3 Exercises to Avoid With Knee Pain

Your knee is the largest joint in your body.

You use it every day to walk, run, climb or jump, making it very prone to injury or pain.

If your knee is injured or you start experiencing knee pain, a doctor may recommend exercises for knee pain you can do on your own time to strengthen the muscles around your knee.

Although certain types of exercise can help alleviate existing knee pain and prevent future pain or injury by providing the knee with extra support, some exercises should be avoided if you are dealing with knee pain.

We’ll discuss a few of those exercises to avoid with knee pain in the article below and where to find knee pain treatment.

What’s Knee Pain?

The knee pain people typically experience is anterior joint pain, meaning it’s at the front of your knee.

But you may also experience pain in the sides, back, or along the joint line of your knee.

Several things can cause knee pain, like a tear in the cartilage, a ligament tear, or diseases like osteoarthritis.

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Myth Busted: Don’t Exercise If You Have Knee Pain

Many people are under the impression that all exercise programs are out of the question if you have knee pain.

But the truth is that even if you do have knee pain, you can still exercise.

You just need to choose your exercises wisely.

The exercises you can and can’t do are dependent on your specific knee problem.

‘If you experience pain during an exercise, stop it completely or slow down.

It’s not worth pushing through the pain, and you should always listen to what your body is telling you.

Always speak to a doctor before starting a new exercise routine, but if you have knee pain, it may be a good idea to opt for non-weight-bearing exercises like cycling, cross-training, or swimming.

Power walking is even a good option because it will put much less strain on the knee.

You should avoid the following exercises if you have knee pain or a knee injury.

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Don’t stop exercising because of knee pain!

3 Exercises to Avoid With Knee Pain

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT, improves overall fitness, supports weight loss, and builds muscle mass.

But they require strict adherence to techniques to complete the workout effectively and safely.

That’s why HIIT exercises and other high-impact activities are a common culprit for knee injuries.

HIIT workouts are typically lower body-centric movements like sprinting and explosive jumping.

So if you have bad knees, you should probably skip the jump squats.

Below are three HIIT workouts that can serve to boost your metabolic performance while sparing your knees in the process:

  • Cycling: Your seat should be in a starting position that allows your knee to keep a slight bend while you pedal to avoid undue stress on your knee. A recumbent bicycle may also be beneficial because you will be in a reclining position. Cycle as fast as you can for a few minutes, then rest for a minute and repeat.
  • Swimming: When you swim, push yourself as hard as you can for a few lengths or laps around the pool. Take a break to catch your breath and do it again.
  • 10-20-30 Training: For this training, you can run, bike, swim, or row lightly for 30 seconds. Then do the movement moderately for 20 seconds, then at your top speed for 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence 5 times, then rest for 2 minutes. Do this five times and repeat the sequence 5 times again. This should take you about 12 minutes to complete. If you’re in pretty good shape already, you can add another round of 5 repeating intervals. Take it easy the next day before attempting 10-20-30 again.

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Exercises to avoid with knee pain


Lunges are a simple exercise with undeniable health benefits.

They can strengthen your glutes and quads, improve your core strength, and increase the stability of your hip muscles, knees, and ankles.

But many people avoid lunges at all costs because of persistent knee pain.

If lunges are done incorrectly, they can add stress to the joint and lead to irritation of the kneecap.

Again, you should never try to push through the pain.

Pushing through joint pain rarely, if ever, ends well.

If you have a chronic condition like knee osteoarthritis, an injury, or you’ve recently had a knee replacement, talk to your doctor about how to exercise safely.

Follow the tips below to do lunges pain-free:

  • Keep your front knee in line with your ankle, and don’t extend past your ankle.
  • Send your back knee straight down toward the floor, in line with your shoulders and hips.
  • Keep an upright posture and look straight ahead with your shoulders down and abs flexed.
  • Only do lunges three times per week and only 10 to 15 minutes per session, depending on your pain and fitness level.

If lunges still cause knee pain, skip them and try these expert-recommended modifications:

  • Lower your knee just a few inches into a lunge and don’t lower until the knee touches the ground.
  • Keep both feet on the floor throughout the entire movement instead of stepping out. Lower and raise your body while maintaining a solid split stance.
  • Try starting your lunges with your back foot farther away from your front foot.

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Climbing stairs can put a strain on your knees, especially if you use improper form.

Your entire body should be engaged when walking upstairs, but some people allow all their weight to drop into their legs.

This can cause your knees to endure the extra weight, potentially causing injury.

Minimize knee strain when you climb stairs by practicing proper form:

  • Focus on exercises that strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and the other muscles that support your knees before doing stair exercises. Strong support muscles in the front and back of your thigh help your knee joint absorb shock. Try exercises like leg lifts, leg dips, hamstring curls, and wall squats.
  • If you have to climb stairs, be mindful of your posture and the alignment of your feet and legs. Make sure you:
    1. Align your knee over your second toe.
    2. Don’t lead with your foot. Lead with your body. Bend forward, redistributing the force of your weight from the knee to the hamstrings.
    3. Place the heel of your foot on the step before you step up.

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exercises to avoid with knee pain

Speak To A Specialist About Your Knee Pain

If you are unsure of what you can or can’t do with knee pain or want an expert opinion about getting rid of knee pain, contact the Ethos Health Group today.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, complete a physical exam, and order imaging tests.

Once they diagnose your knee pain, they will review your treatment options with you.

Getting treatment for your knee pain will allow you to return to your daily activities and prevent a short-term knee issue from becoming long-term, chronic pain.

Don’t suffer from chronic knee pain any longer than you have to, especially when the Ethos Health Group is here to help.

At Ethos Health Group, we’ve developed our proprietary HyalRegen-CT method as a comprehensive solution for those suffering from knee arthritis and pain. 

Lubricating injections can be performed under precision imaging guidance, so we know we’re targeting precisely the right area. 

This advanced medical process serves to add cushioning fluid back into the knee, like oil for a squeaky hinge. 

Even more exciting, these FDA-cleared injections can help your knees stimulate more of their natural fluid, giving you long-term benefits and relief. 

Most people with knee pain have heard of stem cell therapy, and they wonder if it could be an option to help them avoid surgery and get out of pain. 

To learn more about what the Ethos Health Group can do for your knee pain, click the button below to schedule a free consultation.

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