Best Cardio Exercises for Bad Knees

Low impact cardio helps to increase knee pain and injury in the knee. More exercise training, injury, and arthritis because of a fall, obesity, sports injury may impact knee pain. It lowers the ability to move freely and influences the quality of life.

A combination of medical treatment and physical therapy can provide quick relief from knee pain. A combination of physical therapy and medical treatment can provide quick relief from pain in the knee.

Effective and Safe Cardio Exercises To Reduce Knee Pain

It is necessary to do a warm-up before doing every workout.


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Warming up is necessary to increase body temperature, oxygen uptake, and metabolic rate. You can follow the warm-up routine.

Use a warm towel to rub knees in a circular motion.

Take a hot shower and take the physical therapist before doing knee exercise.

Sitting Quad Clench

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This exercise target quads.

How To Do?

  • Sit over a mat or a bed with both legs stretched forward. Keep hands back you with the palms flat on the bed or mat. Slightly, lean back.
  • Squeeze your quads and see kneecaps move upward.
  • Hold this position for 3-seconds.

Sets And Reps

Do 3-sets of 12-reps and do 4-5 times a day.


Sitting March

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The sitting march exercise targets hamstrings and quadriceps.

How To Do?

  • Sit comfortably over a chair and keep feet flat on the ground.
  • Raise the affected leg slightly off the ground and keep it down gently.
  • Perform the same with the other leg.
  • Do this 10-times to complete one set.

Sets And Reps

Do 3-sets of 10-reps.


Lying Leg Curls

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This exercise target quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

How To Do?

  • Bend ankle around one end of a resistance band and hold another end of the band with both hands.
  • Lie down over belly. Put elbows bent and support the upper body. Hold head upward and see straight forward. It is your beginning position.
  • Flex knee and get lower leg upward to make it perpendicular to the thigh.
  • Draw the resistance band and feel the stretch in the quadriceps. You can feel stretch in the quadriceps.
  • You can begin withholding it for 2-seconds and release it.
  • Decrease leg on the ground.

Sets And Reps

Do 2-sets of 12-reps and Do it 3-times a day.


Straight Leg Raises

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This exercise target quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower abs.

How to Do?

  • Lie on your bed. Keep your elevated leg bowed and the influenced leg straight.
  • Tighten your thigh muscles and gradually raise your influenced leg off the bed. Stop raising your leg when the impacted leg is following the elevated leg.
  • Hold for 5-seconds and gradually bring down your leg.

Sets and Reps

Do 3-sets of 5-reps.


Standing Cardio For Knee Pain

Wall Sit Squats

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This exercise targets hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and glutes.

How To Do?

  • Stand using back opposite to wall, keep feet at shoulder width, shoulders turned back and chest upward, look forward.
  • Place back opposite to wall, slide body down, and come to sitting position. Reposition your legs following a step ahead for support and balance.
  • Place hands stretched in the front direction, and place them opposite to the wall for support.
  • Hold this move for 10-seconds and let your body relax.

Sets and Reps

Do 3-sets of 10-seconds before you hold. Increase holding times as you feel comfortable.


Assisted Calf Raises

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This exercise targets hamstrings and calves.

How to do it?

  • Stand back of a chair and hold your back support with both hands.
  • Lift both heels and hold the pose for one second.
  • Reduce heels slowly back to the ground.

Sets And Reps

Do 3-sets of 12 reps. Do this 4-5 times a day.


Assisted Stair Climbing

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This exercise targets hamstrings, knee extensors, calves, and quads.

How to Do?

  • Hold the highest point of the baluster of the flight of stairs. You may likewise take the help of amount walking stick. Recall this mantra – up with the great, down with awful.
  • Lift a good leg and keep it over the higher place. Support body on the good leg, walking stick, and support and raise affected leg. Keep it besides good leg.
  • While coming down, go down using the affected leg first. Then, keep your good leg beside the impacted leg.

Sets and Reps

Do 1-set of 10-climb-ups and 10-climb-downs. Increase the sets as you feel comfortable.


