We all know it’s important to exercise. But exercising can be difficult for those of us who have knee issues. Don’t give up on exercise completely. Try these 5 low impact exercises to stay fit without hurting yourself!

Wooden figure clutching his knee
Do you suffer from knee pain?
Image by Wolfgang Claussen from Pixabay

When I injured my knee in high school, I had no idea that the pain would still haunt me four years later! For the longest time, I thought I couldn’t exercise at all, because most of the exercises I came across were extremely painful and caused my weak knees to pop out of place if I wasn’t careful.

Then I did some research and realized I could still work out! If you’ve also got bad knees, check out this list of safe exercises for your lower body.

Best Exercises for Bad Knees

Exercise #1 Step Ups

Woman bending her knees to walk upstairs
You don’t have to run up and down stairs to get meaningful exercise!
Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Step-ups are one of the most natural exercises you can do. These help with knee strength and stability, without stressing the joint the way squats can. To perform this exercise, follow these steps:

  1. Using a step stool or box, elevate one foot.
  2. Use the leg that’s on the stool to pull the other leg up.
  3. Step down and repeat on the other side.

Start with 10 repetitions on each side and build from there.

Exercise #2 Swimming

Man doing exercise in a swimming pool
Beat the heat and get exercise by swimming!
Photo by Emilio Garcia on Unsplash

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for your knees. Looking for something more intense? The freestyle stroke will get your heart pumping. For those just getting into exercise, start with 30 minutes a few times a week and build up from there.

Exercise #3 Cycling

Woman cycling for exercise
You can cycle with a stationary or traditional bike!
Photo by Coen van den Broek on Unsplash

Cycling is a great way to burn fat and strengthen your legs. For those with knee issues, it’s recommended that you ride on flat terrain and raise your seat up to help reduce the pressure on your knees. Over time, you may even start to notice that your knees are getting stronger!

Exercise #4 Walking

Woman walking for exercise
Walking is a great way to exercise without hurting your knees
Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

Running is synonymous with exercise but walking can be a safer option if you’ve got bad knees. Start out slowly, aiming for 30 minutes a day. Try to walk on softer surfaces and avoid concrete. Don’t overexert yourself. If your knee starts to hurt, take a break.

Exercise #5 Calf Raises

Woman tying her shoes before exercise
Always remember to wear comfortable shoes when you exercise!
Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

Calf raises are another exercise that can help with knee strength and stability. Follow these steps:

  1. Stand straight up, engaging your core.
  2. Lift your heels by pushing through the front part of your foot.
  3. Hold for 2 seconds.
  4. Lower your heels slowly to the start position.

Beginners should start with 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Which of these exercises are you going to try? Which exercise is your favorite? Do you have any exercises that don’t hurt your knees? Let me know in the comments!