Best Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees

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Bad Knees

Exercising can be a nightmare if you suffer from bad knees. You would be unwilling and unable to participate in intense workouts for fear of aggravating your knee issues.

However, there are a lot of exercises and equipment that strengthen the muscle around your knee joint and help you to take better care of your knee issues by removing the stress and pressure on your knee.

In this article, we are going to talk about the best exercise equipment for people with knee issues and how they let you enjoy the benefits of exercise without your knees suffering.

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Upright Exercise Bike

Best Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees

If you are working on fitness training at home in order to lose weight, then it is likely that you will have to rely on exercise bikes a lot.

As far as home cardio machines are concerned, exercise bikes are one of the best ways of losing unwanted belly fat, burning calories, and building up your stamina and endurance.

Exercise bikes also offer an excellent way of getting exercise without aggravating your knee, especially those bikes that adjust their settings to fit the needs of your body. 

Indoor cycling eliminates the possible risk of injuries, allows you to exercise within a controlled environment, and gives you control over your exercise and the power to stop anytime you want, all of which are essential for phases like knee rehab.

However, if you are suffering from arthritic knees, then it’s best to consult your doctor before indulging in exercise bikes. 

The advantage of upright bikes with respect to bad knees is that the elevated position of the bike allows the knees to extend freely, which works the hamstring and quad muscles and provides nourishment to the knees.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike is a good model for people with bad knees. 

Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Best Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees

If you suffer from any recurring back injury or bad knees, then recumbent bikes will be a much better option for you because of the seat located lower and the supporting backseat.

Recumbent Bikes let you ride in a position akin to sitting, which is helpful for people who are trying to balance knee disorders.

A particularly good model example in this aspect is Exerpeutic 900 XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike.

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This is the perfect model for people with recurring injury issues who want an intense workout without putting excessive pressure on their joints and back.

It will burn excess calories quickly and would help you develop a toned body shorn of undesirable weight within a matter of weeks. 

Treadmill

Best Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees

The treadmill is quite versatile as an exercise machine and offers a lot of diverse benefits for the body.

Apart from the cardio-vascular benefits and improving brain function, treadmills can also help you to lose weight quite fast.

Walking on a treadmill is an effective way to burn calories. With exercises on the treadmill like brisk walking, you can burn up to three hundred calories per day, which is actually a lot in terms of aiding weight loss. 

Treadmills are very user-friendly and particularly suitable for beginners. They also help to improve bone density, which is important for people with knee issues.

But if you suddenly increase the intensity of the treadmill workout, then it might lead to stress on your knees and cause further rupture. 

Treadmills for Bad Knees

Treadmills that are designed to help people with bad knees have cushioned belts so that people using them can do workouts without triggering their knee issues. Here are the best treadmill models for bad knees:

Sole F80

This is a robust treadmill that will perform consistently well for you year after year. It boasts a spacious running deck, an impressive 3.5 HP motor, and an LCD display with facilities like Bluetooth connectivity and fitness apps to monitor your progress.

It also has a cushioned deck which decreases the pressure on your knee joints up to 50%. It also has a safety lock feature to ensure that you don’t injure your knees accidentally while walking on the treadmill. 

The Sole F80 has arguably the best warranty among all available, and budget-wise it is also quite cheap considering the array of features it offers.

Nordictrack 1750

This treadmill is quite versatile and can handle any kind of workout seamlessly. It has dominated the market as a popular choice for many years.

Its promising features include an HD touchscreen with free one-year membership of iFit to track your progress, a powerful 3.75 CHP motor, and Bluetooth connectivity. Nordictrack 1750 offers features that you won’t find on any other treadmill in that price range. 

This treadmill has a special cushion belt that protects your knee joints while you work out. You also get access to expert trainers who will guide you during the workout so that you keep the incline and resistance as per the requirement of your knees.

How to Choose a Treadmill for Bad Knees?

When choosing a treadmill for bad knees, you should pick one that has a wide surface area so as not to put pressure on your knees, cushion belts so that your knees do not face the shock of working out, and inclination levels as per what your knees could handle.

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Before using a treadmill, consult your doctor regarding whether your knees would be fit for a workout and, if yes, how much intensity it could handle.

