Jan-YOU-ary: Low-Impact Workouts (3:10)
If you suffer from knee pain, you’re probably familiar with the frustration that comes with exercising. The good news is, there are plenty of exercises that can help keep you moving to stay fit without bothering your knees. Experience all the benefits that come with working out pain-free with these low-impact exercise suggestions.
Whether you’re swimming in the great outdoors or in an indoor pool, swimming is a fantastic, low-impact exercise that allows you to work out without putting any weight on your knee joints. The water allows you to move with ease, giving your whole body a workout without the fear of aggravating an injury. The University of Washington Orthopedic & Sports Medicine states that swimming can also reduce your joint stiffness, strengthen muscles around your joints, strengthen your bones, and increase your overall fitness level.
2. Elliptical Machine
If you miss the intense cardiovascular exercises you once did before knee pain struck, hopping on the elliptical just might fill that void! Elliptical trainers are excellent for low- impact cardio exercises to help build endurance while protecting your knee health. The type of movement ellipticals provide are easier on the knees as they require less stabilization around the joints and offer maximum cardio with minimum impact. Moving on the elliptical reduces the risk of shock to the knees and other weight-bearing joints such as in your hips and back. Tip: When on the elliptical try to align your body properly by straightening up and avoid hanging over the center console which can add pressure to your knees.
When it comes to rowing you might think your back muscles are the only muscles getting the workout. But rowing machines offer a total-body workout without placing stress on the knees. In fact, rowing machines give the muscles in your legs, core, and upper body a serious workout to maximize the number of calories burned per hour: A 150-pound person rowing for an hour at a moderate pace burns approximately 500 calories!
Cycling is a low-impact activity that can be done year-round both outside and at a gym. This joint-friendly exercise works your lower body and cardiovascular system, with the potential to burn a large number of calories without placing a strain on the knees. To experience the benefits of cycling and the protection of your knees, proper form is key. Getting a proper “fit” for your bike at a professional bike shop will ensure strain will not be placed on your knees. Also, try and avoid riding too much at first — slow and steady wins the race!
TRX is a type of suspension training that was created by a Navy SEAL. It utilizes straps that play on gravity and the user’s body weight to provide a strength and cardio workout. The user can tailor each exercise’s difficulty based on his or her fitness level, and the straps can provide support when needed. This strengthening workout can be done at the gym or even in the comfort of your own home (if you purchase the system). The best part is it doesn’t take much to get a fantastic low-impact workout!