14 Leg Exercises for Seniors with Bad Knees

It’s a known fact that all of our body joints continuously fight against gravity. Moreover, it’s obvious that knee joints are doing a lot of work since they’re supporting our weight. But as we grow older, tears and wears are inevitably happening in these joints. For this reason, elder people are indeed at a higher risk towards knee pain and just bad knees in general. Today in this blog post, we’re sharing the top leg exercises for seniors with bad knees.

The knees are certainly one of the most complicated body parts. For the elderly, the knee joints truly become a challenge because it’s prone to stiffness and other joint issues. But fret no more because we have compiled the very best leg exercises that’ll make the bad knees go back to their previous good condition!

Benefits of Leg Exercises for Seniors with Bad Knees

5 Leg Exercises for Strength and Flexibility in the Elderly | Home ...
Photo Credits: Home Care Assistance

Leg exercises that are good for bad knees will surely strengthen the latter’s muscles.  Seniors who constantly and/or regularly do these kind of exercises will improve the flexibility of the muscles around their knees. Without a doubt, alleviation and then lost of knee pain is very much possible! Moreover, bear in mind that these exercises are also working the other body parts such as the hips and butt. Meaning that the lower body will really be toned to its best condition. Think of these exercises as hitting as many birds as you can with only one stone!

Top 14 Leg Exercises for Seniors with Bad Knees

Before doing these exercises, it’s advisable to consult your physician first as well as a fitness coach or trainer. By doing so, you’re sure that what you’re putting your body into is 100 percent safe for you. Always bear in mind that as a senior, your body isn’t as fit when you were younger. Many precautions should be taken into consideration when it comes to working out or exercises.

Finally, here are some of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees. They’re all easy and will indeed alleviate knee pain at the moment. Furthermore, when done regularly, these exercises will drastically improve the knee condition of seniors:

1. Ankle Circles

Strengthen Your Legs with Just a Chair | WW Canada

First on this list is the ankle circles. Take note that good ankles mean good ankle flexibility. Moreover, good ankle flexibility correlates to good balancing and stability. Furthermore, good balancing and stability equates to good knees. Why? The knees are responsible for your balancing and stability. If the other parts of the body who are also accountable for these are in good condition, the knees are alleviated. In short, too much stress are lifted off from the knees.

For this exercise, look for a sturdy chair first. Always remember to pick one that’s secure because your safety is always the top priority during any workout or exercise routine. Then you need to sit with your feet flat on the ground. At the same time, extend your right knee and then move your foot in a circle. Do that for about 20 times. After that, move it to the other direction and repeat again for about 20 times. When you finally completed that, do the same on your other ankle.

Take note that you can challenge yourself by performing this while standing up. However, only do so if you think your body can handle it.

Photo Credits: Weight Watchers

2. Knee Extension/ Seated Leg Extension

Exercise Database – Fitness and Health Promotion

Next on the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the knee extension. This exercise will definitely improve your available knee range of motion.

For this exercise, look for a sturdy chair first. Then you need to sit with your feet flat on the ground. Next, straighten out your knee and then hold that position for a few seconds. After that, lower it down and then repeat again. You’re also going to do the same on the other leg. Make sure to perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Take note that you can challenge yourself by using ankle weights. Just make sure to consult a professional first on the right weight of those ankle weights.

Photo Credits: Exercise Database – Fitness and Health Promotion

3. Standing Knee Flexion

Standing Knee Flexion - Hip Exercise - YouTube

This exercise will certainly strengthen your hamstring muscles as well as improve your standing balance.

For this exercise, you’re also going to need a sturdy chair first. Once again, always remember to pick one that’s secure because your safety is always the top priority during any exercise. Then you have to stand while holding onto the chair to balance yourself. Next, bend your right knee backward as high as possible. After that, lower it and then repeat again. You’re also going to do the same on the other leg or knee. Make sure to perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Take note that you can challenge yourself by using ankle weights. Just make sure to consult a professional first on the right weight of those ankle weights. In addition to this, you can also grab onto the chair with only one hand or just a finger! If you also can, you don’t need the chair anymore! Just make sure to do what you can and not go any further than that.

