If your someone who suffers from weak or sore knees whether through sports injury, arthritis or general wear and tear you’ll need a way to exercise that isn’t going to put too much stress and strain on your knees.
Cycling, whether it be indoor or outdoor, is a very good form of exercise that will help keep your knees from getting sore but also shred fat at the exact same time.
Performing most other exercises such as weightlifting or running can eventually have a detrimental effect on your knees and if you already have ‘bad’ knees you don’t want to be causing any more injury or pain.
The knee is made up bones, tendons and cartilage which form a complex system to help reduce friction on the knee joint.
So, have a look at these 7 reasons as to why you should cycle as an exercise if you have weak or painful knees.
As cycling is either a standing or seated exercise it has very little impact or pressure on the knee joint itself.
Running would be an exercise that has a high impact on your knee due to the jumping and landing of every step. Overtime, this can wear down the cartilage in your knee and can cause pain.
[ Check out my post on The Exercise Bike Vs The Treadmill (It’s Insightful!) ]
When cycling, your knee joint (patella) will move slightly but this is actually quite good for it as it keeps it strong, active and healthy all whilst preventing any serious damage.
Excellent For Warming Up
Cycling is an incredible way of warming up your joints before performing any heavy lifting exercise.
However, before you even begin cycling you want to really get those knees warmed up.
Active.com has some really great ways of warming up those joints so you can have a more enjoyable cycle.
As you then begin to cycle, it starts to increases the blood flow to your knee joint, loosening the muscle and ligaments helping to keep it warm and active.
If you are going to lift heavy weights after for example squatting, your knees will need to be able to handle more pressure and have a certain range of flexibility about them.
Ideal Cardio If Overweight
Being overweight can put a lot of pressure on your knees and this added strain can make them very sore when exercising.
Cycling is a great way of incorporating exercise into your regime. As I said, it’s low impact and will allow you to burn off calories with ease as it uses all of the main lower body muscle groups.
With the constant push motion and low range of movement, you will be able to shed those pounds in no time at all.
Great In Developing Strength After An Injury
If you’ve had any ACL surgery, operations on your knees or hips or even strained ligaments, always make sure you are leaving plenty of time for it to heal and recover.
Once you feel that can put pressure on your knees after rehabilitation, cycling will certainly help to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in and around your knee.
Start slow and build up the resistance over time, you’ll soon get back to full strength again.
Make Sure To Have Proper Form
Your form is absolutely everything when cycling on an indoor bike. If you are sitting wrong or have the incorrect adjustments to your height, a lot of this pressure can be put on the knee.
By simply adjusting your seat (saddle) and handlebars you’ll be able to train more comfortably and work the essential muscles to cycle effectively and efficiently.
Always adjust to your height firstly before starting your cycling or indoor cycling session.
Always make sure that on the downstroke of each pedal when your foot is at the furthest point away from you that your knee is always slightly bent. Don’t have your knee straightened and locked out as it can put strain on iliotibial band and anterior cruciate ligament.
Can Exercise In Smaller Bursts
Cycling is one of the best exercises that you can take advantage of for interval training.
This means you can train fast in smaller sessions over a short period of time. Not only is this an excellent way of burning calories fast but it means it your knees aren’t under stress for a long period of time.
Your simply getting on the bike, train and off in no time.
Can Control Your Own Pace
Cycling is for everybody, you don’t need to be superfit to exercise on the bike.
It’s for all fitness levels and you can control your own pace, whether you want to go faster, slower, turn up the resistance or turn it down.
It’s up to you
If you are person who has weak knees, make sure to take a break if you feel your knees seizing up on you. The last thing you want to do is cause more injury.
Overtime, with consistent use on the bike you will notice you will be able to stay on the bike longer. Keep at it and not only will you notice greater endurance, a loss in weight but your knees will start to become more resilient and stronger.
So to sum things up, is cycling good for bad knees?
Yes, as long as you know your limits before pain starts to kick in.
Compared to other sports or exercises it is definitely one of the best that will cause little effect on the knee joint and keep it from developing any further damage.
I mean you can completely stop exercising but I believe exercise is a key component to an everyday lifestyle and something that everybody should be doing on a daily basis.
Cycling is one of the most effective ways that you can burn fat, develop a healthy heart but at the same time, help to keep your knees devoid of injury.
If you have any questions, please drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you.