How to train clients with knee injuries (2023)

Get the basics...

  • Training people with knee injuries requires a comprehensive evaluation to determine the mechanism of injury and contraindicated exercises.
  • Most knee injury patients experience pain on the anterior (front) side of the knee and need to temporarily eliminate things like jumping, running, and jumping forwards from their exercise routine.
  • Integration of training and assessment software can help prioritize your client's safety while helping you achieve your goals with fewer setbacks.

The input into the formation of special target groups, e.g. For example, training clients with knee injuries can be a valuable opportunity for personal trainers to add a new revenue stream to their fitness business.

In order to train clients with knee injuries, it is important that you not only know about knee injuries,but that you have the tools to make your training as effective as possible; This is where personal training software comes into play.

By using the features thatpersonal training softwarehas to offer, you can train clients with knee injuriesin a way that works for them, not against them.

For more information on the personal training software platform,Book a demo today.

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(Video) How to Design Personal Training Sessions For Clients With Knee Pain or Injuries

How to train clients with knee injuries

To learn how to train clients with knee injuries, it is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of the most common knee injuries and why it is important to follow specific procedures with these clients.

What are common knee injuries?

The knee is a joint that is often injured and absorbs a large percentage of the impacts to which we are exposed on a daily basis. Many of the most common knee injuries involve the anterior (front) portion of the knee,according to medline. Some of these injuries are:

  • osteoarthritis
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee)
  • Patellar tendonitis (jumper's knee)
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
  • meniscus tears

These are common injuries that can cause pain anywhere around the kneecap, either above, below, or deep into the kneecap. Anterior knee pain is the most common, but there are a few other injuries that occur regularly, including medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears.

ACL and MCL tears are more common in athletes, while most other causes of anterior knee pain are found in the general population. It is important to know the difference between anterior, medial, or lateral knee pain. While each type of pain can affect the same joint, procedures for determining how to stay active with a knee injury differ by type.

Do you need certification to train clients with knee injuries?

Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) often gives you a basic understanding of the body and how to train most regulars. Where these certifications lack is in providing applicable modifications and procedures when training clients with a knee injury or other condition.

To better prepare you to work with clients with knee injuries, some desirable certifications are listed below.

  • NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES)
  • ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP)
  • NSCA Special Populations Specialist (CSPS)

Earlier certifications help trainers better prepare for general conditions that require some adjustment. While a CPT can teach you the basics of flexibility and strength, these certifications can help you learn some knee exercises to help with knee pain.

Client training after a knee injury

Avoiding sports and knee pain is not always easy. Knee pain manifests itself from person to person with different locations and limitations. For starters, you generally want to stay in pain-free range of motion. It always helps to start with enough warm-up exercises to prepare the affected knee for training.

Some theories suggest that knee pain is caused by other restrictions in the kinetic chain, more specifically the ankle or hip. In summary, when someone has pain in the front of the knee, the problem may be due to weakness or stiffness that causes excessive force on the knee joint rather than a more even distribution of weight among the three joints.

(Video) Got clients with knee pain?

If this is the case, your client may need to emphasize stretching of the direct and surrounding joints. Specifically, they would want to stretch the quadriceps, hip flexors, glutes, and calves (soleus and gastrocnemius).

Depending on the knee injury, you may need to emphasize knee stability exercises or knee strengthening exercises. Some good exercises to start with are terminal knee extensions (TKEs) and bridges. TKEs help stabilize the front of the knee while bridges help back.

TKEs and bridges are just two examples of knee strengthening exercises available at home. If you want to learn how to strengthen the knee ligaments, you can perform these exercises by exaggerating the eccentric phase (lengthening) or doing them isometrically. Basically this means you would create a full contraction and hold that position for 20-30 seconds.

There are a significant number of clients who exercise with bad knees to lose weight. Almost anyone can lose weight, but there are some exercises you should avoid if you have knee problems, especially if you have front knee pain. You should avoid exercises that require a lot of shear force on the knee.

