Working Out With Knee Pain? Here’s How!

Working Out With Knee Pain? Here’s How!

Knee pain is frustrating. It adds even more challenge to already challenging exercises. And it may make tackling your fitness goals that much harder.

Yet, you aren’t alone. Knee pain impacts about 25% of the adult population.

And it doesn’t mean you can’t exercise with it.

In many cases, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your knee pain – as long as you don’t aggravate whatever is causing your pain in the first place.

The following advice should not replace any recommendations given by your family doctor. However, for many knee injuries and conditions, the following tips and tricks can help you maintain your fitness – even while recovering from an injury.

knee pain

Here are our top tips for exercising with knee pain:

1. Participate in low-impact activities

High-impact activities, such as running and jumping, place a lot of stress on the knees. Consequently, these activities may increase your pain – and possibly create even more problems. Go for activities that are easy on the knees. Swimming, walking, and biking are excellent options.


2. Avoid exercises from a kneeling position

Steer clear of exercises performed in a kneeling or an all-fours position. And if you feel you must do these exercises, make sure you have the appropriate amount of cushion under your knees. This means using a mat or a pillow.

Yet, we strongly recommend finding other ways to perform these types of exercises –  at least until your injury has healed or your pain has subsided. For instance, you could modify the donkey kick exercise to a standing variation. Look for those options!

3. Reduce pain by warming up your joints

Spend a few minutes prepping your body for your workout. Muscles and tissues that are properly warmed up are less likely to experience injury or pain. Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles. And perform 5-10 minutes of light cardio to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing. Doing so will reduce your chances of increasing your knee pain or re-aggravating your injury.

stretching warm up

4. Don’t perform exercises that involve excessive knee bend

If it’s a knee injury, avoid lunges and squats until your knee has had the appropriate time to heal. If your knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis, consider slowly building strength around the knee before attempting these exercises. These types of exercises place additional stress on the knee – stress that an already painful knee doesn’t need.

5. Avoid overdoing it

Stick to exercises that don’t increase your pain levels. For example: If squats hurt, try performing other exercises to isolate the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes in other ways. Build up your individual strength in these muscles. Once you’ve build up sufficient strength (or once your injury has healed), you may be able to perform pain-free squats again.

Most Importantly, Listen to Your Body

If something doesn’t feel quite right, don’t do it. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Listen to it. At Team Duwe Fitness, you can learn how to modify exercises based on your fitness level. You can still reach all your fitness goals – even with knee pain.