Best Exercise Equipment For Bad Knees – Read This

Best Exercise Equipment For Bad Knees

Just because you have sore knees doesn’t mean that you have to give up your workout altogether. 

If you have bad knees, it can be difficult to find the best exercise equipment for your workout. Many options are available, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. It is important to understand what type of equipment will work best for your individual needs in order to ensure that you get the most out of a workout.

The best exercise machines for bad knees includes: 

  • Vibration plate 
  • Stair stepper 
  • Recumbent bike
  • Elliptical machine
  • Treadmill
  • Rowing machine

Best Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees: Listed

Given below is a list of the best exercise equipment that you can get your hands on if you have bad knees. Dive in! 

Equipment  Recommended Options 
Vibration plate  LifePro Waver Vibration Plate Ellison FitMax KM-818 3D XL Vibration Plate 
Stair stepper  Carbon HIIT H Series Cross-trainer StairMaster StepMill 3
Recumbent bike Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709
Elliptical machine NordicTrack FS14iSole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
Treadmill NordicTrack T SeriesHorizon Fit T202 Treadmill
Rowing machine NordicTrack RW900Stamina X Air Rower

Vibration Plate 

Vibration plates are highly effective for all muscle groups. These machines offer a low-impact way to exercise without having to do any strenuous resistance training. 

It works by using gentle vibrations to stimulate the muscles and strengthen them without putting too much pressure on your joints. The vibrations also help improve circulation, which can reduce knee pain and inflammation.

Functionally, the vibration plate helps to reduce muscle tension, improve flexibility, and increase coordination. It also helps to strengthen the core muscles that support your body, leading to better balance and stability.

When using a vibration plate for bad knees, it’s important to start off slow and gradually increase the intensity as you get used to the machine. Start by standing on the plate with both feet and gently shifting your weight to activate the vibrations. As you get more comfortable, you can experiment with different motions, such as stepping side-to-side and bending and straightening your knees.

Stair Stepper 

Think of this movement as doing a shallow lunge without the balance issues and pressure. 

The stair stepper is a great exercise option for people with bad knees because it helps to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. It also works all of your leg muscles and helps improve cardiovascular health.

It engages your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves as you move up and down the stairs.  

Try to only move your legs in an up-and-down motion and avoid any jerky or sudden movements. Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise, as this will help support your lower body and reduce strain on your knees.

Recumbent Bike 

These bikes differ from conventional training bikes in three different ways. 

  1. The pedals are closer to the ground so you don’t have to push as hard. 
  2. You get large and well-padded seats which go easy on your joints. 
  3. You can alter the resistance level to adapt your workout. 

This is a great low-impact exercise option for people with bad knees. If you want more benefits, you can go with a recumbent bike with upper-body resistance bands. This way, you will squeeze in an all-body workout without buying any extra equipment. 

Elliptical Machine 

Elliptical machines allow for a circular range of motion which is incredibly gentle on the knees. This machine combines the benefits of a cross-country ski machine, a bicycle, and a stair stepper. 

You have to move your legs in an oval pattern while your arms move back and forth around the handles. The motion of the pedals is designed in such a way that it tones the muscles of the lower body while working on the cardiovascular system.

When using an elliptical machine, it’s important to pay attention to your posture and alignment. Keep your back straight, and make sure that you are pushing off from the toe pedals rather than from your heels. This will help to minimize any stress on your knee joints.

Note: Avoid using an elliptical machine if you have any sort of inflammation of serious knee injury. 


There is a widespread belief that using a treadmill might put more stress on your bones and joints instead of helping. While that can be true to a certain extent, if you are someone who is not suffering from any serious injury, getting a treadmill can be quite beneficial for you. 

Furthermore, treadmills also offer an incline feature which lets you adjust the difficulty level based on your fitness level and goals. 

When using a treadmill, it’s important to pay attention to your posture and alignment. Stand tall with a straight back and ensure your feet are parallel to the belt at all times. This will help to reduce any strain on your knee joints.

To prevent knee injuries when using a treadmill: 

  1. Stretch before and after your walk/run
  2. Wear proper footwear with good arch support 
  3. Make sure to keep your spine straight 
  4. Know your limits and never overburden yourself when working out 

Rowing Machine 

Looking for a full-body workout option? Look no further than rowing machines. They offer a low-impact workout and come with an array of resistance settings, so you can make your workout easy or challenging as you go. 

All in all, this is a wonderful way to get your heart rate up without putting too much strain on your joints. Look for one with footrests and padded seats for additional comfort.  

Tip: Go for a water/magnetic rowing machine if you have knee pain as these mimic a natural & fluid movement. 

Factors to Consider when Choosing Exercise Equipment for Bad Knees

Just like you cannot find a one-size-fits-all diet for each type of body, you must also ensure that your exercise equipment is tuned to your needs. Let us understand some points that you should look for in your exercise equipment. 

Type of Knee Pain

One of the most important factors to consider when trying to find exercise equipment suitable for bad knees is the type of knee pain you are experiencing. If your knee pain is due to arthritis, certain exercise machines may be better suited than others. 

For instance, low-impact machines such as a recumbent bike or elliptical trainer can be beneficial for those with arthritis. On the other hand, high-impact machines such as treadmills and stair climbers may be too hard on already damaged joints.

Keep in mind that up-down movements might exert greater stress on the knees, whereas circular movements are substantially friendlier on the joints. 

Look for a machine with a smooth, low-impact motion so that your pre-existing knee discomfort does not get worse. 


If you care about your knees, then go for machines with ample padding. This helps to minimize the amount of stress that is placed on your joints while exercising. Look for machines with adjustable seats and handles so you can customize them to fit your body comfortably. Additionally, some machines come with built-in foam padding that can provide extra cushioning and support. 

Knee Support 

A machine which offers good adjustability features will allow for a wider range of motion, without you having to adjust to its preset positioning. 

What works for some as tall as 6 feet might not work for a person who is 5 feet tall. When purchasing exercise equipment, it is best to try it on beforehand and get a feel, ensuring that you’re always getting the right amount of support necessary. 


The last thing you would want when already dealing with joint/knee pain is the risk of injury. Therefore, grip is one of the most crucial features that you should not compromise on. 

Look for machines with non-slip handles or straps so you can stay in control while exercising. Additionally, if possible, look for machines with adjustable grip settings so you can customize them to your own individual needs.


There are a variety of different types of exercise equipment that can be used for those with bad knees. All the options listed above provide low-impact options to work out the entire lower body while providing plenty of support and stability. 

Be sure to pay attention to your posture and alignment when using any type of equipment, as this will help to minimize any stress on your knee joints.

Thanks for reading!

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