Having cranky knees can really be crippling to exercising or doing certain exercises that you want to. Plyometric are a great way to tone your lower body, however, these can be extremely painful and cause further damage to your knees.
I commonly get asked for modifications or substitution exercises from people who have knee issues.
I absolutely hate to see people discouraged by any type of mobility issues, yet always want to stay mindful of doctor’s instructions and causing more issues or flair ups.
Doing the same type of exercise repetitively can contribute to increased pain or cause past injuries to flare up. The daily repetition of the exercise irritates the area and does not provided the rest needed or the strengthening of supporting muscles.
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
Aside from ensuring you incorporate rest days and changing up your exercises and routine, understanding how to modify exercises can make a huge difference and still keep you moving!
Modifying exercises can provide you with similar results as doing the unmodified exercise and provide a way to strengthen the muscles that are engaged during the exercise.
Finding modified versions of plyometric lower body exercises can be challenging and become discouraging.
Use the following modifications for each of these exercises the next time you have plyometric exercises in your workout.
Jumping squats – Rather than going from squat to coming off of the floor, try going from the squat to up on your toes. Also remember to sit back and down so that your knees do not go over your toes. Only go down into the squat as far as you are able to do so without compromising your knee position.
Skaters – Rather than bounding from side to side, simply wide step from side to side. Avoid going too far down into the lunge or causing twisting on your stability knee.
Butt kicks – This is really about avoiding repetitive bouncing on your knees. Simply stand and lift your heel to your butt, rotating each leg.
High knees – Again, this is about avoiding the repetitive bouncing on your knees. Similar to the butt kick, try just lifting your knees up to your chest. You can also try walking forward as you do these to increase the level of difficulty without adding strain on your knees.
Plank Jacks – these kill my knees if I do them too frequently. A simple fix to this is to step each foot alternating in and out. You still get the hip and core strengthening with this exercise, but eliminate the pounding on the knees.