Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees | Expert’s recommended

Did you ever encounter a terrible feeling on the knees while trying to jog or squat? Having unhealthy workouts can increase knee pain more. This pain is a relative one after a bad injury, or a knee replacement surgery, people having knee arthritis and numerous other reasons.

We know you feel depressed watching people jump and run and have fun, while all you can do is to watch because of the affected knees. 

Whether aged or young, anyone can experience it nowadays. And this impacts your physical as well as psychological health. You come to realize you are not strong anymore & prone to any small injury, and thus it affects your daily work.  

But don’t be so down! 

However, your knee problem is, maybe by arthritis, injury or obesity, or even after knee surgery, exercising is a must. But any kind of high-impact exercise like running can be counterproductive in this case. Because high-impact workouts can pound on your joints which should be avoided at all costs. 

So, if you are looking for the best exercise machine to strengthen knees or the best exercise equipment for arthritic knees, you are at the right place. 

Does this mean you can’t move your legs when you are in recovery?

Absolutely not!  

There are so many ways to burn calories and build strength even during the recovery period. According to medical experts, knee pain can not be a barrier that stops anyone from exercising. You just need to be careful and not push it further so that it doesn’t aggravate old injuries.

All you have to measure is to understand your limits and work within them. So you see, exercising is not always easy if you have knee pain.

But of course, pounding on your knee joint area with any kind of high impact exercise is not ideal. Rather you are supposed to participate in some specific strengthening and stretching exercises in a limited time period. 

Many people with inferior knees problems have had miraculous results by partaking in these types of disciplined and proactive actions. It would at least help in making pain a great deal more bearable.

There are a number of exercise machines in the market that can strengthen the bones and muscles around the knees & develop knee condition gradually. The best-suited exercise equipment for inferior knees is low-impact machines if you use them correctly. You can use these for improving your knees to stay active and to keep building strength and endurance. 

There are certain exercises that specifically work to prevent and reduce knee pain. But there are also some exercises and equipment that you should not go near if you are experiencing any kind of knee pain. We’ll cover these do’s and don’ts here. 

Let’s get started with the do’s of best exercise equipment for bad knees and hips.  

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

We basically will recommend 4 different types of exercise machines and best brands. 

Rowing Machine
Elliptical machine
Stationary bike


Treadmill is very popular exercise equipment especially in lousy weather when you may want to exercise indoors. A treadmill also called a running machine, is a very useful home exercise equipment and a good option for bad knee problems to be a low impact workout. Not only that, but this equipment is also loaded with many more benefits like strengthening muscles and bones, limiting the amount of pressure felt on the joints, and many other aerobic benefits. Again it is more user-friendly and easier to use for beginners. 

But some studies show treadmills can be dangerous for people with knee problems as it requires more pressure on your knees as you jog or run. Because running is a high-impact activity that is hard on your joints. So knee sufferers are suggested to walk only that is not more than 3 percent incline grade or the reverse effect hit the joints. On a treadmill, you run or walk in place while a belt moves under you. The best way to choose is by testing each machine and seeing how your body responds.

Here are our top 5 pics for bad knee problems.

LifeSpan Fitness LifeSpan TR3000i Touch Folding Treadmill

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

The LifeSpan TR3000i has a powerful, 2.75 hp continuous-duty motor that melds marathon endurance with wind sprint speeds. This machine’s aim is to achieve your fitness goals including the user’s ultimate comfort while working out. When it comes to design this treadmill comes in a space-saving minimalist design making it possible to fit in any room with folded or unfolded. It is made with high-quality materials that guarantee great durability and usage for a prolonged period of time. In the front, there is an LCD display that shows you how many kilometers you run or how many calories you have burnt. Near the display, you can find a USB charging port that helps you to sync the machine with your phone.

In addition, this treadmill has an integrated Bluetooth which allows you to listen to your favorite music, monitoring heart rate and syncing your exercise result with the lifespan app quickly and easily. Regarding performance, the LifeSpan comes with 21 programs. Its use away capacity generally ranges between 250 to 400 lbs. This treadmill also features 8 shock absorbers which help in lowering the pressure in your joints, back, knees and ankles.  

Considering the great features and performance we can conclude this machine is a perfect addition to your home gym or commercial gym for daily fitness routines and exercises and your ideal solution if you are looking for the best exercise equipment for bad knees and hips.


