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I banged up my knee in an accident and I won't be able to bicycle for a few months. I'd like to keep up my cardio and calorie burning as much as possible during my time off. What kinds of things can I do at the gym or home to try to replicate what biking gives me? I will of course need things to do that don't involve my knee too much.

I can swim, but don't have access to a pool now. I can use my knee a bit. I have even gone biking. But, even a small ride (about twenty miles) will result in knee pain and weakness for days, up to a week.

  • How much can you not use your knee? can you swim? can you walk? Hand cycling is a good option too. – Benjamin Berry Oct 19 '11 at 15:48
  • @BenjaminBerry: I can swim, but don't have access to a pool now. I can use my knee a bit. I have even gone biking. But, even a small ride (about twenty miles) will result in knee pain and weakness for days, up to a week. – Joe Johnson 126 Oct 19 '11 at 16:49
  • @Neil Fein: Other stackexchange sites have big-list as a tag for such questions. Is there something akin to that here? – Joe Johnson 126 Oct 19 '11 at 18:16
  • The edit definitely helps. Perhaps limit it further by adding something like "exercises that will help me stay in shape for bicycling when I return to it"? Or am I missing the intent? – Goodbye Stack Exchange Oct 19 '11 at 20:01
  • @NeilFein: I think "cardio and calorie burning" is reasonably specific about the intent. – freiheit Oct 19 '11 at 20:45
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(Since I know nothing about the knee injury, I am considering your lower body out of the picture for working out.)

Take this as an opportunity to work the hell out of your upper body. Do pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, Hindu push-ups, bench presses, overhead presses, handstands, handstand push-ups, dips. Buy or make a sandbag and practice throwing and heaving it around.

If you specifically want "cardio", try making a circuit routine out of a few of these (for instance, alternating between a pushing and pulling exercises) and do a set number of rounds or a set amount of time.

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Swimming won't give you a 1:1 to biking (obviously) but it works out your whole body implicitly and is a great overall cardio workout and a great place to get started.

Otherwise I would take a look at spinning, low resistance.

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