Bad Knees – 8 Knee Workout Tips

bad knees workout tipsDo you have bad knees but are fighting the urge to workout? Yes it is true, active people have a challenging time staying inactive. They also think the old adage “no pain no gain” means workout regardless of the pain.

The truth is you have to listen to your body but that doesn’t mean you can’t workout if your pain or injuries aren’t severe.

This page highlights a few helpful tips to keep in mind while working out with bad knees.

Bad Knees – 8 Workout Tips

Avoid Knee Flexing Exercises

If you have bad knees then avoid any exercise that requires bending them. That includes squats, lunges, dead-lifts and leg-lifts. However, if you are strengthening your knees, use these simple knee pain exercises for relief which won’t add additional pressure on your bones and muscles. If you aren’t sure then just avoid the lower body altogether.

Avoid Jumping

Group classes like Zumba and Kickboxing are excellent classes but not if you have bad knees. Jumper’s knee can be another condition you can develop. If you are looking for a class to do while you are healing then look at some of the beginner ab classes instead. Core work is essential for knee pain relief.

Avoid Running

This one seems like a no brainer but most people like to think no pain no gain. If you are a runner and have bad knees take a break and give your knee some rest. If you feel your pain is just minor soreness then apply these healing methods after running.


Stretching is an excellent way to workout and bring nutritious blood to the muscles. If you stretch regularly you will increase flexibility. You will also improve circulation, strengthen balance and coordination.


Yoga means body awareness. It is also another perfect knee pain relief activity if your knees aren’t doing so well. Need more convincing? Read the 7 yoga stretches for knee pain relief.


Walking is a low impact activity which shouldn’t affect the knees too much. You can walk outside or use a treadmill as long as you are walking on a flat surface and not on an incline. If you are unsure how you feel, don’t push it, as you can have knee pain while walking too. Take the day off and start fresh the following morning.


Pilates, like yoga, is one of those activities that keeps you exercising and builds strength. It’s a low impact body awareness exercise that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Also Pilates is recommended by some doctors for knee pain relief.


If you like to swim then this is the ultimate exercise for bad knees. 90 percent of your body weight, when submerged, is handled by the water. Swimming is a great way to get a nice workout in and only carry 10 percent of your body weight.

Have bad knees? Check out the 101 knee pain relief tips here. You are guaranteed to find multiple ways on how to reduce or eliminate pain in your bad knees.

Some activities also require just a little bit of help. Find the perfect knee brace for you and enjoy sports or running once again without pain.

Article last updated on January 7th, 2019, first published on May 3, 2013.

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