Being overweight causes you to have sore knees. Having sore knees makes you avoid exercise. Avoiding exercise causes you to gain weight. Being overweight…

You see where I’m going?

Australian researchers studied 297 adults aged 50-79 for over 2 years. During that time, they found that patella (knee-bone) cartilage volume was lost at an annual rate of 1.8 percent. Being overweight or having a high body fat percentage increased the rate of knee cartilage breakdown.

I see the “sore knee catch 22” in a lot of clients. They come to me needing to lose weight, but complain that they can’t exercise because it hurts their knees.

Sure, you will need to avoid certain types of exercise at first (squats, lunges, running, jumping). But there are lots of other exercises that you can do to build the muscles around your knees – for support and to burn calories. Plus, you can always improve your diet – the number one way to kick-start a weight-loss program.

To burn calories, you can do interval training on “cross-trainer” or “elliptical” machines. These are low-impact exercises, and still allow you to work at a relatively high intensity. Swimming is another good interval-training option.

To strengthen the muscles around your knees, lie on the floor and do hip extensions, 1-leg hip extensions, and stability ball leg curls. Any personal trainer will be able to show you those basic exercises.

Eventually, as you lose weight and gain strength, you can progress to bodyweight squats, and then try a variety of single-leg exercises. So while your knees may be sore now, they can get stronger with less pain as you lose weight and strengthen the supporting muscles.

[Ed. Note: To lose weight, you need a proven exercise system that can help you burn fat and build muscle. ]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at

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