Working Out with Knee Pain
Knee pain is an inconvenience in many ways, but especially when being physically active. Whether you tore your meniscus, suffer from arthritis pain or had replacement surgery, you have to be cautious of pushing yourself too hard during exercise. However, you do not have to reject the idea of being physical altogether; we have a list of do’s and don’ts that will keep your knees protected as you burn calories.
- Extreme knee bending: If you experience knee pain on a daily basis, the last thing you want to do is put more pressure on the sensitive area. Deep lunges and squats can strain your muscles, making the workout experience much less enjoyable.
- Exercising on a hard surface: Concrete and asphalt have no shock absorption; when your muscles cannot contract from the force, pre-existing pain worsens.
- High-impact: Any exercise that involves sudden movements, stops or jumps will wreak havoc on your sensitive knees.
- Overdoing It: When we are dedicated to a fitness routine, we like to see how much further we can push ourselves. In the case of someone with knee pain, you don’t want to risk an overuse injury – stick to your comfort level.
- Walk or step climb: These low-impact exercises will get your blood pumping without straining your muscles too much. When step climbing, make sure that your knee stays over your ankle.
- Bike: Many people with knee pain are hesitant to cycle because of the constant leg use, but you can be fitted for a bike to maximize comfort. Avoid hilly routes – stick to a flat terrain, whether you’re outside on a bicycle or indoors on a stationary one.
- Swim: Another low-impact exercise, swimming is relaxing, requires little technical skill and is a total body workout of all the major muscle groups.
- Zumba: You might be thinking that this contradicts the “no high-impact” rule, but Zumba can be a fun and completely safe way for people with knee pain to exercise. Try to put all of the focus on the movement of your upper body.
Before and after a workout, consider foam rolling as your form of stretching. The cylindrical, Styrofoam roll is pressed into your muscles to release painful trigger points. Foam rolling relaxes your tired muscles and increases your flexibility like traditional stretching.
At North Haven Health & Racquet, we have plenty of workout options for those who suffer from knee pain. To learn more about our facility and the classes we offer, contact us today.