What is the Best Exercise Machine for Older Adults?

What is the Best Exercise Machine for Older Adults?

If you are an older adult or have knee pain, it can be hard to find a low-impact exercise machine that accommodates your needs. Most machines put pressure on your knee joints. For older users, this can be very uncomfortable or even harmful. When shopping for an exercise machine, it is essential to take your knee joints into consideration.

As you age, fitness and an active lifestyle are more important than ever. In addition to staying active, it is important to make your exercise fun and enjoyable as well. You have to find an exercise that you genuinely enjoy and find the right machine for the job. No matter what exercise you prefer, it is important to exercise consistently to support healthy bones and improve your long-term well-being.

Ideally, you’ll be getting at least two and a half hours per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise. More or less can depend on your preferences and abilities, but with the goal of just half an hour per day, five days per week, it can be very doable. This can be achieved most easily with a good exercise machine in your home. And just as important as it is for the workout to be effective, it is equally important to be safe.

For those two and a half hours, it is necessary to get the blood flowing but you have to be mindful not to hurt yourself in the process. There are a few factors to consider when choosing an exercise machine that can do this for you. Unfortunately, there are not many out there that can accommodate older adults, but there is one that stands out is the Ski-Row.

What to Look for in an Exercise Machine

To get a great workout and protect your joints, you need to consider how much knee movement the machine requires to function properly. Many machines require knee movement, which can cause discomfort or even injury for some older adults. Finding one that has exercise options that require little or no knee flexion is key to solving this problem.

When considering exercise options, take note of how much movement is involved and if it requires anything you are not comfortable with. If your reps are causing you joint pain or other strain, it is not a good fit for your routine. Choosing an exercise machine with versatile options is the best solution.

The main idea is for you to stay in total control of your joint movements, and perform the exercises within your comfort zone. Most other machines are not very accommodating, but the Ski-Row Air allows you to work out at your desired intensity and mobility level. Plus, there are enough workout options in just this one machine to always keep your workouts fresh and interesting.

What is the Ski-Row?

The Ski-Row is the first of its kind, all in one cardio and resistance training exercise machine. It has two positions- rowing and ski training. This double action machine brings over a dozen workout options to your home, without taking up the space of two machines. The rowing position has six suggested exercises, and the ski training position has nine.

This one machine brings all of the benefits of cardio, interval training, and two separate machines into your home in a space-saving design made to fit most homes. You can modify and customize your workouts to fit your needs and abilities, all without sacrificing the quality of your exercise session.

How Does It Work?

The Ski-Row uses an air-flywheel resistance system, where the machine adjusts the tension you are working against based on your own energy output. How fast and hard you are working out determines how much resistance you will receive from the machine. This means that slower movements will result in lesser resistance, and as your speed and intensity increases, the machine’s resistance will too.

The Ski-Row Air only uses the air-flywheel to provide the resistance curve. That makes this model ideal for older adults, offering the least chance of injury since there is no force against you that is greater than you can handle.The Ski-Row Air + Pwr model, however, does offer more consistent resistance due to the magnetic resistance system it has in addition to the air-flywheel. This puts you in control of the resistance and allows you to experience more resistance than your own output may trigger the air-flywheel to provide.

Depending on your fitness goals and personal preference, you will be able to determine which model you prefer. But, what is important to understand about both models is that each of them will give you resistance in response to your own exercise intensity. It is only the Air + Pwr model that will allow you to add more, consistent resistance unrelated to your intensity.

Why is the Ski-Row Ideal for Older Adults?

The Ski-Row is the best exercise machine for older adults since rowing and resistance training are known as two of the best exercises for the older crowd. The Ski-Row brings resistance and rowing into your home, all in just one machine. 

With numerous workout options in both the ski training and rowing positions, there are many options that require very little joint movement or can be modified to reduce uncomfortable joint movements. You’ll no longer have to worry about dealing with or worsening pain, but rather learn to work around it safely.

Since you won’t be focusing on taking care of your knees, your workout will be that much more effective. Your concentration can stay on your reps, without concern. You’ll find yourself exercising carefree for longer, reaching that goal of two and a half hours without a second thought!

Knee-Friendly Exercises

If you’re wondering what exactly the exercises are that don’t require your knees. We’ve got a list for you right here. Be sure to check your form against training videos to ensure proper posture and positioning. This will help you get the most from your time spent exercising while also protecting you from accidental injuries or strains.

Let’s take a look at some of your knee-friendly exercise options on the Ski-Row.

In the rowing position, you can safely and effectively perform the following exercises with little to no knee bending.

  • Bicep curl- standard curls, using the resistance from the machine to work out your arms.
  • Arms Only Row- no legs needed at all!
  • High Row- regular rowing motions, but with your hands pulling to shoulder level. 
  • Reverse Overhead Row- with your back to the machine, sit and pull from over your shoulders to your arms’ full extension ahead of you. 
  • Single Arm Row- regular rowing, one arm at a time. 

In the ski training position, you can do these movements to minimize joint strain:

  • Alternating Arms- pull downs, one arm at a time.
  • Butterfly- with your back to the machine, pull the handles from over your shoulders to in front of your chest in an open-close motion.
  • Overhead Tricep Extension- with your back to the machine, pull from over your shoulders until your arms are straight out ahead of you.
  • Straight Arm Pulldown- keeping your arms straight, just pull straight down with both at once.


As you can see, there are a ton of exercise options that don’t require knee movement. The Ski-Row is one of the few exercise machines that can accommodate older adults so well, thanks to its versatility in workouts and the high level of user control over the resistance level. If you’re worried about staying active as you age, this is your solution. With just this one machine in your home gym, you’ll improve and maintain your health for years to come.



The Best Exercise Machines for Bad Knees | Livestrong

Stay Active As You Get Older: Quick tips - MyHealthfinder | health.gov | Health.gov

Stay Active, Healthy, and Strong in Your Senior Years | Everyday Health

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