  1. Various programs
  2. 15% motorized incline
  3. 2.75 CHP powerful motor
  4. High Speedy
  5. Easy assembly and folding
  6. Enough user weight capacity 


  1. Chest strap for heart rate monitor not included
  2. Less sturdy to heavy users
  3. Short handrails
  4. Track is no long enough for taller users

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is one of the best treadmills you can buy today at an affordable range. It’s great for anyone who is into more high tech features or for someone looking to replace their gym membership altogether.

The features that come on this treadmill more than justify the price tag. The 1750 also has the added bonus of iFit Coach and it’s auto-adjust features for incline and speed make this treadmill a great tool for exercising at home.

The 1750 trademill has a larger motor in their newest model – 3.75 CHP – with a max speed of 12 mph. The deck has Runners Flex™ Cushioning which offers a bit of cushioning compared to running on a road outside. You can also turn the cushioning off with a knob on the side of the deck.

This treadmill has a 300 lb weight capacity as well as the ability to fold. A hydraulic arm helps to raise and lower the deck and locks the deck upright safely. With an incline range of -3 to 15%, the NordicTrack 1750 offers a wider incline than many treadmills in this price category.

The 10” HD touchscreen offers a bright, clear image with many settings available, that is also super responsive and intuitive. The quick select controls on the console allow you to quickly jump between speeds and inclines without having to endlessly push up and down arrows.

Another update to this model includes the Bluetooth audio feature. You can pair a music device to the treadmill to project your audio through the console’s speakers – and it gets loud. The fans give a great output and there is plenty of space for water bottles and accessories. Heart rate monitoring can be done through EKG pulse grips on the handlebar. Or, you can pair many Bluetooth heart rate monitors directly to the console to view your current and average heart rate while exercising.

The NordicTrack 1750 comes ready to pair with iFit Coach. This subscription service is free with your purchase of 1750 for 12 months. You access this library from the home screen on your display. To capture and store data from past workouts, you will need an iFit subscription.

Overall, you can not but love the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 as you start using!


  1. Very sturdy
  2. Quiet workout
  3. Easy to assemble
  4. 50 built-in workouts 
  5. iFit Coach enabled for unlimited workouts
  6. Bluetooth for heart rate monitoring and audio
  7. Powerful motor
  8. On/off cushioning
  9. Easy to fold
  10. Suitable stride for anybody


  1. Weight capacity is a little lower considering price
  2. No chest strap included
  3. No USB port option

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

The Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill is one of the best desk treadmills on the market though having a very cheap price. Its 2 in 1 model meets different user’s different sports needs to maintain a regular fitness goal.

Its powerful ultra-quiet 2.25HP motor allows you to walk or run anywhere in the home, gym or office. This machine has shock-absorbing and noise-reducing capability along with a fashionable multi-layer shield design. 

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill features a very effective and safe cushion for your knees and muscles making it worthy for knee sufferers. It doesn’t have a console rather it has an LED monitor that displays time, speed, distance, and calories, calculating your progress in real-time. For safety, it includes a magnetic security clip that you can attach to your clothing so that it will stop immediately if you stop or fall off accidentally. You may connect the treadmill to your phone via Bluetooth placing it on the holder so that you can play music while exercising. You may also use its amazing built-in Bluetooth speaker while exercising. 

It provides a remote control that is used to adjust your movement speed in walking mode. 


  1. Very sturdy and durable frame
  2. No installation required
  3. Very silent
  4. Good shock absorption
  5. Lightweight
  6. Max weight capacity is 265 lbs
  7. Budget-friendly


  1. Small area for heavyweights
  2. No heart rate monitoring function
  3. No incline system
  4. Display is metric

NordicTrack T Series Treadmills

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

NordicTrack is one of the top treadmill brands in the market and has been a reliable name for people from ages. Its T series treadmills come in the range of budget to affordable prices.

The NordicTrack T Series Treadmills features a dual cardio grip heart rate monitor that allows you to keep track of your heart all times. There are a total of 20 built-in workouts that are each designed by certified personal trainers. This gives you plenty of options for achieving your fitness goals.

These treadmills allow you to digitally adjust your incline up to 10 percent to add even more intensity and target specific muscle groups. You have the option of creating your own custom workout with google maps. It is suitable for most people as it can bear up to 300 lbs. You can plug in your iPad or another mp3 device into the console sound system to stay motivated while you work out.

