How to Work Out If Youve Got Bad Knees

Remember when we told you that a bad back is no excuse for not working out? Same goes for bad knees. Whether your joint pain is caused by overuse, old injuries or diagnosed conditions out of your control, make these simple swaps to your workout for a much more comfortable (but still effective) experience.

Instead of running, try biking. Pounding the pavement (or treadmill) is awful on weak knees. Biking (indoors or out) puts less stress on your knees while still elevating your heart rate. Just be cautious of indoor cycling classes, which incorporate potentially painful standing sprints. Either skip them or consider working out solo.

Instead of lunges and squats, try rowing. You want to tone your butt and legs, but bodyweight moves are often painful. Try rowing, a full-body workout that's high-intensity and low-impact and, contrary to popular belief, focuses 60 percent on butt and legs (and just 10 percent on arms). 

Instead of boxing, try dance cardio. Boxing, as great as it is, is not knee-friendly, what with all the pivoting and quick changes of direction. For an equally intense workout, try dance cardio or Zumba, which keeps your heart pumping and works your whole body without as much of the lateral motion that causes knee pain. 

Instead of doing it yourself, try asking for help. Many injuries are caused by incorrect form. That means, when you’re trying something new, consult a trainer to teach you the right way to do it. Also consider talking to a yoga or Pilates instructor--these exercises are great for strengthening the muscles around the knee while improving flexibility. 

Related: 9 Solutions for Knee Pain

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