Best Exercises for People with Knee Problems
By guest blogger Mathew Foster
If you suffer from knee problems, whether short-term injuries or a chronic condition like osteoarthritis, you know the importance of proper rest and recovery. Surprisingly, exercise may be an equally effective medicine. Stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding and supporting the joint will help the knee, and in turn, prevent stress caused from misalignment and muscle imbalance issues. In this blog post, we explore some of the best exercises for knee problems and pain. Remember when doing these exercises to always maintain the correct form and technique. For example, don't extend your knees beyond your toes, as it places a great deal of pressure under your kneecap.
Here are the best exercises to do if you suffer from bad knees:
Stand about 12 inches from the front side of a chair with your feet hip width apart and your toes pointing forward. Bend at the hips, slowly lowering yourself about halfway down the chair. Make sure your abdominal muscles remain tight and that your knees don't jut out beyond your toes.
Side Lying Leg Lifts
Lie on your right side with your legs extended straight out and kept together. Support your right arm with your head. Flex your right foot and keep your whole body straight. Then slowly raise your left leg to around the height of your shoulder, before slowly lowering. Repeat with the other leg. You may or may not want to wear ankle weights just above your knees when doing this exercise.
Find a staircase or aerobic step bench, then step up onto it with your left foot. Tap your right foot upon the topmost step of the staircase, then lower. When stepping up, be sure to keep your knee directly above your ankle. Repeat with the other foot.
Inner Thigh Leg Lifts
Lie on your right side. Bend your left leg and place behind your right leg, while keeping your left foot flat on the floor and your right leg straight. Use your right arm to support your head. Slowly raise your right leg around five inches, before lowering back to the ground. Repeat with the other leg.
Stand up straight with your feet around hip width apart, your toes extended straight in front of you. Slowly lift your heels from the floor, rising up onto the tips of your toes. Hold for around 10 seconds, before slowly lowering yourself back to the ground. It is good when doing this exercise to use a wall or a chair for balance.
Straight Leg Raises
Sit up straight, your back against the wall, your right leg extended straight out and your left leg bent at 90 degrees with the foot remaining flat on the floor. Slowly elevate your right leg, straight up, until it is around 12 inches from the floor. Hold, then slowly lower it. Repeat with the other leg.
Lie down on your back, your right leg should be flat on the floor. Loop a rope, towel or cord around your left foot and pull the same leg towards your chest, as much as you can without causing discomfort. Throughout, maintain a slight bend at your knee. Also keep your back pressed down to the floor. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat about 5 times with either leg. Perform this stretch 5 to 6 times a week for maximum results.
Short-Arc Knee Extensions
Adopt the same starting position that you had for the straight leg raise, then put a basketball (or any ball of a similar size) under your right knee thus bending your leg. Then slowly straighten out your leg. Hold, before slowly lowering. Repeat with the other leg.
With all of these exercises, try to get into the routine of doing 10 to 15 repetitions of each, two or three times per week (unless otherwise stated). And check out KneeSafe.com to find out more about different knee support equipment like basketball sleeve knee pads, knee braces and more!
Author's Bio: Mathew Foster is a knee health enthusiast and the owner of KneeSafe.com, a blog where he shares his tips on tricks how to protect your knees from unnecessary injury and how to keep your joints healthy for as long as possible.