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4 Ways to get your Heart Rate Up with Bad Knees

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4 Ways to get your Heart Up with Bad Knees 


The knee is the achilles heel of the general population. Who knows? Maybe Achilles just had a bad case of plantar fasciitis?

What I do know is that knee pain holds back many adults from getting in shape. The cause of knee pain could be a number of things. That is to be determined through a movement assessment, x-ray, or MRI. The road to recovery could be long for what's causing your pain, but that doesn't mean you should let it hold you back from reaching your goals.  A big set back for people with bad knees is that they are unable to handle heavy loads on compound lifts, it holds them back from running or walking, and the fact that your workouts end in pain is mentally draining on your attitude towards fitness. Not to fear, Coach Drake is here. I'm here to tell you that you can definitely find effective ways in the gym to get your heart rate up so you can get in the best shape of your life. 


1.) Rowing Machine - The rowing machine is highly underrated, and underutilized. I've always wondered why. Probably because you can't row and watch Netflix at the same time . All jokes aside, Rowing puts little to no pressure on the knee while making it possible to get your heart rate as high as you need to for your goals. It does a good job of lightly flexing and relaxing the leg muscles which can beneficial for chronic pain. Rowing also stretches and strengthens the patellar tendons (tendons in front of your knee). The rower is a win, win, Your heart rate gets jacked, it strengthens, it stretches, and promotes healthy range of motion for your joints. 


2.) Slam Ball - Slam Ball is not only a good way to get your heart rate elevated, it's also a fantastic stress reliever. There is nothing like taking something and slamming down in the ground with all your might after a long day. We don't get enough healthy outlets in our life to take out our anger. It's a natural emotion just like happiness or sadness, but yet doesn't have a lot of outlets. When picked up properly; the slam ball also promotes getting in and out of a healthy squat position. When slammed properly the slam ball also promotes healthy range of motion for your shoulders. Healthy shoulders, healthy squats, elevated heart rate, and stress relief. Slam ball for the win. 


3. Recumbent Bike, Assault Bike, or Bicycle - Cycling is a great option because it puts very little pressure on the knee, while still being able to move at a fast rate. It allows you to get your heart rate into high zones while being be able to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your leg. Don't believe me? Look at any picture of a cyclist sprinter. They are not lacking in the development of leg muscles. This is a good advantage over the rower because the resistance can be increased drastically more so and it also uses the legs a lot more than a rower. To get full benefit of the heart rate and muscle growth from the cycle. Set the resistance to a challenging level and do sprints from 30-50 secs matched with low intensity levels for 1-2 minutes. Run the intervals for 20-30 minutes and your heart rate will be jacked and so will your quads! 


4.) Boxing -  There is nothing quite as satisfying as punching something hard when you are upset. Just make sure it's a punching bag and not a brick wall. Boxing is a great option because it uses lots of fast upper body movements matched with endurance from the upper/ lower body. Remember, don't punch as hard as you can at every punch. Learn how to properly execute punches with the proper foot work before you go swinging haymakers. Boxing is a great to have in your arsenal because it promotes your body moving at all planes of motion. With the rower, slam ball, and cycle; you get two planes of motion. Forward and back. With boxing, you move side to side, in diagonals, and your spine moves at all levels. When your body is constantly trying to center your weight to stay on its two feet; it promotes a strong, mobile core. Another benefit to boxing is that it strengthens the bottom of your feet, calves, and ankles when all the proper foot work is learned. This can be very beneficial to people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Stress relief, strong core, good mobility. It doesn't get any better than that. 



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