What Are the Best Exercises for Bad Knees?

March 16, 2023

While working out is a great method for staying healthy and happy, it can become a real burden when dealing with a bad knee. Whether it’s due to a past injury or simply the effects of aging, having a problem with your knee can impact the success of your workout if it’s not planned correctly. Fortunately, there are a few different workout ideas that you can consider to help lessen the amount of impact on your knees and allow you to get back to enjoying the feeling of working out.


One of the best low-impact methods of exercise is walking. This doesn’t put much stress on the knees and will help strengthen the surrounding muscles in that area. Do yourself a favor and start with some short 15 to 20-minute walks around 3 to 5 times per week.

Over time, you can increase your activity to a half-hour or even an hour-long walk. Keep in mind that walking on the grass or even a track will be softer on your feet.

Walking Exercise

Lateral Walk

The lateral walk is an absolute must for any exercise routine for those dealing with knee pain. Similar to a squat, you’ll start in a quarter squat position. Instead of squatting down, you’ll move from side to side taking big steps in a lateral direction.

This exercise is excellent for targeting the buttocks and the hip muscles while strengthening your hip flexors and extensors. The best part is that it won’t cause undue stress to your knees since you won’t be in the full squat position.

Lateral Walk

Donkey Kicks

Another favorite exercise of most physical therapists is the donkey kick. This is great for targeting the hamstrings and the glutes while working on your core strength. You want to start the exercise down on your hands and knees in the quadruped position.

Next, you’ll want to lift one knee off the ground and kick back and upward into the air. At the top-most position, your thigh should be parallel with your entire body, and the bottom of your foot should be at a 90-degree angle to your knee. You want to move back and forth between both legs for each set.

Donkey Kicks

Monster Walk

The monster walk is also a great exercise strategy, similar to the lateral walk. You’ll start in a quarter squat position. However, instead of moving from side to side, you will move from the front to back.

You’ll want to step in a diagonal direction with each foot to help move forward or back. This is great for hitting those hip flexors and extensors while targeting your glute muscles.

Monster Walk

Call Us Today

If you’re struggling to do exercises because of knee pain, then it’s time to contact us at City Fitness. Let our experienced instructors assist you in finding the proper workout routine to meet your needs.