Exercising with knee pain can be a real pain. Watching others jump up and down and have fun and knowing that you can’t because of bad knee can be depressing. In my last post I showed you some of the body weight exercise you can still do with knee pain. I received e mails with questions on what gym equipment’s people with bad knee can use in the gym. This post will answer those questions by showing the gym equipment’s to use and also tips to get the best out of your workout.
Most gyms have low impact equipment’s that are suitable for people with bad knee and pain. Before climbing into the equipment talk with your trainer and find out the tension that will work best for you.
The initial assessment in the gym is very important. It helps the trainer to prepare your workout program, the best exercise and gym equipment based on your goal. When you are not assessed or you do not tell your trainer of your knee, it may lead to aggravation of old injuries.
If you have bad knee or knee pain, here are the best gym equipment’s for you. They can help you to lose weight and be fit when used properly with the right nutrition.
The stationary bicycle is a low impact and effective machine for weight loss and fitness for people with bad knee. All stationary bikes have a resistance setting that takes the bike from easy to pedal to hard to pedal. You will want to start with low resistance and as you progress, your trainer will know when to increase the tension and monitor how it affects you.
An upright stationary bike will make you sit up when using it and this give you a more effective workout for your abs and thighs.
A recumbent bike also give an effective workout and it reduces the pressure on your hips and spine.
Make sure to adjust the seat to the right height for you. Do not try to manage it. Taking this measure will aid in preventing pain instead of increasing it.
Listen to your body. If you are not comfortable, tell your trainer. You do not have to grin and bear anything.
The elliptical machine is also low impact. It is one of the low impact machines that can give you a full body workout. There are different models for your comfort. Some models have incline function while others don’t. With the incline function, you can adjust to run up hill or downhill or on a level ground. Your trainer will help you to choose the incline that is best for you. You can run, walk and cycle on the elliptical machine. The handles also give your arms a good workout.
Even though the elliptical is good on your knee and joints, keep the resistance low to protect your joints.
The foot placement should be wide enough to maintain balance.
Look at a spot in front of you. Do not slouch. Maintain a neutral spine
Use free weights that are comfortable yet challenging for you. When weights are too heavy they can increase the risk of sudden jerks and movements that can impact negatively on your knee. With free weights you can still get a full upper body and core workout. To make it more effective take a slight step forward and back while using it. Make sure your trainer is there to supervise your movement.
Avoid free weight movements that requires sudden movements like twists.
The use of kettle bells is not recommended. Maintaining proper form, grip and balance with a kettle bell can be challenging and sometimes difficult if you have bad knee.
The strider is very good for bad knee. It is so low impact that you can do it forever. It gives you a full body workout. You can choose to take small strides or short strides or even to run. The handle that moves with each stride gives your arms a good workout and helps in eliminating flabs. That is not all, the strider effectively works to tighten and lift your butts.
Keep your arms on the handle to keep your balance
Keep a neutral spine and look at a spot in front of you.
The mini stepper with resistance handle
The mini stepper is like climbing a low staircase without lifting your feet off the ground. The movement is low impact and gives a full body workout. The resistance handle also gives your upper body a good workout. The resistance handle can be adjusted by the way you grip it to work on different muscles in your arms. By changing your grip on the resistance handle you can work on your triceps and biceps and those prone to jiggle under arms.
Keep a neutral spine and look at a spot in front of you
Hold the resistance bands for a good upper body workout and balance.
Make sure the band is securely fastened to the stepper.
The multi gym
The multi gym allows you to get upper and lower body workout without putting stress on your knee.
Your trainer will help you adjust the weights and increase it when the need for that arises. The leg developer gives your hamstring (the muscle at the back of your thigh) and quadriceps (the muscle in front of your thigh) a good workout.
When starting out with low weights you may feel as if you are not doing anything. Keep going. By the time you get to the 12th rep, you will start feeling the burn.
Always begin with light weights. Your aim is to get a good workout without harming your knee or increasing the pain. You are not competing with that guy with the good knee. Your comfort and well being is your priority. As your knee gets better and stronger, your trainer can adjust your weight.
Resistance bands also give you a full body workout without putting pressure on your knee. They can be used for bicep curls, upright row and bent over row and other exercises.
Make sure your bands are held securely in place by your feet, or any other stable equipment.
Check the bands regularly for wears and tears to prevent accident.
The treadmill and the rowing machine did not make my list and this is my reason
The rowing machine moves backward and forward on a rail. When you pull the resistance bar towards your stomach, your knees will bend. The constant pulling, extension and bending can be punishing on the knee. Some clients have experienced knee pain after using the rowing machine. I do not use it for clients with knee pain and will not recommend it. The repetitive bending and extension of the knees can make already bad or painful knee worse.
It is true that the treadmill can be adjusted to low impact. However, even while you walk on the treadmill, the feet is not in constant contact with the surface, this can be painful for bad knee. The surface of the treadmill is also hard and you have to keep up with the pace of the machine. I do not use it for clients with bad knee and do not recommend it.
Bellisima fitness gym has a special training and fitness program on Wednesdays and Saturdays for people with bad knee. All the equipment’s above are available for your training.The training includes one on one with your trainer, other special exercises which include yoga, stretching, massage and nutrition coaching. You can join the program by coming to the gym and registering or filling the contact us form. Get your parents, friends and loved ones into the program.