Do you want a workout you can crush even with bad knees?

Many people like to complain that they can’t do a single exercise because their knees are bad.

But, the truth is, that pain is there because you haven’t been working with them for quite some time.

Prolonged sedentary behavior often triggers chronic knee pain. At other times, the aches in one leg are caused by arthritis or other condition. 

According to research, roughly 25% of adults are dealing with frequent knee pain.

This ache limits their mobility, quality of life, and daily function. When you pair that with osteoporosis, that’s when the discomfort can really drive you up the wall.

The question is, can calisthenics help you turn the tide? Or will they do more harm than good?

We decided to dig a little deeper and see what experts have to say. If you want to know more about calisthenics for bad knees, then you are in the right place.

We compiled some practical reports on stretches and strengthening exercises for knee aches that can answer all your queries. 

Are Calisthenics Bad for The Knees?

Each physical activity for the lower body has something unique to offer.

Calisthenics is better at getting rid of calories.

This, in turn, makes them a practical option at shedding a few extra pounds and obtaining the ideal physique. Exercises such as these help the body burn energy.

The more you focus on stretches, the better the results. They can also be practiced alongside intensive activities like circuit training or HIIT. 

What About the Joints?

Whether these activities are good for the joints, depends on your technique.

If you do the exercises properly, they can supply the knees, legs, hamstrings, and feet with plenty of benefits.

But, if you don’t focus on your leg, arm, or stretch movements, then these exercises can be your knees’ worst nightmare.

They would end up causing some unwanted discomfort and aches. Besides, it is very easy to injure the knee or any other joint.

That’s why you don’t need to push yourself too hard. Just repeat the activity, like a typical knee bent, after resting. 

How the Right Exercise Can Benefit the Knees and Joints?

To take your workout to the next level, you will need to have good form.

As well as maintain it throughout each activity. The specific exercises you repeat, can alleviate some of the discomforts and boost the natural rejuvenation process.

They are here to treat and alleviate certain types of knee injuries and aches.

Since they can boost mobility, these physical activities can help the weak knees become less susceptible to ache.

What Experts Have to Say?

A 2015 case study evaluated the effects of exercise therapy on knee osteoarthritis (OA).

The goal was to determine the long and short-term results of the simplest and cheapest exercise or stretch protocols.

Together with standard conservative therapy for OA. 56 volunteers with knee OA were divided into 2 groups. 

The first practiced knee muscle workouts paired with NSAIDs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs). Including physiotherapy modalities and 10 acupuncture sessions.

The second group obtained treatments quite like the first one. Except without a workout program for either the legs, feet, glutes, etc. 

Based on the results, the workout group had a drastic improvement in knee pain, walking, climbing stairs, and sitting.

A year later, non-aerobic muscle workouts around the knee proved they can augment therapeutic interventions.

That includes acupuncture, medical therapy, and knee OA modalities. 

More Data More Results

Another 2002 randomized controlled trial showed similar results.

Scientists evaluated whether a home-based workout program could manage outcomes in people with knee aches.

But, there isn’t enough data on each foot, hip, or the number of reps.

Exactly 786 patients in their 40s struggled with knee pain. They were divided into 4 groups.

The first one received workout therapy, the second one got physical activities plus telephone contact, the third one obtained only telephone contact each month. And the final received no intervention.

After 24 months, a drastic decrease in knee pain was found in the pooled workout groups, as opposed to those who had no physical activity at all.

Similar data was found at 18, 12, and 6 months. Volunteers who stuck to their workout plan had better pain reduction levels. The benefits were not just physical, but psychological as well. 

How to Make the Most of Every Exercise?

To reap the benefits of each stretch, start slow. Don’t overdo it with the reps and push yourself too hard.

Otherwise, you put the body, glutes, tendons, and legs at risk of sprains and strains. Slowly lower the body, instead.

Careful with the slightly bent knee, foot, and straight back. Work your way up with adequate progression.

Even if you already have a strong base from all that lifting, stretching, standing, and working, you should take extra precautions when strengthening the knees, tendons, legs, and glutes.

But, before you can pick the right foot strengthening exercises, you should know what pulls the strings. 

Key Facts

  • Anyone can have pain in the knees, left or right foot. That’s because 346% of your body weight passes through the knees when you walk down the stairs. Not to even mention the weight they carry when you walk up the stairs or do some bodyweight exercises. The stress you put on one leg to stand, walk, pull, or work, has its impact on the joints. 
  • Women have more knee pain than men. The female body is more prone to injuries. Even female athletes have 1.5 to 2 times bigger odds of injuring their anterior cruciate ligament than men. This is the primary ligament that connects the bottom and top portions of the knee meant to stabilize the knee joint.  
  • The overall prevalence of knee pain is 46.2%, study shows. In 10.3% of patients, the ache was present in the right knee, 9.1% in the left knee, and 26.8% in both knees. That makes it the second most common cause of chronic aches. 
  • The straight leg raise in a medical setting can help spot impairment in the nerve root irritation or disc pathology. 

Typical Triggers for Knee Pain That You Can’t Overlook

Knee pain can happen to anyone. As well as problems with weak legs, feet, glutes, and discomfort in each thigh.

