Exercises After Knee Replacement

Staying Active – Exercises After Knee Replacement

Sometimes people think that they cannot do sports and physical activities like before and cannot be fit once again after knee surgery. But it is a wrong perception that needs to be changed. A knee replacement can be a way to a more active and healthier lifestyle.


Generally, you can resume many normal activities of you after 12 weeks of your surgery. But you have to ensure of taking suggestions from your doctor before starting a new physical activity to make a plan for the suitable workouts.

Experts suggest that people having osteoarthritis of the knee should stay active. Doing exercises help in:

  • Strengthening knee muscles as well as keeping the body mobile for the long run
  • Managing bodyweight
  • Relieving stress

Exercise and Physical Activity Guidelines

You may want to move without pain after surgery, but at the same time, you are worried that movements will damage the new joint of the knee after taking part in physical activities. It would help if you eradicated this fear from your life. Because the new artificial knee is a mimic of the natural knee. So, the artificial one also needs exercise like the natural one to function appropriately.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), physical therapists or doctors may recommend doing both of the activities mentioned below, each day.

  • Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes (2 to 3 times a day)
  • Walking for 30 minutes (2 to 3 times a day)

Your doctor will recommend you as per your needs. Generally, they prescribe low-impact workouts over the high-impact ones, which can eventually stress your knees.

Here are some examples of low-impact workouts; sports and activities are being provided to perform after recovering from surgery.

Aerobic Workouts

Walking: If you want to name some best exercises which make the knee stronger, walking will be an excellent option there. It is very beneficial to the heart and is a great way to burn calories.

It would help if you started walking with small steps and a short distance of walks at the very beginning. Then with the time being passed by you raise your level.

You should always track your daily walking record as you have to record the progress and a pedometer can be of great help in this matter. If you don’t get out of outdoor then you selected treadmills for apartments it will help you walking on indoor.

Running is also an aerobic exercise like walking. But it is a much high-impact activity than walking. So, AAOS does not recommend jogging or run after the surgery of total knee replacement.

Swimming: As not being a weight-bearing activity, swimming is a stress-free exercise for the artificial knee. You can also do some other water exercises like aqua aerobics.

After having knee replacements, people can resume swimming 3 to 6 weeks post-surgery with doctors or physical therapists’ consultation.

Dancing: Dancing is an excellent way of exercising, which uses leg muscles. You can do gentle modern dancing, ballroom dancing, or any other form that is gentle to your knee. Just avoid the abrupt turning, twisting, jumping, and high-impact movements to prevent any further injury.

Cycling: Cycling regains strength in the knee. You can use both the actual cycle or the exercise bikes on a flat surface. You have to increase the distance slowly.

Elliptical Machine: This elliptical machine does not put any unnecessary stress on the body. So, it is a great substitute option of running without having a high impact on the knee.

If you want top-quality products then check the top 7 folding elliptical machine aerobic workouts.

Flexibility and Strength Training

Yoga: It is good to do some gentle stretching as it removes stiffness, increases flexibility, and improves the knee’s overall health. But you have to avoid the twisting movements as it is essential to maintain the alignment of the knees with ankles and hips.

Inform your yoga instructor about your limitation before starting the yoga session so that they can modify your exercise plan according to your health condition.

Weightlifting: Weightlifting helps to increase strength and eradicate knee pain. But you have to ensure about lifting appropriate weight as per your power and capability. Consult with your physician before doing any weightlifting activity.

Calisthenics: Calisthenics is an essential exercise relying on rhythmical and straightforward movements. It helps to increase strength and flexibility. Calisthenics like pushups, crunches, lunges is considered to be quite beneficial.

Recreational Activities

Doubles tennis: As it has less movement than single tennis, it is an excellent way of exercising without giving any excessive stress on the knee. Generally, you can resume playing double tennis after six months of your surgery. Just avoid running and do not make the game a high-impact one.

Golf: The golf course offers a good walk and exercise as it involves various muscles of the lower and upper body.

It would help if you refrained from wearing spikes not to get stuck in the ground. Also, you have to be cautious about maintaining the right balance at the time of hitting the ball.

Just give enough time in warming up at the driving range and use a golf cart after hitting the course. If you feel any inconvenience, call off the round and visit your doctor immediately.

Rowing: Rowing offers a good heart and upper body workout while putting minimum stress on your knees. Ensure that your knees angle will be 90 degrees or more. So, adjust the seat of the machine according to that requirement.

Bowling: Generally, it is safe to do bowling after the surgery of knee replacement. But then you have to bowl with lighter balls to keep your knee stress free and if you feel any discomfort, then stop doing it immediately.


According to AAOS, after knee replacement, over 90% of people claim improved health with less pain. After recovering sufficiently, do sports and physical activities that will support your health condition.

Also, do not forget to consult with your doctor before engaging in such activities after having knee surgery and refrain yourself from doing any activity which gives you undue stress.

Last Updated on January 1, 2023

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