5 Knee Damaging Exercises

Take care of your knees by avoiding these 5 knee damaging exercises.

Do you have knee pain?  You might want to skip these 5 exercises.  Knee pain can be caused by a number of things but the following exercises tend to place unnecessary stress on the joint which can worsen the pain or discomfort. One incredibly disturbing fact is that ALL of these exercises are often shown in the pages of the most popular fitness magazines in the world for both men and women. Please beware of the following (some of the photos below are straight from reputable magazines).

Curtsy Lunges: There aCurtsy-lunges-kettlebellre a number of different ways to perform lunges, including this “curtsy  lunge” that so many popular fitness magazines are promoting. The problem with this lunge is that as you cross your back leg behind you into the lunge position, forces are shoving laterally (side to side) against the knee. This is bad considering the knee is intended to move front and back NOT side to side. This move creates a “bending moment” that can damage the ligaments around the knee.

Cross over Step ups: This movement is potentially harmful for the knee in much the same way  as the previous exercise listed (Curtsy Lunges). Instead of crossing behind your body, you’re crossing in front of your body as you step up. The same lateral forces shove against the sides of the knee instead of running in the same direction as the knee joint moves.


Sissy Squats: This “old school” exercise has been around for years as an alternative to traditional squats.  It’s shown to increase the stress of the knee greatly by increasing the stress on the patella tendon (tendon that runs over the knee cap exponentially).

Single Leg Squats: This exercise can be damaging to the knee because it forces you into valgus (bending of the knee toward the middle of your body). 

Your body is searching for a way to balance your center of mass over tF1.large_-291x300he foot that is on the ground. By bending your knee inward, you place more stress on the inner portion of the knee and the meniscus that protects that part of the joint. Over time, this can lead to increased wear and tear on your knee.


High Step ups: This exercise has the same negatives as the previous example. By stepping up at an increased height, you force the knee to bend inward and place extreme forces and pressure on the inner portion of the knee.

Nick Bolton can help you achieve your fitness goals by showing you the correct way to perform exercises.

Everyone should take preventative measures before a workout routine, whether it be mild or intense. To learn more about Nick Bolton’s personal training in Kansas City, click here