Low-Impact Workouts for Bad Knees

People with bad knees know that everyday pain impacts their overall function, flexibility, and mobility. It might seem like exercising is off-limits if your knees cause discomfort, but there are a few low-impact workouts for bad knees that may ease your pain.


A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a range of other conditions. However, by choosing the right exercises with little or no impact on your knees, the rest of your body will benefit.

The Best Exercises to Strengthen Knees and Alleviate Pressure in Your Joints

Rather than giving up on working out, find an exercise that doesn’t cause knee flare-ups and lowers the tension in your muscles and joints. Review these exercises. However, try these exercises, if you specifically feel pain in the back of your knees.


Walking is an easy and effective physical activity, especially for people with knee injuries. In the days after a sports injury or surgery, you can take it slow and set up a new goal every week to build up strength and speed. Walking has a low impact on the knees and may benefit your entire body.


Another low-impact exercise that gives excellent results is swimming. Water supports your body weight and allows your muscles and joints to move freely without putting pressure on the knees or causing irritation. The water also improves mobility and strength.


You may want to choose a swimming style depending on the severity of your knee problem. For example, if breaststroke is too difficult for you, you may try freestyle. You can also turn over to do a little backstroke to activate other ligaments and muscles.


Even if you don’t consider yourself a pro swimmer, don’t let that discourage you from enjoying the benefits of water exercise. You can use a pool noodle or a kickboard to help stay afloat.


Rowing is one of the best low-impact workouts for bad knees because it activates the entire body without adding pressure on the joints and tendons. Rowing burns calories and maximizes core strength, which is perfect for those who want to get back to shape after an injury or surgery.


A rowing machine is a convenient way to build strength and stamina. The machine also allows you to work out in a seated position, so there is less stress on your leg muscles and knee joints.


If calorie burning is your goal, you could use a combination of freestyle training and machines. This way, you will keep your muscles active while building up balance and power.



Many physical therapists suggest cycling after a knee injury or surgical procedure. Whether you prefer riding a bicycle outside or using a stationary bike, you’ll enjoy an incredible fat-burning exercise that will significantly improve your knee strength. However, some people may experience knee pain after cycling. If that is your situation, check these stretches for relieving cycling knee pain.


To avoid putting pressure on the knees, make sure to stick to flat terrain. Also, make sure to adapt the seat level to prevent knee inflammation.

Elliptical Trainers

If you want to minimize the risk of a knee injury, choose an elliptical training machine over a treadmill. When using an elliptical or cross-trainer exercise machine, your feet never leave the pedals, meaning there is less chance to slip, fall, and injure your hips, knees, or back. You will also get your heart rate up, burn calories, and improve your endurance.


If you haven’t been working out for some time, start slow, and give your muscles time to adapt. You can start with two or three light workouts per week and then modify your routine as per your capability.

Workout Tools for People with Bad Knees

At For-Knees, we have the best selection of exercise and mobility products for knee pain, including rowing machines to build strength and stamina. Contact us today at (707) 206-6196 to discuss more low-impact workouts for bad knees and which rowing mach