Stationary Biking

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It targets hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, knee extensors, and calves.

How to Do?

  • Sit comfortably over a stationary bike saddle.
  • Keep a foot on each pedal and begin pedaling. Do it slow and gentle.
  • You may also perform the cycling workout in a swimming pool using water.

Sets and Reps

Do 3-sets of 30 – 50 reps.


Water Cardio Exercises for Knees

Swimming Pool Walk

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This exercise target glutes, quads, hamstrings, knee extensors, and calves.

Pool Condition – Use warm water pool

How to Do?

  • Stand near the pool wall. Keep the good leg up and the affected leg down.
  • Flex knee, raise the leg, and keep it in the front direction. Do the same for another leg.
  • Walk 15 steps in the front direction.
  • Walk back to the beginning point.

Sets and Reps

Do 2-3 sets of 15-reps in the front direction and step back. Do this every day under a physical therapist.


Side Walking in Swimming Pool

This exercise target knee extensors and all the ligaments and tendons in the knees.

How to Do?

  • It is fundamentally the same as walking in the pool. Remain in the midsection or chest-profound pool (that has warm water).
  • Lift your leg off the floor, twist your knee, and spot it aside. Keep a distance more extensive than shoulder-width.
  • All the while, take your other foot out the floor, twist your knee, and spot your foot directly alongside the other foot.
  • Go to and for the length of the pool to finish one lap.

Sets and Reps

Do 2-sets of one lap. You may lower or raise the distance covered or sets as you feel comfortable.

Underwater Treadmill

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It targets hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes.

How to Do?

  • You may get an underwater treadmill at the local physical therapy gym. Step on the treadmill and take the side handles.
  • Begin walking at a slow pace.
  • You may also run as you feel comfortable. Do check with your physician beforehand.

Sets and Reps

10 minutes

Aqua One-Leg Jogging

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This exercise targets hamstrings and quadriceps.

How to Do?

  • You may use a pool noodle under the arm to support and relax the shoulder.
  • Rest your arms, forearms, shoulders on the noodle while placing complete body straight underwater.
  • Flex knees at 90-degrees and stretch the legs down as deep as possible.
  • Pull leg back, showing the toes downward.
  • Try to jog front like this way, without remaining in one place.
  • Repeat the same with another leg.

Sets and Reps

Do 5-minutes

Aqua Squats

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This exercise target quadriceps.

How to Do?

  • Stand straight keep feet at shoulder width. Keep hands straight on your body sides.
  • Flex both knees until the shoulders are under the water and arms should be at water level.
  • Straighten knees and get the arms down by side again, get back to the beginning point.
  • Place your back level all the time.

Sets and Reps

Perform this exercise for 2-minutes.

Step Up In The Swimming Pool

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It targets glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings muscles.

How To Do?

  • Keep a sinkable box at the bottom of your swimming pool, near the wall, so that you get some balance from the wall.
  • Stand back the box and keep one hand on the wall to support the body.
  • Step on the box using a healthy leg first and follow your arthritic leg.
  • Step down in the front direction of the box with your arthritic leg first and follow using your good leg.
  • Take a step back on the box using the good leg first and then the affected leg.
  • Step down back of the box using the affected leg first and follow with the good leg.

Sets And Reps

First, perform 2-10 steps upward and step downward. Take a break of 30-seconds between the two sets.

Increase steps and reps as you feel comfortable. Do this exercise under expert guidance.

Side Leg Raises In The Swimming Pool

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It targets glutes and abductors.

How To Do?

  • Stand in water deep till waist. Use a water noodle to include some weight to the impacted leg. You may also use weights of the ankle.
  • Hold the side of the swimming pool for balance and support.
  • Raise the affected leg sideways. Lift it as high as possible.
  • Slowly decrease the leg.
  • Take a pause and raise sideways again.

Sets And Reps

Do it 3-sets of 10-reps.

These simple workouts can help to strengthen your legs. If exercise is performed properly, then it may also reduce knee pain. However, it is necessary to take precautions.