Some examples of exercises to avoid for knee injuries are:

  • lunges forward
  • climbing stairs
  • pistol squats
  • Heavy knee extension (machine assisted)
  • Hop

Over time, these exercises can potentially be re-incorporated into a training program. In the early stages of recovery, you need to restore movement patterns to reduce some of the stress on the knee joint. Most commonly, this means building the posterior chain with exercises like the Romanian Deadlift (RDL), Good Morning, or Bridges.


(Video) How to train clients with painful knees & knee osteoarthritis
Use's custom training software. Book a demo to learn more.

Train clients with knee replacement.

Software tools to train knee replacement clients

When learning how to train someone with a knee injury, you need to be consistent with tolerance and progression of training. When you manage an entire customer base, this can be a time consuming task. Fortunately, there are resources that can help you manage it.motion and knee pain.

Training software for clients with knee injuries

Knee injuries can be complex and encompass a whole range of potential limitations. Most of his clients are not very experienced in biomechanics, so they may not remember exactly which exercises to avoid for knee injuries. If this client wants to exercise in their spare time without a real plan, they risk making their knee injury worse.

How to train clients with knee injuries (1)

By integrating's training software, you can offer your clients personalized and structured workouts for any type of knee injury. Depending on the severity of their knee injury, you can offer them affordable workouts with custom volume, intensity, rest intervals, and more.

In addition to personalized training units, you and your clients also benefit from training analytics. These reports will help simplify and show your customers' progress and maximize their satisfaction and retention without any additional work for you.

Fitness assessments for clients with knee injuries

It's hard to offer your clients proper fitness programs if you don't know what they're capable of. offers functionalFitness Assessment SoftwareThis gives trainers the ability to develop personalized fitness assessments that can also be conveniently tracked to monitor progress.

To train clients with knee injuries, you may want to do range of motion assessments, functional mobility displays, balance assessments, and even your strength. Remember, your clients will likely still want an upper body workout with a knee injury, so you can still include these ratings and performance metrics.

As a trainer, you can even distribute your evaluations virtually to client evaluations so they can do the evaluations themselves if necessary. That way, your client knows when to be evaluated and can still see if your exercise program is as effective as it should be. Happy customers are long-term customers, which means stable income for you.

Customizable exercise library for clients with knee injuries

There are a limited number of hours in a day. This means that you are limited to the number of customers you can see in person each day. That doesn't have to limit your sales. To retain customers, you need high-level resources to ensure they meet your goals, whether you're around or not.

(Video) Leg Workout With Knee Pain's customizable exercise library offers customers the luxury of viewing and reading details about each exercise you include in your exercise program. For example, if you want to perform a Romanian deadlift for your injured client, you may quickly realize that the movement is controlled by the hip and doesn't involve much knee flexion or extension.

Conversely, if you simply hand him a piece of paper with a Romanian deadlift, your client could misinterpret the exercise and perform something resembling a squat, further aggravating his injured knee. In essence, an online library of practices is an effective way to ensure that your clients understand desirable security and performance outcomes.

Your clients have access to your exercise library from apersonalized fitness app24/7 Enhanced accessibility and functionality help you be present with your customers even when you're not physically there. Responsibility is one of the most important roles for personal trainers. Adding features like an exercise library helps eliminate excuses.

Training Clients With a Knee Injury: The Bottom Line

Training clients with a knee injury requires much more than general knowledge. It requires education, empathy, and a variety of software tools designed for personalization and personalization.

To learn more about how can help you train older clients,Book a demo today.


