View Full Version : Any good leg workouts with arthritic knees?

01-30-2012, 08:55 AM
Wife has severly bad knees. Squats are out. Leg extensions are not going to work. She dances some but about half the time even that puts her in pain. She looking for something that she can do and get a good workout without hurting so much. We both know that without working legs it can't be much of a workout.

SLDLs are a possibilty but how do you wok quads without using your knees? Isometrics?

01-30-2012, 09:07 AM
Swimming using a kickboard might be a good leg workout for her with minimal stress.

Maybe cycling as well. Make sure the seat is set at the correct height.

01-30-2012, 09:15 AM
Well, it's winter so swimming is out for a while. The bike she does some but still gets pain. I'm looking for something more lifting oriented, if there is anything. Might not be.

01-30-2012, 09:31 AM
There aren't any leg exercises that don't involve the knees. She's limited to what she can do relative to the pain she can tolerate. This is of course, subject to her's DOC's okay.

01-30-2012, 09:34 AM
Her doc doesn't have anything to do with this. Her "doc" would have her in a a rascal. I did see some isometrics recommended. That may be the ticket.

01-30-2012, 09:37 AM
Her doc doesn't have anything to do with this. Her "doc" would have her in a a rascal.
:confused: Can you rephrase this? Are you saying she has no medical limitations, or areyou saying that she doesn't care what the doc says and will what she wants?

01-30-2012, 11:10 AM
Sure I can. How would you like to read? The doctor says sit in a chair for the next 10 years and we might replace it then, telling her she's too young to get it replaced. (It was at this point I quit going to the doctor. In the last 20 years I've had nothing but wrong diagnoses and bad advice ideas from several different ones. It seems these days they are all the same and I'm on my own.) Take a pill if it hurts. And no, my wife, for whatever reason refuses to consider changing doctors. In other words she will do what she wants. With this idiot doctor I've learned it's better for me to do whatever I can to fix my problems because she sure ain't gonna help.

01-30-2012, 11:14 AM
Best of luck to your wife.

01-30-2012, 01:09 PM
Thanks, Will. I'll take that as it's typed.

I am sorry I asked here. I forget that everyone here assumes that we are so stupid to have not exhausted every medical option before deciding if we want it done we'll have to do it ourselves. I'm really not sure why I even post here. I guess I'll just read some posts and stop asking questions because these are the kind of questions and replies I get. I was just hoping there was something that folks did that I never thought of. I always thought that made me smart but I'm always left feeling like a moron from the forums.

01-30-2012, 01:59 PM
Thanks, Will. I'll take that as it's typed.

Take it as it was typed; that's how I meant it.

People here (even experienced people) are hesitant to advise anyone with any kind of medical condition because no two conditions are exactly alike.

I have RA; I was diagnosed back in '88. It's in my shoulders, wrists, and hands. I do what I'm safely able to do, to the limit of my pain tolerance. I don't know if that's the right thing for someone else to do or not.

Again, the best to both of you. I'd like to help, but I'm not qualified.

01-30-2012, 02:25 PM
Stationary bike with low resistance is best for me.

01-30-2012, 02:25 PM
That I understand and appreciate. Thanks, Will.

01-31-2012, 12:24 AM
Have her take a pole dancing class.

Everbody wins. :)

01-31-2012, 01:37 AM
Get her an appointment with a physical therapist or corrective exercise specialist. I'm 58, have had hip replacement and knee surgery, arthritis in both knees, and because of proper form i can still squat with moderate weight for reps. Don't assume just because it's difficult it shouldn't be done. Most people have poor squat from(don't sit back enough,too much knee over toe) and this is why it hurts. good luck.

01-31-2012, 09:00 AM
Have her take a pole dancing class.

Everbody wins. :)

Well, you haven't seen her......

Jos, she has a bone on bone thing going on. She's been through all of this for several years with specialists. They just tell her that she's too young to have it replaced. I call BS. Maybe they think the ins won't cover it. Again, I'm only here asking because we're not being given any help by the medical community. Take a pill and sit down is not something she's going to do.

01-02-2014, 07:50 PM
I am no expert but I fully understand her situation as I am in the same boat. For me, I find that swimming at the YMCA works well. Perhaps there is a gym or community ed program with a water aerobics class. Our local community ed center has classes at the high school gym for a reasonable rate. As far as the bike goes, for me it's all about proper seat position. The previous recommendation to seek out a PT is actually very helpful. They can help her develop a work out program to achieve her goals that is safe for her. Many times they will review your form with you to insure you are doing it correctly and safely at the same time. I wish enter luck. I know it's frustrating but don't give up. Find something that works and is safe for her.

01-02-2014, 07:54 PM
physical teraphy brah

01-02-2014, 10:31 PM
What helped my arthritic shoulders was just doing stuff with them. Moving and using them in ways that weren't always comfortable. It took several months, but my shoulders are much better.

In early 2013 I had not worked out regularly in years. My shoulders were in fairly constant pain. I wanted to workout again, but didn't know what was wrong with my shoulders so I went to the doc. They got xrayed and I got a diagnosis of arthritis and the big thing was the doctor recommended that I workout. I started back in roughly march or april. I had trouble locking out 20 pound dumbells in an overhead press. More so with the left, which is still a slight issue in benching. As of late december 2013 I had almost no pain in my shoulders and was pressing 135-155 in the barbell seated press. I still have issues squatting with shoulder tightness/flexibility. But lifting has virtually eliminated shoulder pain. I mean I had to be careful how I slept because my shoulders hurt so much. To now where I look forward to pressing and shrugging.

Now I don't directly know much about arthritic knees, but I think I would approach them the same way. Work them just a bit harder each time.

01-02-2014, 10:51 PM
She can make strength gains using isometric exercises which tend to hurt less. Hopefully she can tolerate doing an air squat and holding it for 20 seconds then resting 10 seconds and repeating again for example. There are plenty of exercises I could rattle off really but a physical therapist should be involved to start if possible.
I'm really not sure why her physician didn't prescribe physical therapy as that's basically standard of care for her condition. You realize docs get paid to operate and so being conservative first isn't necessarily a bad thing. After joint replacement, problems tend to snowball with other joints due to altered mechanics. She may also has some other contraindications working against proceeding with surgery. With respect to exercise and her pain, strength gains correlate with improved function but not decreased pain unfortunately. She's lucky to have a husband like you looking out for her. Keep up the fight!