There are over 16000 different on-demand workouts that you can access quickly and easily. You will never have to deal with getting bored with doing the same workout over and over. The comprehensive statistics tracking ensures that all of your vitals are measured accurately while you are exercising. 

The features include Google Maps. You can use Google Maps to design custom workouts to virtually travel anywhere you want. This treadmill also offers live interactive training that will keep you motivated and give you an effective way to meet your fitness goals quickly. Its 5-inch backlit iFit display shows you all of your vital statistics while you are exercising.


  1. Thousands of workout options
  2. Custom workouts
  3. Space-saving folding design
  4. HD touchscreen
  5. Bluetooth enabled audio
  6. Budget-friendly


  1.  Squeaky noise
  2.  Motor ranges are low
  3.  Not durable according to some users

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill is great for users of all levels of fitness. It features a large LCD screen, a good-sized belt and speed up to 5 -10 mph for users of all fitness levels. It offers a wide variety of workouts including 3 manual incline settings, 12 preset programs to offer a variety in your workout goals or you can just use the manual program.

It has direct access speed buttons allowing quick access to jump the speed ranging from 1mph to 9mph. Handgrip pulse sensors are placed on the side of the handlebars to track and achieve your goals. This machine’s Soft Cushioned Deck technology reduces stress on the joints offering utmost impact absorption, which makes your workout more comfortable. Heavy gauge steel frame folding deck design is swift and user convenient. Accessory holder combines a portable music player, water bottle holder, remote control, phone and more. Lastly, its weight capacity is 250 lbs.

This machine not only gives you a chance to stay fit and healthy, but it is also affordable and easy to set up and store.


  1. Easy to assemble
  2. Sturdy construction 
  3. Space-saving folding design
  4. Transport wheels
  5. Low power consumption
  6. Pulse reading function
  7. Little maintenance needed


  1. No preset goal 
  2. No backlight on the console
  3. The calories reading isn’t too accurate
  4. No Bluetooth facility, or any mobile phone fitness apps
  5. No heart reading systems
  6. It has no USB port or inbuilt cooling fan
  7. Speed is a little tame for intense workouts

 Rowing Machine 

Rowing machines are basically meant to make you experience outdoor rowing minus the water. This fitness machine provides not only convenience but also the comfort of doing workout routines at home. Just like the real outdoor rowing, it gives the muscles stimulation that you basically need for your fitness rule. Only this time it’s modernised where you can track your accomplishments making adjustments with the settings and make it fully fit based on your personal capacity and requirement.

The rowing machine is one of the most compound exercises and a good form of cardio that engages almost every muscle while building the arms, legs, and back without added tension on the knees. Besides, it has benefits which can be gained by proper strength training. As it engages the knee joint much, you have to be cautious if you have knee problems. Rowing requires most of the power from the legs, some from the core and the other from the arms at the end of the motion. 

You have to bend your knees constantly as you move forward and straighten them as you move backward while rowing. Nevertheless, it is a good machine for weak knees. Because you are not shoving your body weight on your feet and therefore it gives minimal impact on your legs’ joints.  Again, this machine works on the quadriceps and the hamstrings which are placed in front and back of the thigh and thus builds strong knees effectively. If you fail to balance these muscles equally, then this can lead you to pain in your knees or other areas. So, what should you do?

Well, you should start with the lowest resistance level and then increase gradually if you need. You have to keep your back straight and move the legs with full strength and motion and then extend them gradually as you push back. When you’re moving forward and bending your knees again, allow your arms to straighten first until the bar reaches your knees before you bend them. This helps you keep the proper body position and cadence to your exercise. Again people with arthritis need to consider the handle if that’s wide & comfortable and offers resistances perfectly. Seek the advice of your physician and ask a trainer to teach you the

We have listed the top 5 rowers which are especially for knees. Pick any item that suits your needs and budget. 

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine has made the record of the best rowing machine in the world from the past few years. Even other newer competitive couldn’t break its record in these years. This machine is your lucky coupon. It focuses on the full-body workout engaging all major muscle groups. The only noticeable con is its bit higher price. 

The Concept2 Model D features a steel sturdy frame, flywheel and spiral damper allowing you to adjust the resistance level easily ensuring quiet and smooth rowing. Its long rail, seat, adjustable footrests, and ergonomic handlebars provide maximum safety and comfort promoting natural arm and hand position as well as overall movements while rowing.

