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The Best Exercise Machines for Bad Knees

author image Dustin Bogle
Dustin Bogle is an experienced personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and fitness article writer. His articles have been featured in "Daily Press" newspaper and "Fresh Ink" newspaper.
The Best Exercise Machines for Bad Knees
The stationary bike is an effective form of cardio exercise for people with knee pain. Photo Credit Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images


Exercising is not always easy if you have bad knees. Running and other high-impact exercises can be counterproductive if you have ever had a knee injury or are coming off a knee surgery. High-impact exercises can pound on your joints; this is something you should avoid at all costs. However, if you find a low-impact machine that can help you achieve your fitness goals, your previous injuries should be of no concern.

Elliptical Machine

The elliptical machine is for anyone looking to get a full-body, low-impact workout. According to Elliptical Trainer Review, elliptical machines are ideal for older adults and for those who tend to develop shin splits during exercise. The elliptical is much more forgiving on the joints, including the knees, compared to a treadmill and is the best option for people who want to do an upright exercise. The motions are a cross between biking and walking or running, using mainly your legs to propel movement. The machine also provides a workout for your arms, which are the secondary force in the movement, by aiding the powerhouse of the exercise--your legs.

Rowing Machine

The rowing machine offers both cardiovascular and strength-building benefits. To use a rowing machine, the user straps in his feet and sits on a seat that moves forward and backward on a rail. Next, the user grabs onto a bar located near his feet and pulls the bar toward his stomach while pushing with his feet and extending his back. The rowing machine builds your arms, legs and back without added tension on your knees, according to Rowing Machine Reviews. Most rowing machines have a resistance setting that can increase the friction of the chain attached to the bar and force you to use more upper-body strength. The old-tech rowing machines must be set before your begin to exercise, but most of the newer-tech rowing machines can change the resistance at the touch of a button.

Stationary Bike

Stationary biking is an exceptional exercise machine choice for anyone with past knee injuries or recovering from knee surgery. Most gyms offer a recumbent bike or an upright bike. The recumbent bike is a better choice for beginners. because it is in a reclining position. The upright bike is set up like a mountain bike and forces you to sit up, using your core muscles as you bike. Like rowing machines, stationary bikes have a resistance setting that allows you to increase the friction on the pedals.

Resistance Training Machine

The resistance training machine allows you work on your lower body and leg muscles without harming your knees. Adjust the weights before performing exercises such as leg curls or leg extensions. Leg curls work the hamstring muscles on the back of your legs and can be performed lying on your stomach or seated with your back supported by the machine. Leg extensions work the quadriceps on the front of your legs. Begin with light weights and work your way up to heavier weights slowly so you don't strain your knees.

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