Updated: 2021, Jun 11

9 Gentle Exercises To Do After Total Knee Replacement

Staying physically active can be challenging to those of us with a total knee replacement (hereinafter known as a tkr) or joint care issues. We must remain vigilant to keep our joints lubricated, our muscles fluid, and our cardiovascular system working at optimum levels.

9 Gentle Exercises To Do After Total Knee Replacement

Below are some time-tested, joint-friendly exercises that focus on improving flexibility and strength without putting undue pressure on your new knee. Do a variety of them to obtain premium benefits.

As with any exercise program, be sure to talk with your medical care provider before starting a new routine. And, remember, exercise after total knee replacement should be performed gradually, increasing the difficulty as you begin to heal. Total knee replacement exercises are meant to improve joint flexibility and are best performed under the guidance of a physical therapist.

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What exercises to do after knee replacement surgery?

1. Isometrics Exercise

Isometrics apply zero pressure to your joints. More technically, the maneuvers increase muscle strength without affecting muscle length or joint angle. They can be done anywhere, at any time. All you do is tighten your muscle, hold the tension for a few seconds, and release. Isometrics will be the first maneuvers you do after your total knee replacement.

Do this Easy Calf Strengthener: Your calf muscles are actually two muscles. The larger of the two is closer to your knee. It is known as the gastrocnemius. The smaller of the two is closer to your ankle. This one is known as the soleus. Strong calves reduce your risks of falling, tripping, and/or stumbling.

Sit in a comfortable chair. Place your feet firmly on the floor. Tighten your right calf muscle. Hold this tension for eight seconds. Release the tension. Repeat this maneuver five times. Does it again with your left calf muscle.

Easy Calf Strengthener

2. Chair Yoga Exercise

This form of yoga is becoming more popular for a variety of reasons. It is ideal for those with health issues. Poses are gentle, slow-moving, and thorough. This is NOT EASY yoga, though. You will get a thorough workout that both strengthens and flexes your body.

You utilize the chair in a variety of ways with this relaxing, yet effective, yoga form. Poses involve sitting in a chair, standing behind the chair, or leaning in front of the chair.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

3. Balance Builder Exercise

Building your balance back up after a total knee replacement is crucial for your overall health. Good balance decreases your risks of falling. Here is an easy balance exercise you can do any time of the day:

Stand on the right side of your chair. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Gently place your hands in a prayer pose in front of your chest. Slowly lift your right leg from the surface.

Gently and slowly move your leg away from your body. Place your body weight onto your left leg. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly return to the original position. Do the exercise again with your left leg.

Use the chair as your anchor whenever you need it.

4. Quad Strengthener Exercise

Sit in the chair. Move your body towards the front of the chair. Place your feet firmly on the floor. Slowly straighten your right knee (as much as possible) to lift your lower leg toward the ceiling. This will be very difficult in the beginning. Hold this position for eight seconds. Slowly lower to the original position. Repeat this movement five times. Perform this maneuver with your left leg.

5. Walking

Walking Is Powerful

If you were like me, your health care provider has you up and walking down the hospital corridors the day after a total knee replacement. There is a reason for this. Walking improves your balance, flexibility, and strength.

Be sure to walk only on flat surfaces. Start indoors at your own home. Then, progress to a physical therapy or fitness center. During this time, you may wish to use an indoor track. These walking gems not only keep you protected from the outdoor elements, they provide a cushioning effect which your joints love.

Avoid walking on gravel, stones, and uneven surfaces. Uneven surfaces include pothole fillings, elevated hiking trails, buckled pavements, and hills. Even mild hills can detrimentally affect your balance.

Remember the importance of good walking shoes. Nothing can hinder your walking health more than painful feet. When first recuperating from your total knee replacement, you will probably use your slippers in the comfort of your home.

Always start out walking at a comfortable, gentle pace for only a few minutes. You may need to use a cane or walker, depending on your individual situation. Do not concern yourself with speed.

Gradually increase your speed and time. Your ultimate goal is to walk at a pace that allows you to speak without becoming breathless.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

6. Water Aerobics Exercise

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics provide a wonderful workout for those of us with a total knee replacement or other joint concern. Many people fear to fall during workouts. Water to the rescue! Water’s natural buoyancy properties prevent falling. It provides a safe environment that everyone – at any age – can enjoy.

You know how painful exercising can be after a tkr? Water provides a joint-friendly medium that reduces pain. There is no pressure applied to the joints. That is why this exercise medium is so popular with individuals having joint concerns.

Water also provides a natural resistance that strengthens muscles. Every movement is met with a counteractive movement. Though the weight strengthening may be less than land-based weight lifting, you will receive benefits.

Moving is easier in water. This increased fluidity is a blessing for getting stiff, injured, or painful joints moving.

Consider joining a water aerobics class conducted by a trained professional. A good workout program will help your entire body. Your arms, abdomen, legs, and heart will all thank you!

7. Flexor Exercise in Your Routine

Hip Flexor Exercise

Your hips support your body weight, also. Your hip flexors play an important role in optimizing your total knee replacement. Strong, flexible hips make for a healthier, happier person! Keep your hips lubricated and flexible by doing the following water-based maneuver:

Get into waist-deep water. Place your right side against the pool’s wall. Hold onto the side, if needed. Slowly lift your left leg sideways, away from you. Do not bend your knee. Return to the original position. Repeat this maneuver five times.

Turn your body around so your left side is against the pool’s wall. Repeat this exercise with your right leg.

8. Try Some Weights

Weights take all forms. Whether it is a fitness machine with weights, sandbags, free-standing barbells/dumbbells, and/or pulleys – there is something for everyone here. You can even make your own weights.

9. Straightening Your Knee

Many people need to straighten out their total knee replacement leg during recuperation. You can work on this with sandbags.

Sit on the sofa. Stretch out your tkr leg. Prop your ankle onto a pillow. Allow space underneath your knee. Place the sandbag on your knee. It will be painful. Do this for two minutes. Remove the bag. Repeat exercise throughout the day.

Never stop exercising after a total knee replacement. Make physical activity a part of your everyday living. You won’t regret it!

What to expect after total knee replacement?

Total knee replacement is performed in the situation that the knee joint is severely damaged, with loss of mobility and intense pain being present. After the total knee replacement, you can expect for a period of recovery to take place. The most important thing is that you are patient, performing your exercises on a daily basis and enjoying every small improvement. Do not be in a hurry to achieve performance, as it will take some time before your range of motion is back to normal.


Never stop exercising after a total knee replacement. Many people mistakenly believe that joint care exercises are only to be done during the total knee replacement recuperation. Start believing this and you are on the road to poor health functioning. Do not be mistaken. Make physical activity a part of your everyday living to get the most out of your new bionic knee. You won’t regret it!

Remember that exercise after a total knee replacement can get you back to a functional level, allowing you to enjoy a superior quality of life. If you are not certain about which total knee replacement exercises would suit you the best, ask for the advice of an experienced physical therapist. Another cheaper and effective remedy to joint pain is a joint pain supplement. You can check out GNC Triflex Review which might assist your body in alleviating excruciating joint pain.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.


Marie Buckner, B.A

Marie Buckner is the survivor of a near fatal automobile accident that involved a side head-on collision. 30 years after her accident,

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