Its backlit performance monitor or the PM5 comes with numerous preset workout programs along with many rowing games. Your workout data like distance burned calories, and the pace is displayed in real-time. You may transfer this data wirelessly or with a USB flash drive. Another amazing feature of the PM5 is it even supports heart rate monitoring and machine-to-machine racing. 

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine meets your fitness goals as well as your budget, offering a low-impact exercise compatible with anybody of any age. So, obviously Concept2 Model D is the best rower, therefore, the best exercise machine for bad knees.  


  1. Strong, sturdy and effective
  2. Made to last build quality
  3. Easy setup
  4. Quick-release
  5. Minimal noise
  6. Powerful performance
  7. PM5 is easy to understand
  8. Variety of programs and games
  9. 500 lbs capacity
  10. 30-day money-back guarantee


  1. Bit pricey
  2. Bulky when folded up
  3. Storage can be difficult
  4. Little maintenance required

Waterrower Rowing machine Ash

Waterrower suits everybody from beginner to Olympic trainer. People who don’t like the noise of air rower, definitely love WaterRower as it’s full-body cardio and especially, the best exercise machine for bad knees. It’s the only handcrafted rowing machine with a “water flywheel” that replicates actual rowing feel. No other rower beats the pleasant natural ‘whooshy’ sound and the smoothness stroke from the water of a WaterRower!

Flywheel is kept in an enclosed water tank to give resistance which is self-regulated, smooth, quiet. You’ll also feel constant resistance from start to end. It has a simple but effective monitor that is easy to comprehend. The performance monitor tracks your workout data like intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and others.

It comes with many other features including conversion of the units too! Its ergonomic seat and dual-rail model will ensure extra safety and comfort for those, who have knee injuries. Solid ash construction absorbs sound and vibration. Waterrower is designed for high-traffic areas. It has no folding capacity but upright storing. The weight capacity is 1000 lbs.

Last but not the least, WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor is your ideal choice and everyday fitness companion.


  1. Faster compared to other types of rower 
  2. Heavy duty
  3. Long-lasting
  4. Quality machine
  5. Easy to put together
  6. Elegant style
  7. Dynamic resistance
  8. A good option for knee sufferers


  1. Position of the footplates is a bit higher compared to the seat
  2. Pressure feels under the thigh 
  3. Maintenance is complicated
  4. Expensive

NordicTrack RW900 Rower

The NordicTrack RW900 is in the top list rowers of 2020 that comes with tons of amazing features you can ever ask for. Its standout feature is a 22” enormous touchscreen display that offers not only 30 built-in programs but also more than 12,000 workout sessions available when you sync via iFit. It has as many as 26 levels of resistance which is more than enough to challenge a professional athlete. Also, it comes with dual resistance control letting you experience both, air and magnetic resistance. It has digitally adjustable 10 different air resistance levels as well as 26 different magnetic resistance levels.

This machine is made to give you a smooth feeling in a comfortable motion. The ergonomic molded seat handles, and pivoting foot pedals offer flexible motion and remove fatigue. These are engineered to fit our physical structures. Row at ease as Nylon Velcro straps keep you secure whatever your speed is. NordicTrack’s adjustable nylon foot straps are similar to other rowers. It is high from the ground and easy to seat on or stand up for knee patients. Therefore, low compact & its less stress option made it good for people with poor knees.

This huge machine comes with a space-saver design so that you can fold it up in the middle and store it if finished. You don’t need a high vertical area. These various newly introduced features are the biggest selling point of NordicTrack RW900 Rower and the best exercise machine for bad knees according to some people.


  1. 22” touchscreen display
  2. 26 levels of resistance 
  3. Air & silent magnetic resistance
  4. Quick pivoting pedals & music port
  5. iFit Coach Subscription
  6. Space saver design
  7. Very sturdy
  8. Solid and stable
  9. 250 lbs capacity


  1. Less user capacity considering price
  2. Price is a bit higher

Stamina ATS Air Rower

The Stamina ATS Air Rower is one of the high-quality rowing machines which comes with a very affordable price great for users of any level. It basically implies wind resistance by a fan to create a smooth workout. In terms of design, this machine has a padded and upholstered seat that made it extra comfortable while sitting or exercising for long periods. Combining that with the overall design of the rower as well the air resistance produces a smooth and comfortable workout.
In addition, the rower is extremely sturdy featuring a steel frame construction. The footpads are able to accommodate any user’s shoe size while adjustable straps to keep the feet in place at rowing time.  

