I always like to finish on a positive note so lets get the WORST out of the way!
WORST Machines for Knee Pain
Knee pain is not always but often times stemmed from weak muscles which surround and support the knee. It seems logical to use a specific machine in efforts to target a specific muscle for correction HOWEVER. This machine was not built in design for you. Adjustments are necessary to take into account your total height, heights speciac to your femur length vs this length as well as specific mechanics of your knee joint and patella alignment. The best adjustments still will not adapt and fit to your body’s natural mechanics in all these areas. You and “The Rock” are two very different people with very different body types. (Unless he gets a hold of this of course!)
Knee Curl Machine
These machines come in more variety, some better than others. However, the same philosophy as stated above is the reason for avoiding this machine when you have knee pain. Also remember that different angles of movement will target different muscles and that typically the stronger muscle will activate to create your desired movement, overriding the smaller stabilizers. Without these specific angles this will further worsen the imbalances which are leading to your knee pain.
This one should be self explanatory but sometimes misses the mark. Natural mechanics are You Moving upon the Ground, not the other way around. Running in general should be avoided with knee pain as the impact will always take its toll on the weakest point. The weakest point is unknown unless previously checked by a professional. A repetitive motion that doesn’t allow opportunity of control will not and can not take care of the problem.
Recommended Machines for Knee Pain
We saw the treadmill create a lot of impact on the knee and other joints of the body. One way to lessen this impact is by using an elliptical. It creates a similar movement in space but with the assistance and support of this machine. I recommend that just like any walking/running movement pattern, you allow your arms to move freely and naturally by your side and without holding unto the machine which has no adjustments for your natural movement requirements.
This is probably my favorite recommendation for knee pain. With proper adjustments to the machine you can get fluid in plane motion of the knee with adjustments in resistance to fit your current level. Just make sure that your ankle/knee/hip stay in plane with each other and that your know has free motion of flexion and extension without over extending.
This is your squat assistance! You may suffer from knee pain but it doesn’t mean that you’re not still out there living your day to day. In assumption that you are still walking, moving and practicing movement a squat is an everyday unavoidable activity so you might as well do it right. The leg press allows you to practice a proper squat with adjustments to how much weight you load. Getting up from a chair or toilet you are required to leg press your body weight. On a machine you have options for less so you can gain proper alignment, mechanics and gain active recruitment of the muscles that aren’t regularly being activated from imbalances.
I hope you find this helpful and remember to share with a friend!
–Alba, Trainer In PINK