Knee Injury Exercises
Your knees are some of the most sensitive and most vulnerable parts of your body.
It isn’t surprising that knees have surpassed hips for most commonly replaced body part.
In chronic cases, arthritis can occur which is irreversible but completely possible to alleviate.
Regardless of if you have a serious joint condition, as you grow older, your joints will start to function much differently.
Preventing them from functioning poorly can be done in many ways, both in a gym and at home. Here’s how:
One of the best overall exercises to get is through walking. It is also one of the easiest exercises to accomplish.
Taking a walk is something we should all incorporate in our daily routine, if possible. It can be squeezed in between breaks at school or work, it can be scheduled with friends or family, and it can happen virtually anywhere.
Walks put the least amount of stress on joints. It is also great for aging knees as it keeps you pain-free.
You will maintain your mobility, maintain your weight and maintain your overall health and wellness. 15-30 minute walks as many times a week as you can handle is all you really need.
Figure-Four Glute Stretch
Stretching can be the next best thing to walking when you want to relieve stress and tension throughout your body.
People often neglect this procedure, but think of your body as a rubber band: more stretching it adds more flexibility, while less stretching makes your body more prone to “snapping”.
Lie on your back with your feet on the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and clasp your hands behind your left thigh.
Slowly pull the left knee towards your chest. Repeat this on both legs until you feel comfortable.
Supine Hamstring Stretch
Another great area of your body to stretch are your hips – this affects your knees as well and can ease the pain.
Using a doorway as a guide, lie on your back with your hips in line with the entry-way.
Keep your left leg straight out. Place your right leg up on the door jam, keeping a small bend in the right knee.
Inch your way forward for a deeper stretch. Stay here for 10 to 15 slow and deep breaths. Switch legs and repeat.
Making sure your spine is stable is key. If you are feeling any strain doing this stretch, then stop and re-attempt it when your back is feeling stronger.
An alternate version of this stretch is by looping a belt or a yoga strap around the ball of your foot.
Standing Calf Stretch
If your calves are feeling tight then your knees will begin to lead inward, causing pain in that area.
Stand on the edge of a step or a curb, placing your left foot on the ground.
Keep the ball of your right foot on the step allowing your right heel to drop below the step and hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
You can also place both feet on the step, curb or a calf-machine and drop both heels at the same time.
Make sure to hold onto something in front of you for additional balance.
It’s important to keep all leg muscles very flexible. This stretch is sure to reach your legs, knees and lower back.
Sit on the floor with both legs in front with your left foot towards your buttox.
Drop your left knee out to the side with the sole of your foot in your right inner-thigh.
Bend at the waist and slowly fold yourself forward. Reach towards your toes.
Rest in this position for 1-2 minutes. Switch legs and repeat.
This is a great way to strengthen your glutes, quadriceps and the other surrounding muscles. It is also easy to adjust the difficulty of this exercise based on how good (or bad) your knees are.
Stand with your back against the wall like you are sitting in a chair.
Squat in this position. The lower you squat, the higher the difficulty, and the more pressure on your knees. Only do what is comfortable for you.
Keep your thighs parallel with the floor and hold the squat for 30 seconds.
Leg lifts will ultimately reduce stress on your knees and keep you pain-free.
You can use formal leg-lifting machines in a gym or try this exercise right at home.
Lie on the floor keeping your right leg on the ground.
Raise your left leg off of the floor. Repeat 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps on each leg.
Step-ups will safely work the joints in your knees and are very simple to accomplish. They can also be done in and outside of a gym.
Set up a platform, such as a bench or a stair, and place both of your feet on it.
Slowly lower the opposite foot to the floor, with your toes to the ground, and return it to the platform.
Repeat these steps 10-12 times per leg, allowing yourself to build up to higher reps.
IT Band Foam Roller
Your iliotibial band runs along the outside of the thigh from hip to shin. This portion of your body has a tendency to get tight and lead to knee pain.
Using a foam roller on your outer thigh area, lie on your right side and place it on the ground in front of you. Keep your right hand or forearm on the ground.
Move your left foot up to roll down the side of your right thigh, stopping when the foam roller is just above your right knee.
Then move your left foot down back to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.
Weight Loss & Dieting
Outside of keeping an active life, maintaining a balanced weight and diet does wonders to alleviate joint pains.
Being overweight puts you at a higher risk of having pain in your knees since it is giving your joints much more work to do.
Losing weight can reduce long-term knee pain as well as combat more chronic pains caused by arthritis.