What Exercise Equipment and Machines Are Best for Bad Knees, Knee Recovery, and Rehabilitation?
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Are you suffering from knee pain or osteoporosis or recovering from a knee injury? Then you might be wondering about the best exercise equipment for bad knees. Finding the right exercise equipment or style of workout can be difficult when the simplest activities cause pain.

High-impact exercise equipment can cause more damage than good for anyone with bad knees. But the good news is that plenty of exercises, stretches, and low-impact exercise equipment can help reduce the pain and get your blood pumping and heart racing.

In this post, we’re going to share some of the best exercise equipment and machines for people with bad knees. They are all safe and effective to use.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees and Rehabilitation

Factors to Consider When Choosing Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees and Rehabilitation

When it comes to exercising with bad knees, there’s no one-size fits all solution. Whether choosing exercise equipment for seniors with bad knees or the best exercise machine for knee rehabilitation, the wise approach is to concentrate on a few factors.

Type of Exercise

The type of exercise you’re planning will influence the best exercise equipment you can buy. For example, are you interested in cardio exercise? Then a rowing machine or elliptical trainer might be the best option. This type of exercise machine provides a low-impact, total-body workout.

If building strength is a priority, it might be best to consider a machine that provides adjustable resistance levels, such as a recumbent bike.

Type of Knee Pain/Movement

Knee pain comes in different forms, so you want to be able to adjust your workout depending on the type of knee pain you suffer from.

The information you find online tends to recommend recumbent bikes and elliptical machines for people with knee problems. This is because these machines involve low-impact exercise and smooth movements that won’t aggravate your knee pain.

However, this is not necessarily the case. Repetitive circular movements can also worsen inflammation. Physical therapists tend to recommend squats and shallow bodyweight lunges along with walking.


Padding is essential when working out if you’ve got sensitive joints. Therefore, plenty of cushioning should be a priority in an exercise machine for bad knees. Padding minimizes the impact of a workout and protects your knees.


Different people have different needs, so your exercise equipment must be adjustable. Not only that, but adjustability also means you’ll be able to tailor the level of support to your needs as those needs change.

Foot Grip

The grip is another vital factor to consider because the wrong kind can lead to a range of problems. These include falls, slips, inflammation, and joint pain.

Choose the right gym equipment, and you’ll be comfortable and safe while improving your conditioning and building strength.

If the grip is good, you’ll find it easier to keep your form and balance during your exercises. It will provide stability and reduce the risk of further knee injuries. A firm nonslip surface is best because it’ll be easy on your joints.


The quality of the exercise equipment is another vital factor. You don’t want something that’s low quality or easily worn out. It’s better to spend a little bit more on your purchase and be sure you’ve got a good product that will last.


Cushioning and adjustability both allow you to exercise without feeling uncomfortable. If you’re not comfortable while exercising, you’ll be less likely to exercise regularly. You could cause further damage, not just to your knees but also to other parts of your body.

Durability & Reliability

Reliability and durability are two factors that are inextricably linked. You want your exercise equipment to be both tough and resilient.


Of course, you want good value for money. Ideally, you want your purchase to be the best you can afford.

Which exercise equipment or machines are best for Osteoporosis and bad knees?

Exercise bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals, and similar cardio machines are good exercise equipment for working out when you’ve got bad knees. Free weights, resistance bands, and other strength training items can also provide good workouts.

We’ll look at these in more detail, but the important thing to remember is that people with bad knees should do low-impact exercises that don’t stress the knees too much.

People with knee problems should use weight machines like leg curl and leg extension machines with a light resistance setting.

Elliptical Machine

Elliptical Machine

An elliptical machine gives users a full-body workout. It’s great for people with bad knees because it doesn’t stress the knee joints.

Elliptical training machines combine elements of running, walking, and biking.

How to Use

Hold the handles to provide support and stability when using an elliptical trainer, and engage your upper body. Keep your feet in line with the pedals and maintain an upward stance. Don’t lean forward or round your lower back, and don’t lift your heels off the pedals.


  • Works all muscles at the same time
  • No pressure is put on muscles
  • Resistance is adjustable


  • There is no incline setting

Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are excellent if you want to develop strength and conditioning throughout your body.

You strap your feet into the machine, sit on a sliding seat, and mimic the action of rowing a boat. The resistance is adjustable, depending on your needs. It is an excellent machine for building strength in your legs, back, and arms, but without putting additional pressure on your knees.

How to Use

Keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed when pulling back on the rowing machine, and lean back slightly as you fully extend. When you release and rest before the next stroke, bend your knees.


  • Resistance is adjustable
  • Delivers a low-impact workout
  • Strength-building machine for the whole body


  • It takes time to get used to using the rowing machine

Stationary Bike

Stationary Bike

You use a stationary bike much the same as a regular bike, but do it at home. With this type of exercise equipment, you’re forced to sit up straight and use your core muscles when moving and pedaling the bike.

Some stationary exercise bikes have resistance settings that mean you can decrease or increase the friction, depending on whether you want a tougher or easier workout.

How to Use

When using a stationary bike, getting the seat height right is essential. Your seat should be set at a height that allows you to keep your knees straight at the bottom pedal position. The seat should also be flat and not tilted downward or upward. Always keep your knees and feet pointing straight ahead.


  • Resistance is adjustable
  • Easy-to-use regular bike design
  • More affordable option than many other types of exercise machine


  • Upper muscle areas aren’t targeted

Leg Curl

Leg Curl

Leg curl machines are a form of resistance training that allows you to strengthen your lower body and your leg muscles, in particular. At the same time, they support your knees.