The joints are constantly vulnerable to wear and tear from daily activities. This includes lifting, standing, bending, walking, and so on.

When you strengthen the muscles with bodyweight exercises, you are more likely to hurt the knee. That’s because strengthening the muscles without proper practice or a simple stretch makes you prone to error.

Errors such as these can cause knee pain. These include:

  • Using too much weight during reps when you lift one or more weights
  • Poor form (either not standing straight, moving, or distributing pressure to the feet, calf, etc)
  • Not doing enough reps
  • Lack of mobility, flexibility, warm-ups, and stretching during reps
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Overburdening the muscles in the leg, foot, calf, thigh, hips, glutes, and so on. 
  • Too fast fitness progress

It’s best to slowly lower the level of activities you do if you have problems with a bent knee, left, or right foot.

The most typical causes for the ache are constant stress on the muscles, knee, foot injury, or aging. Strains and sprains are also common, experts explain.

Together with tendonitis, arthritis, and cartilage tears. If some muscles are underdeveloped, then the knees or each foot, lack support.

Thus, causing uncomfortable throbbing when standing straight or with a bent leg. Muscles such as calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings can cause such a problem. 

I Have Bad Knees – Which Option Works Best for Me?

Standard treatment for knee OA ache involves the use of pain meds, vitamins, dietary supplements, or topical ointments.

But, as a first-line of treatment, a therapeutic workout is often the go-to choice, stated the National Institutes of Health

What Are the Best Exercises to Prevent or Relieve Knee Pain?

To curb the pain symptoms, fitness experts recommend strengthening, low-impact aerobic workouts.

Also, combining aerobic with a resistance band and pool workouts can come in handy.

With a resistance band, you can work on your range of motion and strengthen the muscles. 

What Are the Activities I Can Try if I Still Feel Pain?

Research indicates that through resistance, the body amplifies physical function, alleviates the ache, and decreases self-reported disability.

2020 fitness reports done on controlled randomized trials showed similar data. Of these, 11 studies revealed that resistance workouts improve physical function and pain. 

A typical regimen was a 30 min to a 1-hour session of 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

The initial resistance was 50-60% of the maximum resistance that evolved more than 3 sessions a week for 24 weeks. By the end of the trials, OA patients noticed a solid improvement in pain levels. 

Will Any Activity Do the Trick?

The fact is, people might be looking for physical activities that strengthen the knees. Or, they may require a low-impact alternative that keeps them in tip-top shape.

Most activities are a crossover between the two. Here, you can see a list of the best options you can try that are tailored to your needs.

Workouts That Toughen Up the Knees

Are you worried about your knees being too wobbly? Then, check out these fitness options you can try.

They can help keep the joints and muscles in check. These include:

  • Calf raises
  • Clams
  • Donkey kicks
  • Fire hydrants
  • Glute bridges
  • Glute kickers
  • Hamstring roll-Ins on a stability ball
  • Knee marches
  • Knee tuck crunches
  • Lying lateral leg raise
  • Mobility drills
  • Resistance band alternating glute squeeze, butt blasters, outer thigh press, or tick-tock
  • Stability ball single-leg lift and lower
  • Straight leg raises
  • Stretching
  • Supine bridge kicks
  • Wall squats

Low Impact Workout That May Be Suitable for a Painful Knee

Everyone experiences different levels of pain in their thigh, feet, slightly bent knee, or the lower body in general.

But, when the pain takes over, that’s when you should be extra careful not to hurt the muscles and joints any further.

If you are having any doubts about what activity to try, consult with a specialist.

They can help you figure out the ideal choices. With that in mind, some of these selections can help:

  • Box squat
  • Calf raises
  • Deadlifts
  • Glute bridge
  • Lunges
  • Side lunges
  • Single leg box squat
  • Single leg deadlift
  • Single leg glute bridge
  • Split squat
  • Squat
  • Step-ups
  • Superman

What Is the Best Exercise If You Have Bad Knees?

Swimming is highly recommended and potentially beneficial for knee, leg, thigh, and glutes health. Especially when done earlier in life (before the age of 35).

Also, aquatic physical activity creates similar results at curbing OA as land-based activities, explains the National Institutes of Health in a 2018 report.

So, swimming is your best bet. For weak knees, you can also perform additional exercises. Like wall squats, a side leg raise, leg press, hamstrings, and the casual stretch.  

Are Planks OK for Bad Knees?

Planks are critical for building body stability and core strength. It’s wise to perform them with your daily routine.

Start in a tabletop position. Stack the shoulders over each elbow and hips above knees. Step each foot back. Now slowly lower the body into a low plank.

Maintain this alignment and the spine straight, while relaxing the neck. Hold for 60 seconds (or 30 seconds at first if you can’t handle it). Repeat on a regular basis. 

Are Calisthenics Bad for Knees But Better for Joints?

If you do regular exercises and you do them right, then there is nothing to worry about. Try to perform and repeat progressively.

Don’t forget to give your feet, elbow, and hips rest between exercises.

In time, the hip exercises you choose can keep the joints active and in great shape. Besides, exercises can ensure a full range of motion.

Whether you are struggling with pain in the hips, feet, legs, physical activity is exactly what you need as you grow older. 


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