Harvard Medical School agrees...the 3 best things to do to Age Proof your Knees

Jan 16, 2020

The 3 Best Things to Do to "Age Proof" Your Knees

Want to reduce your knee pain and gain confidence that every step will feel good (not bad?).  We've found the winning combination, and Harvard Medical School agrees. 

In fact, they call it "Age Proof Your Knees."  I like that! 

What I have found in years of research and self-practice is that IF you leave even one of these elements out of your Healthy Knees equation, your knees will not be as good as they could be.  

#1 Work your Range of Motion = Cycling

Use it or lose it.  You do need to have 110 degrees bend to comfortably ride a bike.  If you have less than that, you need some other passive ways to work that range of motion (coming next week!) 

Riding a bike is GREAT for knees because:

  • No impact (no pounding in your joint)
  • No weight bearing (fewer torque forces going through your knee)
  • No lateral movement (you'll love this if side to side movement bothers you)

There is a right way and a wrong way to cycle.  I wrote a whole book about that called Healthy Knees Cycling. I highly suggest you use it as your reference on how to set up your bike and ride to protect your knees.

#2 Get Stronger - its more than just your knees

Strengthening your knees is not just about the muscles that are directly attached to your knee joint.  It's about the whole kinetic chain from your feet to your low back. 

When your whole support system for your leg is stronger, you will feel more confident in your movement and your knees will hurt less.  Plus, the stronger you are, the more you can do!

Ever notice how you might have knee pain on one side, then develop low back or hip pain on the other?  Yes, its all connected.

Tyler Budwey (our Fitness Director at the Bellingham Training & Tennis Club) and I have been refining our strength training protocol for our Healthy Knees clients.  We've seen such great results that we put it (and more!) into a new book called "Healthy Knees Strength" that is due out this spring. 

We are VERY excited about this book because we both know people and Trainers who struggle with finding that right exercises that help (not hurt) their clients' knees.  Watch for our book this spring! 

#3 Lose Extra Pounds

Science tells us that your body weight is multiplied as force through your knee on every step.  So if you are carrying an extra 10 lbs, 50 lbs, 80 lbs, that adds up FAST as pressure in your knee.

  • Walking 2-3 X body weight [1]

  • Jogging 4-5 X body weight

  •  Running 6-14 X body weight[2]

  • Jumping 9-10+ X body weight

So even if you have just 10lbs extra, that can mean 20-30 pounds more force in your knee when you are walking, 60-140 pounds more when running.  You get the picture... Our poor knees!






A couple of my favorite weight loss tips are:



  • Drink more water!  Your joints will feel less achy and your body has an easier time of processing cellular wastes.

    If you drink alcohol, limit it to weekends only or cut it out all together.  Its easy to get in the habit of having a glass of wine every night, but it is not great for your waistline.  Alcohol is extra calories that you don't really need.


To your Healthy & Happy Knees,








~Coach Robin







Robin Robertson, Founder Healthy Knees Coach


















[1] PMC US national Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.  (2013). Knee Joint Forces: Prediction, Measurement, and Significance.  Retrieved on 12/6/19 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324308/


 [2] Medscape.com (2015) Joint Loading in Runners Does Not Initiate Knee Osteoarthritis.  Retrieved on 12/6/19 from:  http://www.azisks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Joint-Loading-in-Runners-Does-Not-Initiate-Knee-Osteoarthritis.pdf


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To your Healthy and Happy Knees