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Vibrating Your Way to Good Health – The Best Exercise for Bad Knees

24th February 2023

Knee pain affects millions of people and as the largest joint in the body, the knees can take strain from different types of movement and exercise. As such, it’s crucial that when you do exercises for your knees, you choose those ones that will have no impact or a low impact.

If you are wondering what the best exercise for bad knees is, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll talk about what not to do when working out and which exercises are most suitable. We will then end the article with the best exercise for bad knees to help you on your journey towards a healthier and fitter life. Let’s dive in.

What exercises to avoid if you have bad knees

Before we get started on the best exercise for bad knees, it’s crucial to know what to avoid when your knees or the surrounding areas are in pain. Knowing what to avoid can help you reduce the strain and stress you place on your knees and avoid a negative impact on them. In short, the following exercises should be avoided for exactly this reason:

  • Jumping
  • Running
  • Twisting
  • High-intensity cardio
  • Squatting
  • Full arc knee extensions
  • Deep lunging
  • High-impact sports (e.g. basketball, tennis, racquetball, squash, soccer, football)
  • Plyometrics
  • Duck walks

It’s also highly advisable that you do not exercise on hard surfaces because they have no shock absorption. Furthermore, you should try not to bend your knees excessively such as doing leg presses, which require a bending angle that is greater than 90 degrees. Also important is to vary your exercise regimen and not overdo it. Start with gentle stretches, start at a slow tempo and then carefully and slowly build your way up to greater resistance and strength.

You should consider avoiding periods of excessive rest between exercises and do these, even if it’s for a little bit, on a regular basis as opposed to not exercising at all. Be careful of falls and take your weight into consideration as you work out the right exercise regimen for you and your needs and physical circumstances.

What are some of the best exercises for bad knees?

When exercising your knees, it’s also important to exercise the muscles that surround them. In this case, these are the glutes, hips, ankles and calves. However, whole-body exercises are just as good, and below, we’ll cover some of the most important ones you can try and end by indicating what the best exercise for bad knees is. Here’s our list:

Swimming and/or water aerobics

Swimming is an excellent way to target most of the body’s core muscles including your glutes, abdominals and chest. Whether a backstroke, freestyle or a butterfly, these are no- to low-impact exercises that can provide a whole-body workout without straining your knees. In fact, freestyle swimming is said to burn more calories than jogging. Keep that in mind next time your consider going for a run.

  1. Elliptical machine
  2. With this piece of gym equipment, your feet never leave the pedals. This means much lower chances of injuring or straining your knees, back, neck or hips. It’s also a great cardio workout that will make you sweat as you get your heart rate up. The beauty of these machines is that you can adjust the resistance to your levels.

  3. Rowing machine
  4. Also called stationary rowing, this machine mimics the rowing actions as if you were in a boat or a canoe. It offers a full-body workout that will also help you strengthen your core while minimising the impact on your joints such as your knees. Of course, you can adjust the resistance to help you build greater strength and stamina.

  5. Cycling
  6. Because cycling targets the leg muscles, you’ll be able to strengthen those muscles around your knee and help your knees over the long run. Whether you use a stationary indoor bike or you prefer riding outside, doesn’t matter. What you should consider though is avoiding hills and sticking to flat terrains. It’s also advisable to adjust your seat to decrease the pressure on your kneecaps.

  7. Aerobic or cardio workouts
  8. There are many exercises that give you an aerobic or cardio workout. The first of these is the aerobic step bench. This is when you step up on a platform with one foot and repeat the action with the other foot. Other exercises include low-impact burpees, straight-leg raises, calf raises, side-lying hip abduction with a resistance band, clams with a resistance band, flutters/abductor stretch – butterfly, hip flexors and quads stretches, half pigeon poses, scissor kicks, step touches, march with an exercise ball, medicine ball knee lifts, straight leg kicks with a medicine ball, band side knee and kicks, hamstring curls, side leg lifts, inner and outer thigh leg lifts, wall squats, etc.

  9. Walking or speed walking
  10. Walking is a great low-impact knee exercise and exercise that also targets the upper, middle and lower-body muscles. Although running/jogging can place a lot of stress on the knees, walking or speed walking have a low impact on the knees. It’s advisable to stick to flat and smooth surfaces before undertaking more strenuous walks such as those on inclines or even hikes. Although you can try the treadmill indoors as an alternative to outdoor walking, and treadmills usually provide good cushioning for the knees, you should be careful to use the right shoes and intensity of the treadmill and speak to a specialist before starting out such an exercise regime. It’s also vital to stretch before you do any walking or before doing any of the exercises mentioned above.

  11. Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates
  12. Yoga is excellent for improving muscle strength, flexibility, stability and the activity of joints. Luckily, you can select stretches and poses that place minimal strain on your knees such as the hero’s pose, mountain pose and the triangle. Meanwhile, Tai Chi is great for improving the balance and flexibility of joints. It is a slow-paced exercise that improves your range of motion. It’s also great for reducing chronic pain. Pilates can also help improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility. However, moves that require balancing on a leg with knee pain should be avoided.

  13. Vibration plate
  14. As promised, we now come to the best exercise for bad knees. This exercise, or exercise equipment to be more precise is the use of a vibration plate for whole-body vibration. Research shows that it is possibly the best exercise for bad knees because it benefits many patients with knee osteoarthritis in many ways. From stimulating the muscle tissue, improving ligament function, aiding with blood circulation, strengthening joints, reducing inflammation and decreasing pain – it’s essentially ideal for those who suffer from knee pain.

    So, how does this vibration plate work? In essence, the machine transmits high-frequency vibrations that can block pain signals that travel through your body’s nervous system, when your body is positioned on it. Research shows that there is a strong link between these vibrations and the blockage of pain signals, making it one of the best exercises for bad knees.

In conclusion

To wrap up our discussion of the best exercise for bad knees, we now know that using a vibration plate for knee and joint pain is possibly the best answer and solution for people with bad knees. Using a vibration plate, with or without additional exercises, can be done from the comfort of your own home for just 15 to 20 minutes a day for around three to four days a week. You don’t have to go to they gym or the local swimming pool but rather enjoy the privacy and convenience of the vibration plate in your home.


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