Knee pain is not uncommon in gym goers. High-impact exercise such as running often leaves people with sore legs and knees, and sometimes even lasting injuries. If you need to give your knees a rest or are simply unable to perform high-impact workouts like running, then look for low-impact workouts to keep the pressure off your knees.
When you are in a pool, you can exercise for a longer period of time than you can on land because there is no impact on your joints or muscles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Swimming works your entire body, from strengthening your cardiovascular system to building muscle strength and even increasing flexibility. The CDC recommends swimming as one of several activities to help meet the guidelines for a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly. If you suffer from knee pain, swimming is always an alternative to other methods of training.
An elliptical machine is widely used by those who have knee, hip or even back problems, according to MayoClinic.com. The smooth movement of the machine allows you to get a workout without the jerky movements or pounding of other exercises. Elliptical models with hand poles also provide arm-shaping benefits, making it a well-rounded choice for a low-impact workout. Elliptical machines provide similar cardiovascular benefits to running, with none of the stress on the joints.
A rowing machine mimics the motion of rowing a boat. A stationary rowing machine can help to build and tone muscles, strengthen cardiovascular function and increase stamina. The machine can be made tougher by adding resistance, making it a strength workout as well. The rowing machine is also easy on the joints and places no stress on the back if the exercise is performed properly. Using too much resistance or pulling suddenly with too much force can injure the back, however, so start off with a low resistance and a slow stroke until you are familiar with the machine.
Spinning is a calorie-torching cardiovascular workout. Since spinning is done on a stationary bike, there is no impact or force being put on the joints during the exercise. Primarily known as a cardiovascular workout, spinning also helps to tone the legs because of the added resistance. The glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads all get toned during a spinning workout.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.