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Thread: My knees sometimes bother me, what's the best exercise machine?

  1. #1

    My knees sometimes bother me, what's the best exercise machine?

    My knees the last few weeks have been bothering me (no change in amount of time working out, type etc) -- so I can't see how its connected to that.

    About a year ago, I noticed that "lovely' crunching noise that I sometimes heard when bending my left knee. But had no pain. Now sometimes my knees are making themelves known when walking up and down stairs etc. To be honest, not happy at all about this. Between my knees and my feet, grrrr.

    I thought the twinges in my left knee the last couple of months might have been caused my foot surgery back in September --- perhaps overcompensating, gait getting messed up by walking with the boot cast for a month plus. But I'm having issues with both knees, but mostly the left. And, its been worse the last few weeks, and its been months since my foot surgery/wearing the boot etc.

    I'll be calling my doc to check it out but in the meantime which exercise machine might be the best to work out. My tiny gym in my bldg has a treadmill, rower, ellipical, bike, and a Healthrider looking thing. Or would just walking outside be best? I'm thinking the elliptical has the least impact. Or maybe it doesn't matter (assuming when I'm working out there isn't any pain).

    Last edited by applecrisp; 04-04-2010 at 05:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    SF 'burbs
    My sister has the same 'crunch" as you, it seems. She's found that the elliptical works very well for her.

    "Be kind to your neighbor... he knows where you live." -Brian Copeland

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    In my heaven on earth
    Out of those, the bike or the rower is likely best. Ellipticals actually hurt my knees because they force you into a stride pattern that doesn't necessarily fit yours. For some it's to big a stride, for others it's too short. In fact, I get less knee irritation running on a treadmill than I do the elliptical. And, yes, go see your doc so you can rule out anything serious.

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw

  4. #4
    I know you didn't mention it but, if you had access to a pool, swimming would have the least impact. Of the machines you mentioned I would try the rowing machine first, then the bike, and see how you go, but do take it easy. I am glad to hear that you have made an appointment just to rule out anything serious. The last thing you want to do is aggravate it further by not having it checked out and continuing to exercise on the knee.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Liverpool, NY
    I have stage 4 arthritis in both knees, so I'm basically bone on bone. I've had great luck with using both the bike & the elliptical. No pool at my gym, so I can't speak for that, but I'd guess that that would work as well. The rowing machine bothers my knees, though and I can't even think about the treadmill.

    Try them all & see what works for you. And be sure to do some sort of weight machine work to build up your quads... strong legs are the best defense against knee pain.

    I'm here with my best friend... my fork!! ~ Paula Deen

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Madison, WI USA
    I have some twinge issues with one of my knees, as well. I'd also suggest squats, as that will build up your quads & hamstrings. Stronger legs will provide greater support for your knees. Strong hips are also very important to support your knees.

    Good luck! I hate mystery twinges, aches & pains.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    A machine like this will raise your heart rate without putting any load on your knees. A lot of fitness centers have these so that people with foot/knee/leg injuries can continue to work out.

  8. #8
    I just got a new knee in December--my suggestion is a recumbent bike. Swimming is great, as well. The secret is moving the muscles without putting all your weight on your knees.

    Before I did my surgery, the physical therapists had me doing a series of exercises to strengthen my quads--leg lifts, mostly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Madison, WI USA
    Now this is interesting, b/c we're all taking different approaches with this.

    Are you trying to get in a workout that won't affect your knee at all? Or are you trying to make your knee issues go away?

    Swimming is fantastic for you, but won't help your knees at all, for example.

    I'll be curious to learn what your Dr recommends.

  10. #10
    Thanks everyone!!

    SusanMac--- I was thinking about what exercise might be best (while waiting to see doc) for exercise purposes only. Since I have no experience with knee issues, I wasn't thinking of how certain exercises might improve things. Since it will be a couple of weeks until I can get an ortho appt, I think I'm going to stick to walking --- but only if its painfree while doing it. Since we are finally having some great weather, I hate to be cooped up in the tiny gym in my bldg.

    I also made an appt with my foot doc since my feet are bothering me too, and I wonder if that is playing a part and if my bunion/toe surgery that I had a few months back really helped me.

    Gumbeaux -- I've tried those hand cycle machines. What a workout. My bldg has something similar but it doesn't have a seat... since its for people that might be in wheelchair etc. I think the position is a bit off when I just stand.

    Unfortunately, no real access to a pool.

    And, to those that mentioned how certain types of exercise might help things --- I am interested in what the doc says. I hope I can do something to help it/alleviate it/improve it.

    Thanks again for all the feedback.

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