So you have bad knees and want to know what yoga poses you can do that won’t give you too much discomfort.
Having bad knees would put a lot of people off doing yoga.
It’s understandable as you’d think that most exercise would make a bad knee worse.
However, it’s often quite the opposite. Exercise including yoga can do you and your knee a world of good.
Depending on what’s wrong with your knee, you should be able to either modify or continue with yoga safely.
Exercise can be very helpful in recovering from injury or helping to reduce knee issues as it can help strengthen the knee joint, surrounding muscles and ligaments whilst gently allowing your knee to move through it’s full range of motion.
Done correctly yoga can indeed increase the overall health or your knees.
Done badly and you could make things worse. This is why making sure you have great alignment will help reduce the chances of further injuries.
So take your time, line your body up and make sure each yoga asana is done correctly.
Depending on the severity of your knee pain, and whether there is a major issue that restricts your from doing any exercise of which you should seek advice from a qualified doctor or physician, then you will be able to safely continue with yoga.
We will look at some yoga poses you can do with bad knees and which yoga poses that should be modified if you have a bad knee.
Yoga poses for people with bad knees
If you have bad knees through injury and you are still recovering then it’s advisable that you wait for the ho ahead from your doctor before starting any rehab plan such as yoga.
If you have been given the go ahead or you are living with long term bad knees then here are some yoga poses that will help.
The following yoga poses should offer strength and stability to a bad knee over time. Of course if you feel acute pain doing these exercises dont be afraid to use straps, towels, yoga blocks or some sort of support to get into and out of position.
Generally speaking try to avoid over straightening in leg extension movements such as standing forward lean. And secondly be careful on lunge poses. Take your time getting into and out of position.
Yoga For People With Bad Knees – The best Yoga poses to help strengthen your bad knee
Here are some of the best yoga poses that may help strengthen a bad knee.
Follow the eight poses in order holding each for 5-10 breaths or 30-60 seconds each.
Repeat this for two rounds.
- Mountain pose
- Chair pose
- High lunge
- Warrior 2
- Bridge pose
- Seated forward Kean
- Bow pose
- Easy pose
The yoga poses in more detail to help strengthen bad knees
If you are unfamiliar with the yoga poses used here today to strengthen your bad knees then take a look through the step by step instructions below.
Standing with your feet together, lift your chest and ribcage up, roll your shoulders back and down and pull your navel in. Tuck your chin in slightly and look straight forward.
Hold this position as you try to stay as upright as possible with great posture.
Chair pose is almost a squat and is great for gently increasing the strength of your knees. If you feel comfortable you are welcome to try to sit lower in his position. Just don’t let your hips past your knees.
From mountain pose, lift your arms above your head, palms facing inwards, and then gently push your hips back and sit down in an imaginary chair.
To start go as far as you feel comfortable and hold in position.
Make sure your knees are always outside or inline with your big toe and not inside, i.e. do not let our knees fall inwards towards each other.
Maintain a straight back throughout.
Next is high lunge, another great knee strengthening pose.
There are a few ways to get into mountain pose. From Chair pose, return to mountain pose, and then take a big step backward and place your back knee on the floor.
With your front knee aligned over your heel lift your back knee up off the floor and stand strong in the lunge position.
As you inhale bring your arms up above your head and palms together.
You have the option to hold this position or take your arms down, back and round as you exhale and raise them back up again in a circular motion as you inhale for the crescent variation.
Similar to a high lunge pose the warrior 2 pose requires you to take a lunge stance. Once in your wide lunge, front knee over your heel, take your rear foot and rotate out by 45 degrees, both feet should be flat on the floor.
Raise your arms out, parallel to the floor, one arm points forward and one reaches backwards as you hold warrior 2 pose.
Bridge pose will help your bad knee by increasing glute and hamstring strength.
To do bridge pose, lay on the floor with your arms by your side. Pull your heels close to your buttocks within arms reach.
From here squeeze your glutes and lift your hips as high as you can, opening your chest and ribcage, and hold.
Seated forward lean
From the bridge pose, sit up and lean forward as far as you can. If you can’t reach your feet just place your hands as far down your legs as you can and try to rest into position.
You should feel a stretch down the back of your legs and possibly through your back muscles.
Hold in position.
The forward lean is a great hamstring stretching exercise if you have bad knees.
Bow pose is a slightly more advanced yoga pose so just do your best and see what you can do as this will help to stretch your quadriceps muscles down the front of your thigh.
These muscles cross the knee so it’s important to keep these muscles healthy to help ease knee pain.
From Seated forward lean, move onto your front. Lay on our belly, bring your heels as close to your butt as you can and reach back and take hold of your ankles.
Trying to keep your knees no wider than hip with, inhale and push your feet away from your body, lift your thighs and chest off the floor and hold.
The movement of pulling your feet away from your butt will cause your chest to rise up.
To finsih, sit up in this modified easy pose.
Sit down on the floor and place your feet together. Pull them in close, sit up tall with your chest up, shoulders back, and let your thighs gently drop to the floor.
Hold this for pose for 10 slow breaths and then repeat the yoga sequence above.
The bottom line is if it hurts don’t do it. You want to practice safe exercises in yoga to aid your recovery or as a workaround.
You can still enjoy yoga with a bad knee. There are many yoga poses that do not use the knee much. Your best bet is to try lots of poses and flows to see what you can and cannot do.