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Cardio for a bad knee? (But not swimming)

(17 Posts)
MillyMollyMandy78 Fri 29-May-15 12:04:10

hi, i am about one and a half stone overweight and i really need to lose weight and increase my stamina/ oveall fitness. I started doing couch to 5k a few weeks ago, so just small bursts of slow jogging. I wore good running trainers etc, but have injured knees as i overpronate quite badly. A week and a half later and i am still struggling to walk for more than a few minutes as pain starts again, wearing knee supports etc, doing all the right things.

I would like to try jogging again at some point but unsure how realistic that is. I really need some regular cardio that i can do. I already walk our dogs daily and prior to injury i was doing a couple of miles a day but one of our dogs is quite old so the pace is really slow and ploddy, so it isn't enough on its own. I can't swim and i am not that comfortable in the water anyway, i also can't ride a bicycle (i know!) tho i do own a stationary bike.

Anyone got any ideas what cardio i can do that will not put any strain on my knees. Would the stationary bike be any good?

NotQuiteCockney Fri 29-May-15 12:07:12

The stationary bike should be good - try it and see how it feels? To check: by pronating, you mean you tend to be a bit knock-kneed, and flat-footed? If you are biking, you want to ensure your knees are straight or out, not sticking in.

Physio is a good idea after this sort of injury - they can treat it, and give you exercises to build up the right muscles and habits so this doesn't happen again.

Pixa Fri 29-May-15 12:07:36

Use your stationary bike! It doesn't cause impact on the knee like running does. smile

SponsoredByTheBadFairy Fri 29-May-15 12:14:29

Is it worth getting referred to get proper orthotic insoles to help correct the over-pronation? I am in no way an expert so forgive me if that's not appropriate!

Stationary bike would be good but you'd have to give it some welly - theoretically your feet and knees shouldn't twist though, so hopefully be OK for your knees. Cross-trainer machine would avoid impact on your knees as it's a smooth, arm-cycle would avoid using your legs at all. Light arm weights and getting your arms pumping while walking maybe (not sure how this would work if you need to have the dogs on leads though). Or brisk walking/hilly walking instead of jogging.

(I can't ride a bike either, in case that makes you feel better!)

BiBaB1 Fri 29-May-15 12:25:46

Crosstrainer! As Notquitecockney says: fysio excercises to start with. They'll strengten the right muscles a bit. I have very weak knees and had knee surgery a couple of years ago. After the first few months fysio excercises, nothing seemed to be painless. I very reluctantly joined the gym and started on the crosstrainer. And it worked fantastically. It really strengthens the legs without any (well, almost none) strain on the knees. Don't know if it works with your particular injury, of course, but it's no impact basically, and the rotating movements on a bike might be painful ..

MillyMollyMandy78 Fri 29-May-15 16:29:22

Thanks for the suggestions! I completely forgot about crosstrainers! I tried the stationary bike just now and it was ok at a lower speed but not when got going a bit faster but i will persevere with it for now. I have a couple of dvds that i will try and the hill walking is something i can build in too (though knees not up to that yet, but hopefully next week or two).

Any of you tried the Shred dvd? I will try that too but not sure if that will be ok for my knees - been a while since i did it so cant remember the content particularly well.

I have some physio exercises that should help and will look into possibility of orthodontics too. BadFairy - I think us non bike riders are a very rare breed, I've yet to meet one in real life!

CiderwithBuda Fri 29-May-15 16:37:22

I have dodgy knees and also over pronate. Couch to 5k definitely exacerbated it. I'm much more over weight than you though.

Cycling is good for knees - especially the recumbant exercise bikes I think.

I'm about to start Aqua aerobics - not sure if that would be a possibility for you?

I'm seeing a chiropodist tomorrow to check out my gait / over pronation. I've damaged my Achilles tendon on one foot as well as it affecting my knees.

If you definitley over pronate try buying some inserts for your trainers. I bought some decent ones in Boots which really help. I also bought supportive ankle supports which help too.

