If you are looking for jump rope alternatives for bad knees, this article will show you simple exercise to keep you fit without straining your knees.
Jumping rope is one of the best full-body workouts that neither requires too much space nor a huge financial investment.
All you need is a good jump rope and you will have yourself one of the simplest yet best cardio workouts.
For all its goodness, not everyone can jump rope even if they wanted to. People with bad knees might end up hurting their knees further if they jump rope.
But what happens if you really need a cardio exercise that is just as simple as jumping rope but does not hurt your knees?
Below is a compilation of the best jump rope alternatives for bad knees, but first, here are a few don’ts.
Mistake to Avoid
Running and speed and bad knees should never occur in the same sentence. This will make the knee pain worse.
If you do exercises that involve bending of the knees, make sure the knees don’t stick out beyond your toes. This will strain your kneecaps.
This means some popular lower body exercises like squats and lunges are out of the picture. Luckily, you can still strengthen your lower body by using these squat alternatives for bad knees.
Jump Rope Alternatives for Bad Knees
1. Go Swimming
Swimming hardly requires you to bend your knees yet it burns calories at insane rates. If you have a pool nearby, take a dive and get that body in shape.
Just try as much as possible to avoid maneuvers that will you move your knees a lot. Otherwise, the buoyancy of the water will assist in taking away strain from your knees even when you are swimming fast.
2. Try the Elliptical Machine
This machine hardly features in the conventional cardio routines, but hurt your knees and you will realize it is one of the most effective jump rope alternatives for bad knees.
The exercise is low-impact, which means your knees do not absorb the impact of your moving limbs.
If you use the elliptical and develop knee pain, that usually means on the following:
- It has not been adjusted for you, and your knees are getting stained.
- You are over-exercising
- You have not mastered the proper elliptical machine posture.
Use these tips to burn more calories on an elliptical machine.
3. Do Step-Ups
Step-ups are as simple just as they are effective. All you need is a raised platform, on which you step up on with one foot, and alternate feet.
Start at a slow pace then gradually increase it. Find a pace that you are comfortable with and stick to it, and you will easily break a sweat.
If you cannot find a step or raised platform, simply use the bottom stair of your staircase. Alternatively, you can invest in adjustable step platforms.
4. Get the Bike Out
The best thing about biking as an exercise for bad knees is that you can accomplish your errands while at it. This makes it one of the most practical jump rope alternatives for bad knees. Biking requires you to expend a lot of energy while at it. Regardless, it is good for the knees and burns calories. If you need to get something from the grocery store, just grab a bike and get going.
Keep in mind that overdoing cycling can cause overuse injuries.
5. Cycling with Stationary Bikes
If you live in an area where you cannot bike for whatever reason, find the nearest cycling machine and get on it.
The fact that it is stationery might bore you to death, but it also means that you will not overdo it and hurt your knees further.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym, here are some affordable exercise bikes you can use at home.
6. Try the Rowing Machine
If you want to target your upper and lower body without pain, the rowing machine is your go-to equipment.
It will keep your arms, shoulders, core, and legs toned. Plus, the rowing movements are not so intense that they will worsen your knee pain.
We recommend these rowing machines.
7. Go for A Walk
As earlier stated in the rules for jump ropes alternatives for bad knees, you can neither run nor jog. But nobody said you cannot walk.
If you suffer knee pain due to arthritis, obesity or knee trauma, walking is your best bet in keeping fit and staying active.
Try to walk for at least 30 minutes every day. Besides keeping fit, it also helps lower cholesterol in your body and put you in a better mood.
8. Do Lateral Shuffles
Most of the exercises that result in knee pain involve front-to-back movements. Lateral shuffles involve side-to-side movement that builds on the glutes and saves your knees unnecessary strain.
To perform the lateral shuffles, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Slightly bend your knees to get into the half-squat position and keep your back straight.
Now, step to the right with the right foot and follow it with the left. Make 4 steps to the right and 4 to the left and keep repeating.
Once you have mastered the lateral shuffle, you can graduate to using resistance bands to add more intensity to this workout.
9. Do Lying Side Leg Raises
For this, you will have to lie on your side. Bend the leg that is in contact with the floor for better balance.
Straighten the leg that is at the top and raise it as high as it can go straight up. Bring it down but do not let it come into contact with the leg on the ground until you have completed 10 raises. Turn on the other side and do the same for the other leg.
This will improve your endurance while working on the muscles around your hips. You can do side leg raises even when standing up.
If you have access to a lake or pond, you can go rowing instead of jumping rope.
Rowing is one of the most effective jump rope alternatives for bad knees. While it might not burn as many calories, you will get a full-body workout.
11. Throw Punches
Punching sounds like fun until you do it. That is when you realize that it actually engages not just your arms, but your whole body.
You can also maximize leg movement as you punch by moving sideways or back and forth. It is a very fast-paced exercise that will take the strain off your injured knees.
12. Scissor Kicks
The other good jump rope alternative for bad knees is scissor kicks. For scissor kicks, you simply have to lie down and crisscross your legs as you raise your neck and head simultaneously.
This is also a full-body exercise that will engage multiple muscle groups without hurting your knees further.
The Bottom Line
Bad knees should never throw a damper on your exercise goals. At the same time, take care not to engage in exercises that will further damage them. Balance is the name of the game when it comes to exercising with bad knees.
If you prefer to exercise at home without using the machines I recommended above, use these simple fat-burning workouts. They burn fat in 15 minutes without hurting your knees.