Safety Tips for Using Treadmills with Bad Knees

  • Use good shoes to avoid the impact of running.
  • Do low-impact workouts that will not stress your knee joints.
  • Start with the lowest possible incline and see if your knees can handle it. You can always ramp it up if your body is compatible with it.
  • Do not overwork your body on the treadmill. Understand your limitations and stay within them; otherwise, you would be at the risk of aggravating your knees further.
  • If you experience any kind of strain during training, do not ignore it. Get immediate medical attention. 
  • Try to stay concentrated in the centre of the running deck to reduce the risk of falling accidentally.

Elliptical Machines

An elliptical machine is an excellent mechanism for getting high-intensity cardio workouts every day. You can modify its resistance as per need and check how long your body can stretch itself.

According to estimates, it is possible to lose as much as fifty pounds by just working on an elliptical machine every day.

How Elliptical Machines Help Bad Knees?

  • Elliptical machines are extremely beneficial for regular runners, who can rest their aching joints by working on this machine. While working on an elliptical, your feet never leaves the pedal of the machine; hence the exercise is extremely low-impact and relieves the pressure on your muscles which might be encumbered by high-impact exercises.
  • Working on an elliptical machine helps your cardiovascular system in functioning more efficiently in delivering oxygen and nutrients to your knee muscles, as well as eliminating toxic waste from the muscles.
  • Regular cardio workouts on the elliptical machine fixes instabilities in your sleep schedule, protects you from muscle stiffness and decreases overall stress in your body and mind.
  • If you are using an elliptical machine correctly, it should not aggravate your knee pain because it is a low-impact workout. Hence it can be an effective alternative to running or jogging for people with arthritic knees. 

Tips for Using an Elliptical with Bad Knees

  • Your stride length should be as extended as possible; otherwise, you run the risk of knee strain. 
  • Choose an elliptical with rear-wheel drive as that will stop you from doing forward leans that stress knees.
  • Before buying an elliptical, use it for five to ten minutes to gauge the smoothness of operation. If its operation is jerky, then it will badly damage your knees.
  • Get an elliptical with a large flywheel. 7kg or more should work perfectly for your knees.
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Best Elliptical machines for Bad Knees

Precor EFX 835 Elliptical

Precor always challenges your body to reach loftier fitness targets, and this model is no exception.

The EFX 835 offers 20 high-intensity resistance options to effectively work the muscles of both your upper and lower body. The machine also has 15 built-in workout programs to motivate your body with diverse challenges.

This elliptical features a pedal design that enables your feet to remain in contact with the footplate constantly while working out.

This feature considerably negates the impact on the knees. The elliptical also has the smoothest possible operation and the most comfortable experience for creaky knees.

Life Fitness CSX Club Series Elliptical

This elliptical is designed to provide you with a smooth, comfortable workout. The pedals are spaced a fair distance apart to ensure there is no strain on your knees.

The pedals are also oversized to let you work your foot position as per your requirement so that it doesn’t impact the knees. The nature of the elliptical movement is extremely low-impact and knee-friendly. 

Although price-wise, Life Fitness CSX Club Series Elliptical is on the expensive side, if you want an elliptical machine that will completely negate the impact on your knees, then this is an excellent option.

Rowing Machine for Bad knees

A rowing machine is great exercise equipment for bad knees. Some doctors even recommend it to patients who are recuperating after surgery on joints.

Rowing machines relieve the stress on your knees by empowering the muscles around your knees. Rowing machines also increase bone strength and decrease the stiffness in your knees. 

Tips for Using a Rowing Machine for Bad Knees

  • You would have to work consistently and regularly. If you forget to use the rowing machine for long periods, you will find yourself back to dealing with the same knee issues again.
  • The optimum requirement to get strength training for your knees would be at least four or five sessions a week, about 30 minutes in length. 
  • If you have arthritic knees, you should consult with your doctor once before using rowing machines.
  • Set a resistance that you will be comfortable working in. Most rowing machines today feature mechanisms that enable you to change the resistance on the go.

Final Thoughts

If you have bad knees, you should avoid high-impact exercises as they would damage your knee cartilages further. Instead of running or jogging, you should use equipment that negates the impact on the knees, like elliptical or rowing machines, to strengthen the knee muscles and alleviate the pain. 

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