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SportsMed News

4 Exercises To Avoid If You Have Knee Discomfort

October 7, 2016

Having knee discomfort isn’t an excuse for you to stop exercising on a daily basis, and it doesn’t mean you’ll have to deal with pain for the rest of your life. There are certain exercises that you may be doing which are aggravating the pain in your knees from your arthritis or a previous injury. Certain movements, which you may have been doing wrong for a long time can develop into the current situation where you’re encountering pain.

We’re covering four exercises that you should avoid at all costs if you are experiencing knee discomfort.

Improper Squatting

Anyone with experience in bio-mechanics of the human body will cringe when they hear someone in the gym saying that “squats are the worst exercise for bad knees.” No, improper squatting is the worst exercise for bad knees, but squatting with proper form may actually alleviate knee pain altogether.

If you don’t perform your squats in a proper way, you’ll be exposing yourself to some serious injuries that accumulate over time, and your existing injuries are being further aggravated. You should avoid excessive forward movement of your knees when squatting, although a slight movement is acceptable. The primary squatting movement should be originating at your hips, with your back in a neutral position at all times. The main cues to take note of include keeping the chest up and thighs slightly below parallel to the floor when squatting, while looking straight ahead. Have a certified trainer monitor your movements if you have an existing knee injury so you do it well the first time and develop a habit from there. Be careful though, there are trainers out there who may not notice inconsistencies in your squatting form. A second opinion will usually help with that.


We can’t stress this enough, but exercises involving jumping or some form of heavy landing is a giant “no-no” for those experiencing debilitating knee pain. Not only is jumping a high-impact activity that shocks the joints in your knees, but the force that you put on your knees actually exceeds your body weight upon impact. Avoid such exercises, or perform them sparingly and only when needed.

Suicide Running Drill

That one exercise that every coach would get you to do back in high school has got to be one of the most dangerous exercises to perform for those with arthritis or a weak knee. A weak knee is one that has had previous injuries to the meniscus, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). These exercises not only require quick directional change, but the impact from heavy sprinting, absolutely destroys the knee. With an already weak structure in your knee, sudden directional changes will exacerbate knee pain and may even cause a relapse in your injury. Avoid suicide running drills completely.

Running on Concrete

Running isn’t usually a problem for people experiencing knee pain, unless it is done aggressively. Avoid running on concrete and opt for softer surfaces like tracks and level surfaces. Sprinting is highly discouraged too due to the heavy and rapid impact that it presents to your knees. For those that live in the city, opt to run at your nearest park on the grass, or gravel paths. If that isn’t an option, make sure your shoes are cushioned, and offer the support you’ll need to keep running longer.

In need of Knee Injury Rehabilitation? Schedule an Appointment Today!

If you have any questions, or want a consultation with a professional, feel free to call, or schedule an appointment online at any of our Bergen County or Passaic County offices in New Jersey. Choose from Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood/Ho-Ho-Kus, and/or Clifton – we make it possible for you to visit any of our offices at your convenience.