If you have arthritis, osteoarthritis, general joint pain, or knee-related complications and you want to lose weight, there are adapted exercises that can help you achieve these goals. Extra weight can put unnecessary stress on the knees, making certain exercises feel as though they are impossible to do. All you have to do is find alternate ways to achieve the same results.
Considering that two-thirds of the American population is overweight, it makes sense that 20% of the American adults suffer from knee pain. Being overweight with knee pain shouldn’t make you shy away from exercise, though. Exercise works to maintain healthy circulation and keeps the joints and muscles in better shape. Additionally, losing weight takes stress off the knee joints.
To help you exercise, we have put together a list of exercises that you don’t have to dread. You can do these at home without stressing your knee joints. If you do them, let us know how you feel after in the comments below.
You are going to sit at the edge of an armless chair, extending one leg out in front with your heel on the ground; your toes should be facing the ceiling. Keep your back straight and lean forward slightly, pushing your navel toward your thigh. Do not round your back and collapse onto your thighs. Hold this for 15-30 seconds. Switch your leg and repeat two more times for each leg.
Chair Up and Downs
On the same chair, sit up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms loosely hanging by your sides or crossed (whichever feels comfortable is fine). Pressing into your heels, stand up slowly until you are standing straight. Remain standing for a few seconds and then slowly sit down onto the chair, keeping your back straight. Do as many as you can, comfortably, in one minute.
Facing the back of your chair, stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Pressing onto the balls of your feet, slowly raise your heels as high as you can. Lower yourself back onto the floor. Do three sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Remain in the same starting position as the previous exercise, but extend one leg behind you. Bend your front leg, using the back of the chair as support, lean forward, and keep the heel of your back foot planted on the ground. Keep bending until you feel the stretch in your back leg. Hold for 15 seconds and then switch legs.
Straight Leg Raises
Lay down on the ground on your back, extending one leg all the way and bending the other so that your heel is on the ground and your knee is at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands by your sides and tighten your thigh muscles in the extended leg to lift it off the ground to a 45-degree angle. Hold this for about 1 second before slowly lowering back to the ground. Do three sets of 10 on each leg.
Lie flat on your stomach with the tops of your feet on the ground. Engage the hamstring in one leg and slowly bring your heel towards your butt. Once your toes are facing the ceiling, hold this position for one second, then lower it back onto the ground. Do three sets of 15 reps for each leg. The video below shows the person using a resistance band, but you don’t have to use one. You can if you progress and want to increase the difficulty.