Plus Size? Try These Knee Pain Fixes… No Weight Loss Required!

Cinder ErnstNo weight loss required to fix my knee pain? Seems like a contradiction in terms…

If you are plus size (or larger) and your knees hurt, you’ve probably been told a million times to lose weight. You might even be beating yourself up all the time about that.

Being heavier does put more strain on your knees, that’s just physics, but 95% of all people who lose weight regain within 2-5 years. Always strikes me as crazy that doctors prescribe losing weight even though it has a 95% failure rate.

There’s nothing wrong with you if you’ve been unable to lose weight. It’s not you. It’s the whole concept of weight loss. People want to lose weight and mostly get the wanting, not the weight loss. Let me explain.

My name is Cinder Ernst and I’ve been helping plus size women heal knee pain and get fit for more than 25 years. I’ve developed systems and strategies designed specifically for larger bodies. My approach is also great if you happen to be a reluctant exerciser.

Allergic to Exercise?

Some of my clients joke they were allergic to exercise before they met me. Exercise reluctance often comes from having hooked exercise to weight loss goals, which mostly don’t work out. That frustration makes it hard to try again.

I encourage everyone to separate food from fitness. Lay your weight loss burden down and find a way to move your body. However, some exercises can be problematic. Here’s why.

Imagine you had a list of the greatest exercises in the world. What good are they to you if you don’t or can’t do them?

I love making fitness easy and doable. That makes YOU the winner as you build the strength and stamina to live your life. The small exercises I’ve designed give big results and they can all be done in small pieces throughout your day. Even better…

One of the combos I’ll give you today can sometimes reduce knee pain right away while making your legs stronger!

This combo also solves the problem of stiff and painful knees when you get up from a chair. I get really excited about these kinds of “double duty” exercises.

What You Can Expect

Here are some comments from clients who followed the advice I’m giving you today:

    “I want to tell you that I feel an IMMEDIATE difference in my knees following your advice. Amazing!”

    “I didn’t think anything would work for me but my knees feel better and it’s only been 3 days!”

    “I went 15 stairs using both legs instead of one at a time!”

    “I don’t know if it’s psychosomatic but my legs feel stronger already lol”

Let’s get started!

Combo #1 consists of the Tush Tilt and the Heel Tap, both done in a chair. I have many clients that do this combo with their morning coffee. How’s that for a whole new way of looking at fitness?

You can also do these exercises just before you stand after a long sit-down and your knees will feel much better. If you’ve been following Martin’s work, you know how important butt strength is in the strong leg chain.

The Tush Tilt combines butt and core strengthening. I find that sometimes knee rehab can kick up back pain. The Tush Tilt handles that issue by teaching you to engage your abdominals or core while you squeeze your butt.

Here is a quick video instruction:

The Heel Tap speaks to one of my favorite philosophies: motion is lotion. This exercise does a bit of quad, hamstring, and core strengthening but the best part is it moves the knee joint in a friendly and useful way that lubricates the joint. Kind of like the tin man and the oil can.

Here’s the video instruction for the Heel Tap:

Give these exercises a try, right now would be good!

You can begin with 10 Tush Tilts and 5 Heel Taps on each side.

I always err on the side of caution. When you are trying any new exercise, just do a few and see how you feel over the next 24 hours. If all is well, pick up where you left off and increase gradually. You don’t have to be in a hurry about this.

The next combo is the Hamstring/Calf Stretch and The Miracle Knee exercise.

The hamstring and calf muscles are the back of your thigh and the back of your leg respectively. Both of these muscles connect into the back of your knee. Most folks are pretty tight in this area and a little stretching can go a long way.

When you do this stretch, you want it to feel “small”, maybe medium, but never big. I actually recommend you always follow this guideline when you’re stretching.

Do it gently, make it pleasant, and you’re more likely to do it again :-)

Consistency and gradual increases make exercise easier and therefore more effective.

Here’s the video for the Hamstring/Calf Stretch.

The Miracle Knee Exercise strengthens the front of your thigh muscles, commonly called the Quads, but this drill does it differently than in physical therapy. Here’s why.

When you go to a physical therapist for knee pain, you are mostly told to do a million Quad sets. No one really does them and so they don’t work.

I have developed a quick and simple exercise to make this fun and doable. My clients couldn’t believe how easy it was and how much better they felt, so they named it the Miracle Knee!

You will notice that the starting position is the same for both, but the intention is different.

You can do this exercise sitting in a chair or on the edge of your couch or bed. Many clients do this with their morning coffee or shower time.

Start with a 10 or 15-second hold on the stretch. On the Miracle Knee, begin with 3 repetitions on each leg with a 2-second hold. Eventually you will work up to a 10-second hold…eventually.

Being consistent and gradual are the keys to success with my approach.

Important: BREATHE during the Miracle Knee.

So there you have 2 powerful heal your knee combos that can be done anytime you have a few minutes and you’re sitting down. How does that sound?

Although I designed these for the plus size reluctant exerciser, they are friendly and useful for anyone. I chose these combos because they work for the greatest number of folks.

If they don’t feel right to you, don’t do them. You can reach out to me and I’ll help you figure out a different way. coach (at) cinderenst (dot) com

I am 56, but I am not a skinny mini, I have had a ton of knee drama and I am still able to live my life and do things I love. For example, I just got back from a weekend at motorcycle racetrack school!

Do This Next…

If my kind and gentle approach appeals to you, visit for my best material on helping plus size ladies heal knee pain, stand strong, and move forward.

I wish for you the strength and stamina to do the things you love with the people that matter most.

– Cinder Ernst


  1. Keli says

    I just read this, didn’t know that my over sleeping habit has caused u so much trouble :$ sorry! heheOn the bright side, 100 to Dahab is quite a deal (well not a really that good considering he was going back anyway…)but still! good job! normal price would’ve been at least 150-200 I’m gu#eding&s8230;Somesay I’ll Be There – Mina recently posted..

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