The Worst Exercises for Bad Knees

Not very many parts of our body are more vital, or put under more daily stress, than our knees.  They’re a marvel of natural engineering, handling an amazing range of motion and action, but they’re far from indestructible.  Improper exercises can damage a healthy knee, or make a bad knee even worse.

And any knee surgeon can tell you, procedures on knees is hard, and painful, and requires a lot of recovery afterwards.  Safer is truly better than sorry in this case, and smart exercising can avoid a lot of unnecessary unpleasantness.


A Knee Surgeon’s Picks For The Three Worst Knee Exercises

1 – Jumping Jack Press

We see this in some Crossfit and cardio routines.  The JJP involves doing jumps while simultaneously pressing weights, usually barbells.  This combined exercise brings little or no benefit over doing the exercises separately.  It also puts incredible strain on both the knee and the ACL, as well as also bringing a chance of upper-body injury.

2 – Leg Presses

These are highly popular for building leg strength, but inefficient.  They can build your quads far faster than your hamstrings, resulting in an imbalance that strains your knee with every rep.  Further, any exercise that involves bringing the knee to a 90-degree angle or greater is doing more harm in those with knee damage.

3 – Machine Leg Curls

This is another exercise that puts too much stress on the knee with no real benefit.  Like presses, these only really work half the leg at once, while putting unnecessary torque on the knee.

If you have a baker’s cyst behind your knee – extremely common in athletes – this exercise can be especially damaging.  That cyst only adds to the pressure on your knee, and may even rupture under enough stress.

Protect Your Knees!

It doesn’t take a knee surgeon to realize the importance of knees.  Take special care to protect them whenever doing any exercise.

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