Leg Exercises You CAN Do With Bad Knees

Bad Knees with no idea how to work around it? This post is for you!
How often have you tried to lose a bit of weight and tone up those problem areas whilst never being able to overcome those niggling, irritating and uncomfortable BAD KNEES?

Id say close to 50% of my clients that I train for weight loss and toning have some form of restriction in their knees when doing exercise, it can be incredibly demotivating and often at times enough of an obstacle for people to give up of their own personal fitness goals altogether — Well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way!

There is an absolute plethora of exercises that you can still do that doesn’t put as much pressure on your knee that will still allow you to work on your fitness goals, you just have to be patient and figure out which ones work best for you..

#1 — Toe Taps [Cardio Exercise]

With this exercise we are hopping from one foot to the other in a relatively quick but controlled movement to raise our heart rate and burn more calories. I like to have clients aim for a spot on a wall and aim for that small spot every time that change feet. The best thing about this exercise is that it is relatively low impact and doesn’t put a lot of ‘sheering’ forces on the knee — just a fancy way of saying “bending of the knee joint”

#2 — Fast Feet [Cardio Exercise]

Not too dissimilar from toe taps but even more low impact again. With this exercise I have clients shuffle their feet on the spot — Have you ever seen an American Football Team do that fast feet drill where the coach blows his whistle and they all jump up and down whilst maintaining what looks like running on the spot? — Fast Feet..

#3 — Kettlebell Stiff Leg Deadlifts [Toning Exercise] — Hamstrings

God bless the man or woman who invented the Kettlebell (KB), to date one of the most versatile and efficient pieces of equipment I’ve ever used. In this exercise we are keeping are knees straight, stiff and locked. While standing up straight with the KB held in two hands hanging in front of you, slowly lower your torso down while letting the KB guide your body down. You’re going as far down until you start to feel a stretch in your hamstrings (muscles on the back on your thigh) then start to bring yourself back up again to the starting position. It’s important to ‘set’ your shoulders too, meaning just contract and hold a squeeze between your shoulder blades so your lower and upper back stay nice and straight during the entire movement. Hint: You don’t necessarily need a KB for this exercise, a Dumbbell, Barbell or even a weight plate will do.

#4 — Bench Squats [Toning Exercise] — Quads

Hit and miss with most individuals but because we are only coming a short way down most people find this an easier variation of squatting to do. To start, sit down on a bench or chair, find a foot position that is comfortable for your knees and that allows you to stand up from that position easily, sit back down and repeat! The trick with this exercise is to raise your feet off the ground slightly when you sit down and use the momentum you create by putting your feet down again to propel you back up to the starting position.
I want to make it clear that I am a huge endorser of doing deep squats and that if you’re knees are giving you grief it’s a good idea to get them looked at and ideally fixed so that you can squat deeper and stimulate more muscle to burn more calories! That’s the ultimate goal right? Burn more calories and make the exercise more efficient.

Here is a great way to use these exercises if your goal is to lose weight and tone up a bit:

30 seconds each exercise/rest

Toe Taps
KB Stiff Leg Deadlifts 
Fast Feet
Bench Squats

Repeat 5 times — Only takes 15 minutes!