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Exercising With Knee Pain: What Can You Do?

​Knee pain is one of the most common running injuries, but don’t let it prevent you from staying active. There are still plenty of ways to exercise and stay healthy while dealing with knee pain. Here is a list of some ways that you can do that and avoid aggravating your cranky knees!

​Running Without Pain

​The first thing is: can you run any distance before pain sets in? If you notice at mile three your knee starts to bother you, then take note and stop your run just before that. It is likely that something is happening the further you get into your run, like losing form or a weak core, that is causing your knee pain to ramp up. If you can run any distance without pain, then you can keep on doing the thing you love while letting your injury get worse.

Want to learn the best tips for staying pain free when running?

These are easy to implement right now to help you on your way to avoiding or relieving common running injuries.

Click the link to download this free guide that we put together for you!

Cross Training

​Something like biking, swimming, or an elliptical is less on your joints. This will help you keep your heart health and cardio up while getting over this knee pain. Then you can transition into higher mileage quicker when your pain is at bay. Remember, doing some type of training is better than nothing!

Walking & Hiking

​These could be considered cross training, but for the most part are less intense (depending where you are hiking). I always recommend that people walk daily. Walking at a good pace for 30 minutes or more can be a great way to maintain some cardio and stay active.

Hiking can be as strenuous as you can tolerate, a hike in the woods on mostly level surfaces may be easier on the knees than a hike up and down hills. Just see where your limits are and don’t push past them.

​Strength Training

​There are tons of ways that you can strength train around knee pain. First, you could do upper body and core exercises. Upper body and core training are important for runners to maintain good posture and avoid neck and back pain, as well as improving performance.

Secondly, there may be some lower body exercises that you can do pain free. Try doing some movements that are less pressure on the knees. You could try glute bridges, deadlifts, reverse lunges, and calf raises. Experiment with different movements and do the ones that are pain free.

Talk to a Physical Therapist

​A physical therapist can help you by finding out what exactly is going on with your movement patterns that is aggravating your knees. Is it an overuse injury? Do you need to work on stabilizing your hips or core? There are a lot of things to look at to determine what the root cause of the problem is. Getting checked out sooner, rather than later, will get you back to running much quicker!


Just do your best to stay active in whatever way you can. Find where your limits are and don’t push them, so you can give your knees time to heal. Get help if it is something that is holding you back or has been hanging around for longer than you think it should.

Is knee pain keeping you from enjoying your runs, spending time with your friends, or hitting personal best’s? Then, click the link here to request a free “discovery visit”.

We will find out exactly what is going on and tell you how we can help you fix it quickly!.


Dr. Brett Dick

PT, DPT, Owner of Limitless Performance Physical Therapy

We Help Active People ​Improve Pain And Performance ​In Their Favorite Sports And Activities.
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