Leg curls can help to relieve your knee pain because they strengthen your hamstrings.

How to Use

When you use a leg curl machine, ensure it is adjusted for your height. The padded bar should rest on your ankles just above your heels and below your calves when you’re lying on the bench. Your feet should be a few inches apart. It’s also important that you get the weight right. It should be challenging to lift but also allow the full range of motion.


  • Isolates your hamstrings
  • Strengthens deadlifts
  • Can improve hamstring flexibility
  • Puts no stress on your hips or back


  • Puts greater stress on your knees

Leg Extension Machine

A leg extension machine targets your quads, which is also important for taking pressure off your knees. However, if the reason for your knee pain is joint deterioration, leg extension machines could make the symptoms worse.

How to Use

Great care has to be taken when you use a leg extension machine. You should align your knees with the pivot point at the end of the seat. Adjust the back pad and press your lower back firmly against it. You can decrease the tension by starting the movement with your feet positioned a few inches out rather than underneath you.


  • Isolates your quads
  • Strengthens squats
  • Improves knee and quad health
  • Puts no stress on your back or hips


  • Puts greater stress on your knees

Recumbent Bike

A recumbent bike is a great exercise machine if you’ve got painful knees because it doesn’t put additional stress on your joints. You sit on a seat and pedal with your legs outstretched. The exercise equipment has back support and a variety of resistance settings.

Recumbent bikes work out your lower body muscles, and no effort is required from your upper body muscles.

How to Use

There are some things you can do if you want to prevent knee pain when using a recumbent bike. Try shifting to a lower gear and pedaling faster. When you put less pressure on the pedals, you stress your knees less. Gravity tries to pull your feet off the pedals of a recumbent bike. You can stop this from happening with clipless pedals and matching shoes.


  • A cardio exercise machine that’s low impact
  • Provides back support
  • Resistance settings are adjustable depending on your workout needs


  • This type of exercise equipment is not very engaging



Treadmills are large cardio machines and are great if you’ve got bad knees because you can try several different exercises and change their intensity. You can use these exercise machines for walking, jogging, and running. In addition, you should be able to adjust the speed and incline depending on the intensity of exercise you want.

Most treadmills also feature a safe shock absorption that protects your knees during your workout. The handlebars also provide support for a safer experience.

How to Use

You should start your exercise routine by walking on the treadmill rather than running. A brisk walk at a pace of 3 to 4 mph is a very efficient cardiovascular workout that will strengthen your glutes and legs. Start walking for 20 to 30 minutes and gradually work your way up to 45 to 60 minutes, three to four times a week.


  • Various low-intensity walking exercises are possible
  • Handlebars for safety and shock absorption belt for extra support
  • Adjustable speed settings and adjustable incline


  • Extra care has to be taken as increasing the workout intensity can put extra strain on your knees

Ski Row

A ski-row machine combines cardio and resistance training. You can use it for skiing and rowing training with six suggested rowing exercises and nine ski training exercises.

A ski row machine brings the benefits of interval and cardio training without needing space for two machines.

How to Use

You can use a ski row machine for bicep curls, arms-only rowing, high rowing, reverse overhead rowing, and single-arm rowing. In the ski training position, you can try the following moves: alternating arms, overhead tricep extension, butterfly, pull-downs, and straight arm.


  • More customization options than other types of exercise equipment


  • Only upper body muscles targeted

Resistance Band

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands help you strengthen your tendons, muscles surrounding your knees, and connective tissue. This low-impact exercise can also improve the stability and mobility of your knees while alleviating pain and reducing inflammation.

How to Use

You can use resistance bands to do several exercises. Try terminal knee extensions, lying hip extensions, front leg extensions, lying knee extensions, lying glute extensions, or the stork stance.


  • Resistance bands work the whole body
  • Cost-effective and convenient
  • Great for defining specific muscles


  • Bands can snap and break easily
  • Dangerous if not used properly

What Types of Exercises and Machines Should Everyone With Knee Pain and Meniscus Tear Avoid?

What Types of Exercises and Machines Everyone With Knee Pain and Meniscus Tear Should Avoid?

Certain types of exercise can be too strenuous for people with meniscus tears. You should not:

  • Do deep squats
  • Pivot or otherwise twist the knee
  • Use free weights to make any of the movements mentioned above harder


If your knees are painful, you’ll probably have no problem talking yourself out of any form of exercise. But find the best exercise equipment for bad knees, use it regularly, and it will relieve pain and help you recover from any knee injury.

One of the best ways to relieve knee pain is through safe and effective exercise. Best Used Gym Equipment is a supplier of top-quality-used exercise machines and equipment that won’t break the bank. You’ll find exercise and gym equipment from leading industry manufacturers. Members of the team also have the right amount of knowledge to guide clients in their selection of the best wholesale fitness equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best exercise machines if you have bad knees? A recumbent cross trainer is one of the best exercise machines for people with bad knees because it offers low-impact workouts that put no stress on your knees. The reclined seat also relieves stress on your back and joints.

Which is better for bad knees, an elliptical machine or a stationary bike?

An elliptical machine is better for bad knees because it takes the pressure off your back and hips and the training position makes it comfortable for anyone in severe pain.

Is a treadmill or elliptical better for bad knees?

An elliptical workout can be better for bad knees because it generates less stress and impact on the knees.

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