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The 7 Best Cardio Machines for Bad Knees

The best cardio machines for bad knees are low-impact exercises for damaged knees. This, however, does not mean you won’t break a sweat doing these exercises. It only means you go from pain-free and bad knees to great legs when using these best cardio machines

Before beginning any exercise for bad knees, you must obtain medical counsel to know what exercises are good for you and those that aren’t.

7 Best Cardio Machines for Bad Knees

  1. Recumbent Bike

The recumbent is one of the best cardio machines for bad knees
Credit: Life Fitness

If you have sore knees, a recumbent bike is excellent workout equipment because it doesn’t put additional strain on your joints. Your legs are extended while you sit on a seat and peddle. The workout machine includes adjustable resistance levels and back support.

With minimal effort required from your upper body muscles, recumbent bikes work up your lower body muscles.


When utilizing a recumbent bike, you can do a few things to avoid knee discomfort. Consider downshifting and pedaling more quickly.

Your knees will be less stressed if you apply less force to the pedals.


  • Low-impact cardio equipment that offers back support
  • You may modify the resistance levels to suit your demands when working out.


  • This kind of workout apparatus is not particularly interesting.
  1. Treadmill

Large cardio equipment like treadmills is excellent if you have poor knees since you may attempt various activities and adjust their intensity. These workout devices may be used for running, jogging, and walking. In addition, based on the workout level, you could change the pace and incline.

Most treadmills also have a secure shock absorption system that guards your knees as you exercise. The handlebars also offer support to make riding safer.


Instead of starting your workout by running on the treadmill, you should stroll. As a cardiovascular exercise, your glutes and legs will get stronger by doing a quick 3- to 4-mph walk.

Three to four times a week, begin by walking for 20 to 30 minutes, then progressively increase that time to 45 to 60 minutes.


  • There are several low-intensity walking workouts available.
  • Safety handlebars and a shock-absorbing belt provide additional support.
  • Adjustable inclination adjustments and speed settings


  • Since increasing the intensity of your activity might put more strain on your knees, more caution must be used.
  1. Ski Row

This machine, called ski-row, combines resistance and cardiovascular conditioning. It may be used to practice skiing and rowing. This is a good cardio machine that works on two separate devices.


Bicep curls, arms-only rowing, high rowing, reverse overhead rowing, and single-arm rowing can all be done on a ski row machine. You can experiment with the following exercises in the ski training position: alternating arms, overhead triceps extensions, butterfly, pull-downs, and straight arms.


  • More choices for customization than other forms of workout machinery


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  1. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands is one of the best cardio machines for bad knees

The resistance bands strengthen your tendons, the muscles around your knees, and connective tissue. This low-impact workout can help increase the mobility and stability of your knees while easing discomfort and inflammation.


Exercises like terminal knee extensions, lying hip extensions, front leg extensions, lying glute extensions, and the stork stance may all be performed with resistance bands.


  • Body parts are worked with resistance bands.
  • Economical and practical
  • Excellent for particular muscles


  • Bands are easily broken and snap.
  • If not handled appropriately, it could prove dangerous
  1. Leg Extension Machine

Leg extension machine

Your quads are the main focus of a leg extension machine, which is also crucial for relieving pressure on your knees. Leg extension devices, however, could exacerbate your symptoms if the cause of your knee discomfort is joint degeneration.


When using a leg extension machine, you must exercise extreme caution. Your knees should be in line with the pivot point on the sear’s tip. Please ensure the back pad is adjusted, then firmly push your lower back on it. Instead of starting the action with your feet directly beneath you, start it with them a few inches out.


  • Your quads are isolated.
  • Improves the squats
  • No stress on your back or hips; it improves the condition of your knees and quads.


  • It might also place more strain on your knees if not misused.
  1. Leg Curl

Credit: Sorinex,com

Using leg curl machines may strengthen your legs and the muscles across your lower body. Additionally, they help to support your knees.


Make sure the leg curling machine is positioned appropriately for your height. When you’re reclining on the bench, the cushioned bar should rest on your ankles, slightly above your heels, and below your calves. A few inches should separate your feet.

You must choose the proper weight as well. Lifting should be strenuous while yet allowing for a complete range of motion.


Strengthen hamstring


It might also place more strain on your knees if used inappropriately

  1. Stationary Bike

The stationary bike is one of the best cardio machines for your home

This is similar to using a real bike, but indoors. Using this training equipment, you are compelled to sit up straight and engage your core muscles to move and pedal the bike.

Whether you want a more strenuous or gentler workout, you may decrease or increase the friction on some stationary exercise bikes.


Setting the seat height correctly is crucial while using a stationary bike. Your seat should be adjusted so that your knees may remain straight while seated at the bottom pedal position. Additionally, the seat must be level and not slant either upward or downward.


  • Resistance may be changed.
  • Convenient conventional bike design
  • Cheaper alternative to several other forms of fitness equipment


  • No upper-body muscular groups are addressed.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Workout Machine for Bad Knees

Type of Activity

The most excellent workout equipment you may get depends on the type of exercise you want. For instance, if you’re interested in cardiac training, a rowing machine or an elliptical trainer could be your best bet. This kind of exercise equipment offers a full-body, low-impact workout.

Consider equipment with adjustable degrees of resistance, like a recumbent bike, if having strength is your first concern.


You should be able to modify your workout based on the sort of knee discomfort you experience.

Experts frequently recommend recumbent bikes and elliptical trainers for those with knee issues. This is due to the equipment’s low-impact training and gentle motions, which shouldn’t worsen your knee discomfort.

This isn’t always the case, though. Circular motions performed repeatedly might exacerbate inflammation. Therefore, physical therapists frequently suggest squats, shallow bodyweight lunges, and walking.


When exercising, padding is crucial, but it becomes much more essential if you have sensitive joints and knees. Therefore, a priority in an exercise machine for poor knees should be some padding and lots of it. Padding provides protection and reduced impact during exercises.


Your workout equipment has to be flexible because everyone has different demands.

Additionally, flexibility enables you to customize the amount of assistance to your requirements as those requirements change.

Foot Grip

Another essential aspect to consider is the grip because choosing the wrong one might result in various issues, including falls, slips, inflammation, and joint discomfort.

Selecting the appropriate gym equipment may strengthen your body and improve your conditioning while remaining safe and comfortable.

If your grasp is firm, you’ll find it simpler to maintain your form and balance throughout workouts. It will increase stability and lessen the chance of suffering more knee problems. The ideal non-slip surface is firm since it will be gentle on your joints.


Another critical requirement is the quality of the workout apparatus. You don’t want anything that will quickly lose its quality or function. Spending a little bit more on a purchase can ensure you get a quality item that will last.


You can work out comfortably because of the cushioning and adaptability. If you don’t feel comfortable working out, you’ll be less likely to exercise frequently and risk further harm to your knees and other body parts.

Reliability and Durability

Dependability and durability go hand in hand. Your exercise equipment should be durable and robust.


Of course, you want to get the best possible deal. Everyone wants to get the best value for their money.


The exercises that are efficient and safe are the best for bad knees. The best cardio machines for bad knees offer you just that. You, however, need to consider many factors before getting the one that suits you.

If your pain is severe, you should contact your physician before choosing any of the machines above.

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