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TOPIC: What exercises can I do with bad knees?

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September 21, 2012 9:03 AM
I usually walk 1 mile in 15 minutes or 2 miles in 30 minutes to a walking dvd and do ok with it with my bad knees. I have bone on bone on my left knee and my right knee bothers me due to over compinsating for the left knee. I had a torn meniscus and had a knee scope to clean up the left knee about 7 years ago. I usually get a cortisone shot in the left knee and it lasts me 6 months or more, the last one I had was in Feb 2012 so it has lasted longer but I have also lost 88 pounds since Feb of this year too which I know helps alot!
I need to know what exercises I can do that won't screw up my knees worse than they already are. The knee dr said I need a knee replacement but I am too young (48) to have one and since the cortisone shots helps and I also had 3 weekly shots of the Synvisc injections in March of this year they aren't going to do surgery which is fine by me cause I don't want a knee replacement.
I have tried the Zumba dvds and that is what screwed up my left knee this last time in Feb of 2012. I tried the Extreme Makeover Weight loss edition low impact dvd and there were alot of ones I had to modify cause I knew it would mess my knee up.
I want to join a gym but wonder if it is really worth it. I know I can do the exercise bike cause they had me on that in physical therapy and was told just to make sure the seat is high enough so my knee isn't bending really low as I ride. Treadmill I could do also but I do walking already.
Any advice? I really need to do more than just walking and want to also. I do some upper strength work too with dumbells if your read my flabby arm post.
September 21, 2012 9:15 AM
I have bad knees too. I find that I don't really like the gym and like to get out and exercise in fun ways. Here are some options:
- Wall climbing
- biking
- hiking
- boxing (you could try cardio boxing)
- belly dancing (Maybe this might give you trouble)
- Swimming
- aquasize
- aqua jog
- badminton (if you can handle a little movement)
- mild yoga or pilates

Otherwise for in-gym options, there are special bike machines that you can pedal with your hands or the regular stationary bike. Maybe you could try using the row machine, but don't bend your knees and instead use your back and arms. There are many strength training exercises that you can do for your knees. Balancing on the swiss ball, on the bosu ball.

Maybe go see a physiotherapist or a trainer and get a plan. You don't have to see them regularly, just pay them 40 bucks for a plan and go do it yourself without supervision.

Always go inspect the gym first to see if they have the right equipment before paying the fee or signing a contract.
Good luck!
September 21, 2012 9:50 AM

- Wall climbing
- badminton (if you can handle a little movement)

I think both of these are quite stressful for the knees. Wall climbing... think one-legged sit-ups, and badminton is a lot of running around, with quick speeding up and abrupt stops.

Table tennis/ping-pong, on the other hand.. good cardio and a lot of fun, and might be ok for the knees. Might be worth looking into, pending doctor's blessing.
Edited by Alpina483 On September 21, 2012 9:52 AM
September 21, 2012 10:04 AM
I have osteoarthritis in my knees and had to get my left knee scoped this year...right one will be done next year. My physical therapist and health coach said that the Walking Away the Pounds are great for the arthritic knees. It's just about not over doing it because I know I can. I cannot do a full hour of any work out anymore. I love the Walk Away dvd's because I break up my routine. If my knees are feeling good in the morning then I do 30 minutes, if not, then I will do only 15 minutes or 1 mile. . If my knees are feeling great by lunch time, I walk on the trail by my job and I walk for 30 minutes or sometimes I can go 45. When I get home, I try to do another 30...but that's if I didn't get to walk on the trail.

Have you talked to your ortho doctor about Synvisc shots? It's a 3 shot process over a month. I did the cortisone and they didn't work. The synvisc helped some but I still had to get surgery. My ortho said that now if I wanted to get the shots, he feel that it would work better since my knee is cleaned out. I haven't gone back yet because since I lost 10-11 pounds, my left knee is doing a lot better.

I will add you as a friend, please feel free to send me a message. Walk Away is basically all I can do for now. Other things put to much pressure on my knees or to much jarring. I used to do Yoga Booty Ballet...but had to stop it.
September 21, 2012 11:15 AM
I have really bad knees and have had since I was a teenager. I have no cartilage in my right knee and very little in my left. My advice is to get to the gym and start weight training. You might want to work with a personal trainer who can show you how to start lifting in ways that will work with your knees instead of against them. Building muscle in your legs will help to support the knee joints taking the pressure off of the knees and putting it in to your much stronger legs. I did this 6 years ago and have been doing it again over the past 9 months so I've seen patterns in how my knees behave when I'm weight lifting and my leg muscles are strong as opposed to when my muscles are weaker and can't support my knees. Once you build up those muscles, you will find that your knees will be able to handle SO much more.

I still have to be careful in aerobics classes so I can't do the jumping like others, but there are always modified versions that you can work with.

I hope this helps.

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