Photo Credits: YouTube

4. Wall Squats

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Another one of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the wall squats. This exercise will require you to stand upright with your back against a wall. Important reminder again though is to make sure that it’s a sturdy wall. It’s always a must to avoid any kind of injury in the duration of the exercise. Then take note that your feet should be shoulder-width apart.

Next thing to do is to slowly but surely bend your knees. Do so while sliding your back down until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. It’s advisable to follow that angle and not go any further for your safety. Then make sure to hold that position for five seconds or more, depending on your stamina. After that, straighten your knees while sliding up the wall again.

Perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Photo Credits: Citizen Journal

5. Partial Squats

Next on the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the partial squats. This exercise will certainly enhance your lower body flexibility as well as overall balance. Your quad muscles and hip flexor’s strength will definitely be improved!

First thing to do is stand while grabbing on a chair to balance. Important reminder again though is to have a sturdy chair with you. It’s always a must to avoid any kind of injury in the duration of the exercise. Next is to bend your knees as high as possible without discomfort. Then lower it again. Perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Other little reminders while doing this exercise is to inhale during the upward movement. Of course, exhale during the corresponding downward movement. Lastly, you can challenge yourself by grabbing onto the chair with only one hand. Additionally, you can also use just a finger or no hands at all! Just make sure to do what you can and not go any further than that. Once again, your safety is the topmost priority.

Photo Credits: More Life Health – Seniors Health & Fitness

6. Calf Raises/ Heel Stands

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This exercise will truly strengthen the front part of your lower leg. At the same time, you’ll improve the condition of your toes.

For this exercise, you’re also going to need a sturdy chair first. Then you have to stand while holding onto the chair to balance yourself. Next, you have to raise up your heels and then lower them down. Perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Take note that you can challenge yourself by grabbing onto the chair with only one hand or just a finger! If you also can, you don’t need the chair anymore! Just make sure to do what you can and not go any further than that.

Photo Credits: PopSugar

7. Lunges

Leg Strengthening Exercises for Seniors: For Support

Next on the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the lunges. This exercise will tone your legs while strengthening your quad muscles. Moreover, this will improve your standing and balancing skills.

First thing to do is to stand with your arms on your sides or at your hips. Makes sure that your feet are shoulder width apart. Next is step forward while maintaining your upper body vertical. Then push back up to the starting position. Take note that you must switch legs while repeating this movement. Furthermore, perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Other little reminders while doing this exercise is to inhale during the forward movement. Of course, exhale during the corresponding backward movement. Lastly, you can challenge yourself by bending your knees a little deeper. At the same time, you can opt for wrist weights too. You can find the best wrist weight for small wrists here.

Photo Credits: Healthline

8. Hamstring Curls

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Dumbbell | HowStuffWorks

Another one of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the hamstring curls. Take note that when you have good hamstrings, your knees will be on their best as well. The hamstrings are the muscles that are found in the back of your thighs.

For this exercise, you can either opt for lying flat on your stomach or standing while holding onto a chair. The important part is that you need to slowly bend your knees and bring your heels closer to your butt. Opt to make it closer as much as you can without feeling any discomfort. Furthermore, perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Take note that you can challenge yourself by using ankle weights. Just make sure to consult a professional first on the right weight of those ankle weights.

Photo Credits: Health | HowStuffWorks

9. Low Plank Hold with Knee-Flex

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This exercise targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quad muscles. At the same time, this is hamstring curls that are set on the next level!

For this, you have to go into a low planking position where your weight is on your elbows. Next, you have to slowly bring your heels towards your glutes by flexing the knee. The glutes are the muscles in your butt. After that, extend the leg and go back to the starting position. Repeat the same on the other leg. Remember that you’re going to do this simultaneously on both legs. Furthermore, perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Photo Credits: Melissa Bender Fitness

10. Straight Leg Raises

Standing leg raises or lying down leg raises – what is better ...