  • Do not go to a safe range of motion.
  • Avoid sitting with folding your good leg over the affected leg.
  • Skip hyperextension of the knee.
  • Avoid high-intensity exercises.
  • Skip jogging, running, and dancing on solid ground.
  • Skip using more medications to mast the pain.
  • The following tips can promote fast healing.

Foods to Ease Arthritis Pain

Remember, there is no magic food to reduce a healthy diet, and including specific foods and spices could help to lower joint pain and inflammation.

Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts

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These all veggies belong to the cruciferous vegetable family. They contain a synthesis of sulforaphane, which helps to lower cartilage damage in joints because of osteoarthritis stated by a 2013 study on mice. These veggies are a healthy choice. Try to include brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Fatty fish

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Eat fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and tuna, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It helps to lower inflammation. Eat fish sometimes every week. If you do not like fish, then ask your physician to advise omega-3 supplements.


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Garlic relates to the allium family, which also comprises leeks and onions. These things consist of diallyl disulfide that may help with illness problems like arthritis. This synthesis may cause to check cartilage damage enzymes.

Tart cherries

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Some people experiencing arthritis have discovered relief from products prepared from tart cherries. The ingredient in cherries, which helps with joint symptoms is the same one that provides red color (anthocyanin) in this fruit. According to a 2013 study published in cartilage and Osteoarthritis discovered that subjects who drank tart cherry juice shown improvement in stiffness and pain.


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One of the well-researched infection fighters is not good at all, but a spice. Turmeric consists of a synthesis called curcumin. Curcumin could be inflammatory-linked joint difficulties, but experts suggested that there is a significant lack of data related to side effects and their safety. The compound provides curcumin.

Vitamin C

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Antioxidants present in vitamin C may lower the risk of OA, research finds. According to a 2011 study from the University-of-South-Florida linked with people who took a vitamin, C additions were 11% less prone to rise knee OA than those who did not take the supplements. You can receive vitamin C from kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries. However, Frenchman warns against using supplements with higher doses than 65-85 mg, because in large doses vitamin C raises the risk the kidney stones.

Expert’s Answers

Can You Do Squats with Painful Knees?

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Regular squats are not advised with painful knees. However, you may do aqua squats as they pressurize knee functions. Make sure you speak to the doctor before you begin the exercise regimen.

How Can I Raise Cartilage in My Knees?

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Cartilage in knees can be raised by including healthy and protein-rich foods in the diet. Make sure to take the right and safe quantity of supplements after doctor’s recommendation.

Low impact cardio is a safe way to relieve knee pain raise a range of motion and promote quality of life. Regular exercise with the advice of your physical expert gets you the desired results. Take all necessary safe steps to manage knee pain and prevent risk.

Additional Benefits of Cardio Exercises

Promotes Brain Health

The study of Frontiers in-Aging-Neuroscience showed that doing cardio workout helps to improve memory, and brain health, and physical fitness in sedentary adults. The results advise that even short-term workouts can be beneficial to health for the long-term.

Improves Heart Health

The heart is an important organ and just like any other muscle in the body, it is important to keeps good health. Failing to function also includes your heart that weakens with time and increases the risk of many diseases.

Cardio workout is a good way to get the heart pumping at a faster rate to manage it in proper shape and optimal health. Additionally, cardio workouts reduce LDL cholesterol.

Improves Metabolism

Along with promoting heart rate, cardio workouts raise your other body functions called metabolism. Performing intense cardio sessions, you will get a more noticeable metabolic rate.

Ease Fatigue

Doing cardio exercise releases the hormone, which reduces depression and fatigue symptoms. As, an included benefits, hormones, which raise appetite reduction.

Physical Benefits

Cardio workout helps to burn calories, thus help to reduce extra pounds. It also perfects for toning and improving muscles and posture. Your raised stamina and high energy will make you extra productive.

Regulates Diabetes

Regularly doing a cardio workout helps to increase the ability of muscles to use glucose. Regular workout also helps to balance blood sugar level and prevent sugar spikes in people who do not do exercise. Cardio exercises are specifically helpful for diabetics as they are very sensitive to affect blood sugar levels.

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