How do you train someone with a knee injury? ›

There are a few ways to continue exercising as you recover from a knee injury. Options may include: Upper Body Strength Training. Safe but Strenuous Activities.
Cardio Focused Training
  1. Push-ups.
  2. Bicycle crunches.
  3. Side-lying leg raise (10 reps on each leg)
  4. Overhead dumbbell press.
  5. Seated Russian twists.
May 23, 2019

How can I train my legs with a knee injury? ›

8 Great Lower-Body Exercises for People With Knee Pain
  1. Banded Lateral Walk. Stepping laterally with a band looped around your legs targets the butt and hip muscles, including the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and hip external rotators, Whitley says. ...
  2. Kettlebell Swing. ...
  3. Dumbbell Deadlift. ...
  4. Hip Openers.
Oct 5, 2018

What is the suggested fitness training if you experienced knee pain? ›

Moderate walking is recommended for people with knee pain because it's a low-impact activity. If your joints are painful and stiff, start slowly and work up to 20 minutes of walking per day, recommends Stuchin.

How do you train when injured? ›

7 Exercises to Do While Recovering from Injuries
  1. Swimming & Pool Workouts. Swimming pool workouts can be a great way to exercise while being injured. ...
  2. Stairs. ...
  3. Resistance Bands. ...
  4. Stretching. ...
  5. Stationary Bike. ...
  6. Balancing Exercises. ...
  7. Walking.
Jul 9, 2020

How do I train to prevent knee injuries? ›

6 Exercises That Can Help Prevent Knee Injuries
  1. Jump squat. Start with feet shoulder-width apart. ...
  2. Side plank with clamshell. ...
  3. Rear-foot elevated split squat. ...
  4. Single-leg deadlift. ...
  5. Nordic curls. ...
  6. Standing single leg hip abduction isometric.
Mar 7, 2019

What are 3 strength exercises you can do for rehab of the knee? ›

5 Exercises to Help Strengthen Your Knees
  1. Exercise 1: Knee Extension.
  2. Exercise 2: Knee Flexion (Standing)
  3. Exercise 3: Heel and Calf Raises.
  4. Exercise 4: Wall Squats.
  5. Exercise 5: Swimming.
Jun 1, 2022

What are 3 functional activities you can do for rehab of the knee? ›

The knee joint provides both mobility and stability to the leg, but its health also relies on the strength and stability of the hip and ankle joints.
5 Physical Therapy Knee Exercises for Strong and Healthy Knees
  • Straight Leg Raise. ...
  • Bridge. ...
  • Ball/Wall Squats. ...
  • Step Ups. ...
  • Lateral Walks.

Can you train away knee pain? ›

"Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for knee pain," says Dr. Lauren Elson, an instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. The right combination of strengthening and stretching exercises can relieve pain by helping to improve the way the joint moves and functions.

Should I train with a knee injury? ›

Exercise shouldn't make your existing knee pain worse overall. However, practicing new exercises can sometimes cause short term muscle pain as the body gets used to moving in new ways. This kind of pain should ease quickly and your pain should be no worse the morning after you've exercised.

Should you train legs with knee injury? ›

Myth: Don't do ANY exercise if you have any knee pain

If you have knee pain, you need to be careful when doing weight-bearing exercises, such as body pump classes, Zumba, step aerobics, jumping, running and sprinting, as these can all put a strain on your knee joints. But you can still exercise!

Can I lift weights with a knee injury? ›

With proper weight training, you can build muscle mass and increase overall strength. If you have an existing knee injury, it is best to put off weight training until you have completely recovered from it.

How do you train upper body with knee injury? ›


You can work your chest, arms, back and more with dumbbells and machines, all without putting pressure on the knees.” Martin specifically mentions the dumbbell press, shoulder press, lat pulldowns and biceps curls as possibilities.


1. Stop Knee Pain Now! 5 Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees
(Tone and Tighten)
2. Tips For Knee Pain Caused By Weight Training
(Sports Injury Physio)
3. Managing Your Knee Pain - Strengthen for Recovery
(My Doctor - Kaiser Permanente)
4. 10 Best Knee Arthritis Exercises for Pain Relief - Ask Doctor Jo
5. EP.6 Fat burning exercises for people with knee pain | Bumrungrad
(Bumrungrad International Hospital)
6. How to Diagnose and Rehab a Knee Injury | Sports Injury Clinic
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