We all know that exercising is essential for living a healthy lifestyle, but it's not always easy if you suffer with painful knees. Running, and various other high-impact exercises might be counterproductive if you've ever suffered from a knee injury, or you're attempting to recover after damage to the joint.
The more stress you put on your knees during high-impact exercises, even when wearing a knee compression sleeve designed to support the joint, the more chance you have of exacerbating the problem and damaging your knees even further. Fortunately, there are a variety of low-impact machines at your local gym that you can still use to strengthen your muscles and improve your fitness levels - without placing undue strain on your joints.
1. Elliptical Machine
The Elliptical machine is one of the best gym machines for painful joints, ideal for anyone who's looking to get a good low-impact, full-body workout. According to experts, these gym machines are the best options for older adults and individuals with a tendency to develop shin splints during exercise. Because the elliptical is much more forgiving on the joints when compared to other options such as treadmills, they're often the best solution for individuals who want to continue completing up-right exercises after an injury.
The motions you'll do will be somewhere between running or walking, and biking, which means that you'll use your legs to propel movement. However elliptical machines also offer a workout for your arms by utilizing them as the secondary force in movement.
2. Stationary Bike
Another of the best gym machines for painful joints is the stationary bike. These machines are often recommended by physical therapy experts for people who want to stay active when recovering from knee-related surgeries or injuries. Most gyms will offer the choice between an upright and recumbent bike, but the upright option is typically better for beginners, because it allows them the comfort of a reclined position.
Alternatively, the upright back is set up similarly to a mountain bike, which forces your workout to take place sitting up, using your core muscles for posture as you peddle. Like rowing machines, most stationary bikes will allow you to choose your own resistance setting.
3. Rowing Machines
Finally, rowing machines offer a combination of strength-building and cardiovascular benefits for people in search of gym machines for painful joints. To get the most out of a rowing machine, you simply strap your feet into the right areas and sit on a seat that moves forwards and backwards during your workout. Grabbing a bar located near the feet, you pull towards your stomach, while extending your back and pushing down with your feet.
A rowing machine is a great way to build up your legs, arms, and back without placing any additional pressure on your knees. Most rowing machines also come with resistance settings that can either increase, or decrease the friction of the chain when you want to use more upper-body strength in your exercise routine.