Knee pain in women can be caused by a myriad of issues, ranging from injury to weight gain to chronic health problems such as arthritis. While bad knees may limit or eliminate the ability to strength train your lower body, you may still engage in certain upper body workout routines. By performing exercise routines designed to reduce the need to move knee joints, stress on the area can be alleviated.
Seated Bicep Curls
The seated bicep curl may be accomplished with the use of dumbbells. This exercise isolates the biceps brachii muscles while simultaneously calling upon back and shoulder muscles for weight stabilization and movement control. Sit on a weight bench with a backrest. If you don’t have access to a weight bench, use a chair with a straight backrest. Sit with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Grab a pair of dumbbells with each hand and lower the weights by your side so your palms are facing forward. Contract your abdominal muscles and while keeping your head and chest facing forward, slowly curl the dumbbell up toward your shoulders. Keep your elbows close to your sides and your back as straight as possible. Carefully lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Seated Shoulder Press
The seated shoulder press isolates the front, or anterior, deltoid muscles while calling upon 11 stabilizer and synergist muscles, which help stabilize and control movements. On a weight bench or a sturdy chair, carefully grab a pair of dumbbells. Sit with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. If you have lower back issues, sit on a weight bench with a backrest, or a chair with a straight back. Keep your abdominals tightly contracted throughout the movement. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders so the weights rest on each side of them. Hold the weights so your thumbs are pointing toward each other. In a slow and control motion, press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling. Stop the movement before your elbows are fully extended. Carefully lower the weights to the starting position. Repeat one to two sets of six to 10 repetitions each.
Seated Triceps Extension
The seated triceps extension effectively fatigues the triceps brachii muscles, which are located along the back of your upper arm. Sit on a weight bench with a backrest, or a chair with a straight back. Position your feet so they are slightly wider than shoulder-width, and grab a single dumbbell. Carefully lift the dumbbell with both hands until it rests over your head. Hold the dumbbell under the top plate with both palms supports the plate. The handle of the dumbbell will pass between the palms; this is known as the heart shaped grip. With your abdominals contracted and your head facing forward, lower your forearms until your hands are parallel with the back of your neck. Allow your elbows to flex outward while keeping the wrists supple. Carefully raise the dumbbell up to the ceiling. Fully extend your elbow. Lower the weight and repeat this movement six to 10 times with a goal of one to three sets.
Dumbbell Bench Press
The lying bench press requires a weight bench. This exercise isolates the chest muscles. Carefully sit so both legs are straddling the weight bench and place the dumbbells on your thighs. Carefully lower yourself until your upper thighs, buttocks, back and upper body are resting on the bench. Position your feet wider than shoulder-width for support, and keep your lower back pushed into the bench. Bring the dumbbells so they are resting parallel to your chest, with your thumbs pointing toward each other. In a controlled motion, press the weights up toward the ceiling. Stop the motion when your elbows are fully extended. Carefully lower the weights back to the starting position. Repeat one to three sets with 10 to 15 repetitions in each set.
Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.