Exercising with bad knees can be a painful experience. A bad knee can cause immense amounts of pain and greatly hinder the freedom of movement.
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Performing cardiovascular exercises can therefore be very hard to accomplish, and can even cause significant amounts of damage in the long run.
What are the best knee-friendly exercises?
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Not only does swimming burn an incredible amount of calories (close to what you’d burn on a run), but it offers a wide variety of options to get your heart pumping in the water. As an alternative to your usual laps, try putting a buoy between your legs (squeeze it tight!) to get more of an upper-body workout, or hold on to a kickboard in front of you to work just your lower half.
This is that piece of equipment in the cardio area at your gym that looks like a bike for hands. Treat it like any other piece of cardio equipment—go for a long forty-five-minute stint or pound out a shorter and harder interval session. Warning: this will be extremely hard for just about everyone at first, since most people aren’t used to using only their upper body for cardio.
Just about every gym has a rowing machine or two, and they’re often some of the most underutilized pieces of cardio equipment. Rowing is mostly upper-body work (great for toning up your arms and shoulders), but your legs provide low-impact support by pushing against the machine with each stroke.