There are several variations to the leg curl, i.e., seated curl, laying curl and standing curl. The steps involved are:
1.Stand behind a chair and hold onto its back for balance.
2.Bend the right knee, bringing your foot up behind you (like you’re kicking your own butt).
3.Slowly lower the foot to the floor and repeat 10 times. Switch legs and complete 1 to 3 sets on each leg.
SIDE LEG LIFTS
This is an all-purpose exercise that targets your lower body. It is also versatile, low impact and therefore, the kind of practices that are the right cardio for bad knees. These are the steps involved:
1.Stand alongside a chair or wall for support.
2.Lift the left leg out to the side, foot flexed.
3.Keep the hip, knee, and foot straight and aligned.
4.Try to lift the leg without tilting at the torso.
5.Lower and repeat 10 times. Do 1 to 3 sets on each leg.
KNEE LIFTS WITH PUNCHES
As the title suggests, this exercise requires a lot of coordination. Therefore, if coordination isn’t your strongest suit, there is no shame in taking time before you have it down.
1.Begin this move by facing the right corner of the room.
2.Step back with your right leg as you punch out with the right arm.
3.Now, pull the right elbow back and punch out with the left arm as you pull the right knee in.
4.Continue with the punches and knee lifts on that side for 30 seconds and switch sides.
Bike riding with a bad knee?. It seems counterproductive and painful, but cycling is one of the best forms of cardio for bad knees.
Cycling acts as a double-edged sword. Not only is it a fat-burning exercise, but it also increases your knee’s flexibility.
Step-ups might as well be the benchmark exercise for low impact exercises. It might need you to be innovative, however, and look for a reasonably raised surface to step on.
The steps include:
1.Step up onto the step with your right foot.
2.Tap your left foot on the top of the step and then lower. As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle to ensure you’re protecting your knees.
SIDE KNEE AND KICK WITH RESISTANCE
This will require you to use some resistance band. It doesn’t matter the level of tension as long as there’s some resistance. If you don’t have a resistance band, you can use a towel as an alternative.
The resistance builds the strength in all major lower body muscle groups, i.e., the quads, glutes and outer thighs.
Exercises that strengthen the lower body muscle groups consequentially help your knee. This is because by strengthening the muscles that surround the knee, you increase its support.
As such, this is the best kind of cardio for bad knees.
The steps involved are to:
1.Fold the band in half and grab either end.
2.Shift your weight to the left leg and take the arms straight up, pulling the hands away from each other to activate the upper body.
3.Lift the right knee up, squeezing the waist to bring the right knee up and out to the side while bringing the right elbow towards the knee.
3.Lower the leg, straighten the torso, and do the same thing, only keeping the right leg straight in a side leg lift.
4.Continue for 30 seconds, alternating a bent knee and straight leg and then switch sides.
WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD I NOT DO WITH A BAD KNEE?
Whilst there is effective cardio for bad knees, you can quickly aggravate a bad knee if not careful.
Some of the exercises you should avoid if you have a bad knee include:
Exercises that involve the full extension of your knee arc
Full deep lunges
These particular exercises put a lot of pressure on the knee joints; thus, they should be avoided.
The exercises that are done for a bad knee can also be used as knee-strengthening exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles that support the knee joint.
As a result, this can reduce the impact and stress on your knee and help your knee joint move more quickly.
All said and done the most important guideline to keep in mind is that you should always consult your doctor every step of the way as you engage in cardio.
Use their permission to guide you on what is the right step to take