Exercise impact on the knee

10:29 am Health Care

Different exercises produce different impacts on the knee joints. The best and safest exercises that cause minimum impact on the knee in patients post knee replacement or knee arthritis are walking, biking, hiking, riding an exercise bike, riding an elliptical trainer and walking on the treadmill. In sports, one can play doubles tennis but not singles. One can also participate in downhill or cross-country skiing. Jogging and golf swings produce maximum stress.

Impact

  • Biking generate the least force, producing impact of about 1.3 times the person’s body weight.
  • Treadmill walking is the next best, producing forces of 2.05 the body weight.
  • Walking on level ground generate forces of 2.6 times the body weight.
  • Tennis produces forces of 3.1 to 3.8 times the body weight, with serving producing the highest impact.
  • Jogging produces forces of 4.3 times body weight.
  • Golf swings produces forces of 4.5 times body weight on the forward knee and 3.2 times body weight in the opposite knee.

Positions and activities placing excessive pressure on the knee joint

  • Squatting and kneeling
  • Twisting and pivoting
  • Repetitive bending (multiple flights of stairs, getting out of a seated position, clutch and pedal pushing, etc.)
  • Jogging
  • Aerobics, dancing
  • Playing stop and go sports (basketball, sports that use racquets)
  • Swimming using the frog or whip kick

Exercise equipment placing excessive pressure on the knee

  • Stair stepper
  • Stationary bicycle
  • Rowing machine
  • Universal gym utilizing leg extensions

The preferred exercise equipment for the knee should provide smooth motion of the knee, maximal toning of the front and back thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstring muscles), minimal jarring and impact to the joint and the least amount of bending to accomplish toning.

Activities that are acceptable alternatives to the above:

  • Fast walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming using the crawl stroke
  • Cross country ski machines
  • Soft platform treadmill
  • Trampoline

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