Track your progress effectively with Stamina’s multi-function electronic performance monitor that displays the speed, distance, calories burned and time. Storing is simple with the easily folded frame and by using the attached handy rolling wheels of the rower. The Stamina Air rower is built to last and specially engineered for ultimate comfort.

Its frame can be easily folded or unfolded, thanks to its excellent compact dimensions. The light the construction of the rower is surprising considering its durability. Moreover, the Stamina ATS is cheap though beautifully designed air resistance rower with a comfortable seat, a nice monitor, extraordinary features and you’ve got yourself covered. 

Overall, if you are looking for an air rower that looks as good as it performs, and pretty much more of what you expect, from the price then this is your best pick.


  1. Convenient setup
  2. Lightweight
  3. Effective
  4. Cheap machine
  5. Plenty of space for leg extension
  6. Easy storage
  7. User friendly
  8. Great quality rower for any age
  9.  Pretty good looking
  10. Low maintenance


  1. The fan can be a little loud
  2. The handle is also narrow and can be uncomfortable
  3. The console was very simple
  4. Reading doesn’t appear to be too accurate 


If you are a beginner level trainee and don’t want to waste a lot of money but want a moderate level features based rowing machine then the XTERRA Fitness ERG200 is perfect for you. This rower gives you a compact design and magnetic resistance system for efficiency and smooth rowing operation.

The XTERRA ERG200 rower has 8 tension levels along with an adjustable console angle and a dual aluminum track rail system for your simple and comfortable ride. The large contoured seat is supposed to give you maximum comfort and better performance. The rower consists of a padded row handle and pivoting foot pedals for ensuring your smooth and easy workout session for whichever level you are practicing.

Its large LCD display shows your current state like elapsed time, stroke count, how many calories you’ve burnt, total count and scans too. It also features 4 preset programs so that you can choose one and challenge your stamina. The ERG200 also offers transport wheels so that you can fold it up for storage or easy movement.

The ERG200 is relatively easy to assemble with an included instruction manual and should be simple to follow for anybody with basic tools and ordinary assembly skills. So, start your in-home fitness routine with XTERRA Fitness ERG200 and boost your energy.


  1. Smooth pull 
  2.  Very sturdy
  3. Solid construction
  4. Very quiet
  5. Easy to use
  6. Quality seems good
  7. Weight limit of 250 lbs
  8. Height limit of 6’2”
  9. Budget-friendly


  1. Limited resistance
  2. Seat is low to the ground
  3. Not suitable for very tall or heavyweights

 elliptical machine

We already have an article on it.

best elliptical machines for bad knees-top 5| 2020

stationary bike

best stationary bikes for physical therapy-Top 5| 2020


If you are just recovered from knee injury you should try knee pain strengthening exercises that engage little or no equipment. Or swimming, walking, etc which are very low impact activities. Therefore, you have to go easy on your joints that won’t stress your knees and try simple workouts first. Thus while your stiff joints will become somewhat normal, you can move into other exercises that require machines. 

Another type of exercise for bad knees is called ‘Resistance Training’. It can be of different forms. Usually, leg press machines, leg curl or leg extension machines show better results in this case. These types of exercises focus on the muscles of the thigh while lying on the stomach or seated back position. But whatever exercise you practice, be sure to consult your physician first. 

What is the best cardio exercise for bad knees

No doubt that walking, running and swimming are the best cardio exercise all time. But here, our concern is about the knee pain and that why we have to choose only those exercise that can help you quick recovery without creating any pressure on your knee.

Using elliptical machines or rowing exercise do not let you direct pressure on your knee. Again, it will not let your knee completely idle while exercising so that you can have a slow and gradual movement on your knee that will help you a quick recovery.

Besides, if your knee is little stronger you can use treadmill.


To some people, it may appear like a nightmare exercising with bad knees. But if you want to live your life healthier again with normal knees, you have to get rid of those prejudices. Instead of fearing that, consult with experts and learn to do safe knee exercises at your feasible level. 

Last but not the least, if you want to buy any equipment for your knees be sure to check the items we’ve mentioned as these are well-made for bad knees. Comment below to let us know what is the best exercise machine for bad knees according to your choice. 

Remember, you have to be very careful for your bad knees. Reading this article on the complete discussion on knee pain can help you.

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