Have knee pain? Try these cardio workouts that make you go easy on your knees

Updated on Aug 04, 2022 08:06 AM IST

Looking for the perfect guide to burn some calories which not only keeps the uncomfortable knee pain away but also helps you to strengthen them? Check out these tips by health experts on low-impact cardio exercises which go easy on your knees and give you that solid workout

Have knee pain? Try these cardio workouts that make you go easy on your knees (Kampus Production)
Have knee pain? Try these cardio workouts that make you go easy on your knees (Kampus Production)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

If you’re someone who’s suffering from knee pain, you may not be exercising properly and the common belief is that someone with bad knees cannot get a good workout as they have been told that high intensity workouts are something they cannot indulge in. However, health and fitness experts insist that there’s a whole lot of low-impact activities that can be done, which not only go easy on your knees but also give you that solid workout.

Working out to maintain a healthy lifestyle is a crucial part of our lives today but this can be a challenge if one suffers from bad or painful knees. Simple activities like walking up and down stairs or getting in and out of a car becomes difficult when one has chronic knee discomfort.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Manan Vora, Sports Medicine Expert and Orthopaedic Surgeon revealed 5 cardio workouts that will help you burn calories without causing additional pain or damage to your knees:

1. Swimming is one of the best workout choices if you have knee pain. The water takes the impact off the rest of your body while allowing you to get a great cardio workout and strengthen the muscles that support the knee. It is a versatile activity and can burn calories very quickly. While swimming you’ll be able to work all major muscle groups in your body including glutes, chest, and especially the core. However, remember, the knees should not be tensed. Techniques that put stress on the knees, like the frog kick, should be avoided. Also, you can avoid the traditional pre-lap push off the wall.

2. Cycling – Whether you want to cycling outdoors or have a stationary bike at home, whatever may be your preference, this low-impact exercise not just helps to burn calories but will also improve your knee strength and flexibility. You can even add resistance if you wish to do so, start off with low resistance and gradually increase it if you are pain-free. Depending on how fast you ride, you can burn 300-450 calories in 30 minutes.

3. Speed Walking – This will work your upper, mid and lower body muscles. Speed walking is a fast-paced walking activity that is quicker than your typical walking pace. It's not as high impact as jogging but still increases your heart rate substantially. Typically, speed walking is a pace of 15 minutes per mile or faster. Not only is speed walking easier on your knees compared to jogging or running, but picking up the pace while walking pushes your heart rate to a higher zone. This improves your cardiovascular health, lowering your resting heart rate and strengthening your heart.

4. Pilates is a full body workout. Whether you are doing mat pilates or reformer pilates, there are many moves that involve your lower body. Pilates is a suitable exercise for not just improving posture, balance, and mobility, but it can also help when you have knee problems. It is one of the best options for enhancing joint mobility and overall muscle tone for your lower body.

5. Elliptical trainer - If your knees are not as strong, the elliptical trainer may be a better option for you compared to the treadmill. That’s because your feet never leave the pedals, and that reduces the risk of injury to your knees, back, neck, and hips.

For those suffering with knee ailments, Dr Rebecca Pinto, a physiotherapist from Mumbai, shared her insights on how one can workout without stressing their knees:

1. Swimming - Swimming is among the finest aerobic exercises for persons with damaged knees due to its mild effect on your body. The buoyancy of the water allows you to get a complete cardio workout and strengthen the muscles that support the knee while also absorbing the impact on the rest of your body. It is a diverse exercise that burns calories quickly.

2. Elliptical trainer - Choose an elliptical trainer if your knees are weak or not as sturdy. This is because there is less chance of knee, back, neck, or hip injuries because your feet never leave the pedals. You can burn a tonne of calories because it's a fantastic aerobic exercise.

3. Cycling - Cycling is a low-impact workout that not only helps you burn calories but also strengthens your knees. You can ride a stationary bike at home or a bicycle outside. To ease the strain on your knees for the time being, avoid slopes when cycling outside and stick to flat ground. If you have knee flexibility concerns, lift your seat a little bit because doing so will limit how far your knees bend when you cycle.

4. Rowing - Another option to consider is using a rowing machine, which strengthens knees by working the quadriceps and hamstrings. The rowing machine makes it simple to design a range of workouts that target all of the body's energy systems. If you're a beginner, start with around 10 minutes of rowing, and as you get used to the exercise, progressively increase the amount of time each week.

5. March With an Exercise Ball - Start with the ball by holding it above your head with both hands. As you lower the ball to the right knee, raise the knee. Lift the ball, lower the right leg, then repeat the motion with the other leg. Keep up with this exercise for 60 seconds.

6. Pilates - Pilates is a total-body exercise. Pilates is a fantastic exercise for enhancing mobility, balance, and posture, but it can also aid with stress and tension relief. Pilates is one of the finest options for improving joint mobility and total lower-body muscle tone when you have knee issues.

This is the perfect guide to burn some calories which not only keeps the uncomfortable knee aches away but also helps you to strengthen them.

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