So you’ve got a knee injury, or an ongoing injury, or some knee pain that just won’t go away. First, go see your doctor and/or physiotherapist to work out a treatment plan. Second, read the last blog on cardiovascular exercise that won’t exacerbate knee issues.
Then, wrap your head around some strength training. Many knee injuries result from imbalances and weaknesses in the muscles of the core, hips and legs. Rehabilitating a knee injury and returning to your usual routine without strengthening the leg muscles is like taking Advil during labour; it might make you feel a bit better for a while but, sooner or later, it’s gonna hurt like a bitch. You can’t stop that train...
If you’ve ever experienced a knee injury, you know strength training with knee pain can be tricky. So what can you do?
Virtually any upper body exercises will probably be fine. When it comes to burning calories, some upper body moves are better than others. Focus on chest & back to get your heart rate up and substitute for some of the calories you can't burn with your lower body while your knee is injured. Focus last on smaller muscles such as biceps and triceps, as they burn fewer calories than the larger muscle groups, and do them at the end of your strength training when the chest, back & legs have been fatigued.
Lower body training can be challenging with a knee injury, and it's important to limit yourself to the exercises your physiotherapist recommends while you rehabilitate. If you're dealing with ongoing knee issues and are looking for some exercises to gently maintain muscle tone, there are some very safe exercises that can strengthen and support the hips and knees.