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Knee Arthritis – Exercises to Avoid

Updated on February 5, 2018
Knee Arthritis
Knee Arthritis | Source

Exercises, when incorporated in your lifestyle, can definitely help you with knee pain in the long run. However, the true fact is that, you should know ‘how to do it right’. The right set of knee exercises helps in attaining the lost range of motion of knee joints and strengthens the muscles that connects the joints, which in turn helps your knees in absorbing sudden shocks.

Low impact exercises are best for conditions such as knee arthritis. To prevent chronic knee problems, here are some of the top exercises that you ought to avoid for knee arthritis:


While squats are considered to be one of the most beneficial types of exercises for core strengthening and belly fat reduction, they are actually unsuitable for those with knee problems. Deep squats that require extreme bending motion should particularly be avoided, especially when you have a higher BMI.

However, you can definitely do half squats, which helps in strengthening the thigh muscles and gluteus, thus helping your knees to absorb sudden shocks.

2. High Impact Sports

High impact sports like volleyball, basketball, skiing, high jump, long jump, kickboxing and others that involve sudden directional changes should completely be avoided. Such exercises can give sudden jolts or accidental shocks that may cause you temporary or permanent discomfort. Jumping or plyometric is another high impact sport activity that can cause forcing of your body weight directly onto your knees, causing some severe damage.

However, if you love engaging yourself into sports, you can instead opt for activities that put lesser pressure on your knees like swimming, cycling and other low impact sports.

3. Full arc knee extensions

Full arc knee extensions are weight training exercises that are actually bad for your knees. While it’s said that leg extensions can help in training the thigh muscles, they can be a nuance for a sore knee. Repeated full arc knee extensions hurts your anterior cruciate ligament, so people affected with ligament injuries should definitely avoid this routine without a second thought. The exercise also fails to improve hamstring strength for your knees and puts a lot of shearing pressure on your joints.

4. Lunges

Since lunges include knee bending, it can get hurtful for your knees if not done right. Lunges are known to work for your quads, hips, glutes, hamstrings, inner thigh and other muscles that give support to the knees. To avoid knee injury with lunges:

  • Always keep your front knee in line with your ankle and settle down your back knee swiftly on the floor and in line with your shoulder and hips.

  • Practice lunges for not more than 3 times a week for a maximum of 5-10 minutes per day, to start with.

5. Hurdler’s Stretches

Hurdler’s stretches requires painful knee bends, which can hurt the ligaments, especially the medial collateral ligament of your knee. The stress can add to the existing knee injury and repeated wear and tear can rip off this essential knee ligament to cause you some serious damage. Hurdler’s stretches can also cause groin and hamstring strains, shin splints, calf strains and knee tendonitis.

6. Running

Last but not the least, it’s best to avoid hard core running and circuit training if you are being diagnosed with knee arthritis. If you still love running, you may slow down your speed, use good quality running shoes and change the surface of running. You should never run on a pavement or a concrete surface. Avoid doing activities like trekking or running uphill and on dirt tracks.


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