Here are 4 exercises that are guaranteed to strengthen your knees
Are your knees causing you considerable pain? Is it challenging for you to walk and do the activities you love? Even simple day to day activities can cause wear and tear in your knee, resulting in reduced mobility and a feeling of instability in your knee. To manage discomfort, you’ve tried following RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. You’ve may have even purchased a knee brace to support your knee joint and you are still in pain. Now what?
Research shows that knee pain exercises after an injury keep your joints from stiffening and provide the support you need therefore making movement easier and reducing pain. Similar to a rusty door hinge, with some TLC you will be able to strengthen your knees and get back to doing the things you love.
One of the best ways to develop stronger knees and ward off future injuries is to build strong, fluid and solid muscles around the knees and in your legs and core.
By incorporating precise knee stretches and targeted exercise for knee pain into your routine, you can revamp and enhance the strength of those achy knees that have been bothering you for years.
Strength and flexibility go hand-in-hand: a fluid muscle is a happy muscle. Knee exercises and stretches that promote both power and flexibility are of the greatest benefit. Knee strengthening exercises develop the muscles around the knee, but they can also cause the muscles to get tight, if not stretched properly. A tight muscle will constrict the knee joint and be more prone to injury. Stretching after knee strengthening exercise will alleviate muscle soreness and keep the muscles long and elastic.
Check out these 4 great exercises to strengthen your knees so you can enjoy your day-to-day activities with less pain and discomfort.
Exercise 1: Knee Extension
Sit on a table or desk with your legs hanging freely, and place a thin pad under your knee, so that the knee is slightly higher than the hip. Extend the knee slowly with the foot flexed, until the leg is extended; hold 3-5 seconds, and then lower slowly under control. Do 10 repetitions and repeat with the other leg. You can do 2-3 sets as needed.
As you get stronger, you can add light ankle weights to increase the resistance. Your kneecaps will love you for this one! Your hamstring muscles will also get an excellent stretch in the process, as you strengthen your quads.
Exercise 2: Heel and Calf Raises
The calf muscle is intricately related to the hamstring muscle and the back of your knee. Strengthening the calf muscle will greatly benefit your hamstrings, and provide your knee with greater support and stability.
Stand barefoot (or wearing socks) on a 2-inch board or aerobic step. Place the toes and balls of your feet on the board, with your heels on the floor. Make sure your body is balanced; you can hold onto a support such as a wall or another stabilising surface. Raise vertically up as high as possible onto your toes and slowly lower down. Do 10 repetitions and 2-3 sets, as needed.
A great variation of this exercise is to turn your toes inward (heels away from each other) and raise up vertically. This isolates and strengthens the inner part of your calf muscles. Then try turning your toes out and bring your heels close together, and raise up vertically. This will isolate the outer portion of the calves.
Exercise 3: Knee Flexion (standing)
This is a fantastic exercise that will benefit both your knees and your ankles at the same time.
stand on a 2-inch board or small step. Keeping your thigh in a straight line with the upper body, bend your knee to a 90-degree angle and slowly lower down. Keep your foot flexed throughout the movement. You can keep your thigh pressed against a table, to ensure that it stays in line with your trunk.
Do 10 repetitions, and repeat with the other leg. You can do 2-3 sets as needed.
As you get stronger, you can add light ankle weights to increase the resistance. In this exercise, your hamstring muscles get stronger, while you stretch out your quads.
Exercise 4: Wall Squats
Stand with your head, back and hips against a wall, your feet about hip-width apart. Slowly bend your knees, and glide down the wall until just before you reach a sitting position. Hold the position for five to ten seconds and then slowly come up. Repeat 5-10 times as needed.
You should keep your abdominal muscles engaged and not allow your pelvis to slide down lower than your knees. Avoid bringing the knees forward over the toes.
This quadriceps exercise will strengthen your knee joint and build stamina along the entire leg.
By strengthening the muscles around your knee, you’ll be able to relieve the regular strain placed on the knee joint. With less stress on the knee, you’ll be able to boost your chances to relieve pain and avoid further injury.
If knee pain persists, call PCA on 0813 028 0496 to book a consultation!