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I’m overweight and also experience pain in my knees. What considerations should I take before exercising to lose weight and what sort of exercises would you recommend I start with?

If you are a beginner starting a new exercise plan who is overweight and experiencing pain in one or both knees, it is very important to start out carefully to prevent further injury.

For anyone who has serious knee injuries, we would not recommend jumping movements that put pressure on the knees or movements that involve bending the knees with very heavy weights.

However, it is important to do weight-bearing exercises to start strengthening the leg muscles and therefore take some pressure off of the knee joint. Exercises such as body weight squats and lunges (correct form is imperative in this case), leg extensions for isolating and strengthening the quad muscles, leg curls for strengthening hamstrings and small step-ups to start training the leg muscles and not the knee joint to take the pressure of everyday movements.

When it comes to cardio machines, walking — not running — on the treadmill on an incline, cross trainer/elliptical, recumbent and upright bikes are all great options for losing weight and therefore removing some of the strain from the knees.

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