MillyMollyMandy78 Fri 29-May-15 18:32:55

Thanks Cider, i plan to start aqua aerobics in next couple of weeks as there is a class fairly nearby. I definately overpronate (i always wear the inside of slippers/ ballet flats/ ugg type shoes away, particularly on the right foot, which is the one i am getting most pain with now). Good to know that insoles helped you!

lalsy Fri 29-May-15 19:54:56

Hi, I overpronate too (discovered this last year) and have iffy knees. I wear inserts in some shoes (I found some on amazon that are tougher than the high street ones) and mostly wear good trainers now. It has made a massive difference and I am really enjoying exercising - but not running or the shred dvd (a lot of jumping as I remember - my knees definitely got creakier doing it anyway). Aqua, cycling (real and on gym bikes), swimming, cross-trainers and similar at the gym, fast walking (loads of that), some tennis and badminton has all been fine though, as long as I wear supportive shoes. So I have found plenty I can enjoy without a twinge - if I wanted to run I think I'd get advice but I can't see how running on hard surfaces can be good for your knees really, if you've already had problems.

lalsy Fri 29-May-15 19:56:43

If you over-pronate, I really wouldn't wear uggs or ballet pumps and not slippers for long periods. IME anyway. I have found walking trainers really help.

MillyMollyMandy78 Fri 29-May-15 20:48:28

Thank you Lalsy, I wear ballet flats for work but that's all really. I used to wear them a lot but they don't give support

CiderwithBuda Sat 30-May-15 12:58:35

Chiropodists and chiropractors hate ballet flats as much as high heels but for different reasons. No support whatsoever. Definitely avoid.

I'm just back from chiropodist/podiatrist. Had my feet and gait checked. Really interesting. She made me some inserts for trainers and other shoes and adjusted a pair of sandals I was wearing by sticking inserts onto the inner sole of them. I have to massage my plantar fasciitis tendon in my foot. It is incredibly tight! And hurts to massage!

Check if yours is tight - sit with your right ankle propped on your left knee and bend the big toe on your right foot back and feel along the sole of your foot along the inside - you might feel a tight tendon running along the sole that hurts when you press on it. Well mine hurts. Apparently it shouldn't!

If you can afford to see someone I would definitley recommend it. My chiropracter recommended I see someone. I have shoulder, neck and back issues. The lady I saw this morning said that with sorting my feet I should see a difference in those too. And knees.

I'm going back in three weeks.

MillyMollyMandy78 Sat 30-May-15 19:06:29

Thanks for that - will definately look into booking an appointment. I thought they just dealt with corns, bunions etc!

CiderwithBuda Sat 30-May-15 19:29:31

Some just do that. But others do more. You need to check. If you are in or near Taunton I can recommend mine!

lavendersun Sat 30-May-15 19:40:03

I had a nasty Cruciate ligament injury in 2004 which still reminds me it happened at times, the only thing that doesn't aggravate it when it is remotely painful is my x trainer. Cycling is fine until I have to give it a bit of effort on a hill, I stop doing everything but using my x trainer when that happens.

MillyMollyMandy78 Sat 30-May-15 20:11:02

Thanks Cider but nowhere near you unfortunately.

Lavendar - have priced up a few cross trainers as a few people have said they are good for knee injuries etc, so think this may be the way forward for me.

lavendersun Sat 30-May-15 20:30:04

I bought a cheap one to begin with Milly, I live 30 mins drive from a gym so thought it was worth a go. Eight weeks later I sold it and bought a really good one in the JL sale - now four years old and owes me nothing.

I went for a really simple one - no fancy programs or anything to go wrong, just 4 C size batteries in a timer and level console on the front.

I love cycling, love being outside, but, have felt it 'pop' a few times on hills and then been in pain for a week or two.

The other thing that I do is walk a lot, with nordic poles. You do (or I did) feel a bit silly to begin with but it is almost replicating the cross trainer action on footpaths. Still have to watch for uneven ground though as that can make my knee hurt - one wrong stride and it hurts for a bit but I try to either do nordic walking with the dog or cross trainer daily in my effort to regain my fitness!

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