Next on the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the straight leg raises. First thing to do is to lie on your right side. Next, bend your right leg while resting your left foot on the ground. Then slowly raise your top leg off the ground for about 2 feet. Hold that for five seconds or more before lowering it down. After that, you’ll repeat the movement again and will do so with the other leg. Of course, you’ll be laying on your other side for the latter.

Perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Photo Credits: TheHealthSite.com

11. Prone Straight Leg Raises

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This exercise will target your calf muscles, hamstrings, and glutes.  This is a straight leg raise that’s similar to hamstring curls. The only takeaway and challenge here is that there’s no bending of the knee.

First thing to do is to lie on your stomach while your legs are straight. Next, raise one leg up and then hold it for about five seconds. After that, move you heel towards your glutes without bending the knee. Then repeat again and you’re also going to do the same on the other leg. Perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Photo Credits: Healthline

12. Step-Ups

How To Do Up Up Down Down

Another one of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the step-ups. This exercise keeps the knees limber. Moreover, it strengthens your lower body.

For this exercise, you need to keep one foot on a step that’s higher than the flat surface. Next, you’ll bend the knee of that elevated leg while the other leg is flat on the floor. After that, start stepping up and down the platform. Obviously, it’s a very light cardio exercise for you that’ll keep your heart pumping real good!

Photo Credits: Get Healthy U

13. Hip Marching

Hip flexor sitting isometric strengthening - YouTube

Next on the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the hip marching. This exercise will target your lower body. The latter’s strength will definitely be improved. At the same time, your walk endurance will also be better than ever! Also, it’s known that at your age, it’s already hard to pick up things from the ground. However, this exercise will absolutely do miracles for you!

First thing to do is to sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Next is to raise your right knee as high as possible while still maintaining comfort. Then lower it down. Now, alternate lifting your knees up. Furthermore, perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Other little reminders while doing this exercise is to inhale during the lifting of the knees. Of course, exhale during the lowering movement. Always make sure that you’re breathing normally throughout the entire exercise. At the same time, don’t do too much that will lead to fatigue

Lastly, you can challenge yourself by moving from slow to moderate speed. Additionally, you can resist the upward movement of your knees. You can definitely do so by placing your hands on your thighs and pushing downwards.

Photo Credits: YouTube

14. Sit to Stand

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Last on this list of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees is the sit-to-stand. This exercise will alleviate the loss of independence in seniors. It’s because this exercise will improve your overall body strength! Doing this exercise regularly will give you so much confidence in yourself!

First thing to do is to stand with a chair behind you. Make sure that your knees are just in front of the seat. Important reminder again though is to have a sturdy chair with you. It’s always a must to avoid any kind of injury in the duration of the exercise. Next step is to lean forward while bending your knees and lowering yourself towards the chair. Obviously, you’re imitating a sitting movement. However, you should stand back up to a full upright position before you touch the chair. Furthermore, perform these as per the recommended number of repetition by a fitness professional.

Indeed, this exercise is a bit challenging for your age. So important thing to take note is to not be so hard on yourself. Just do this slowly but surely. Other little reminders while doing this exercise is to inhale during the upward movement. Of course, exhale during the corresponding downward movement.

Again, this one is a bit harder than the other exercises on this list. For this reason, you can definitely place your hands on your knees for support. At the same time, bend from your hips. Now, you can also sit all the way down if you’re feeling really tired.

Lastly, you can challenge yourself by using hand weights. Just make sure to consult a professional first on the right weight of those hand weights.

Photo Credits: Masala!

CHECK OUT: Best 9 Hip Strengthening Exercises for Seniors

WRAPPING UP

Old age isn’t a hindrance to maintaining your best shape and overall physical health. Just as what you read in this blog post, there are exercises you can do at this phase of your life. These will not only improve your overall health, but will also give you a much better sense of well-being. Just make sure that you’re doing these to the best that you can while in a safe environment.

Featured Photo courtesy of Army Medicine/Flickr