Reduce Pain & Strengthen Knees With These 6 Exercises
Getting weak in the knees is something you only want to have happen when you are out on a date and enjoying a romantic night with your special someone. You don’t want it to happen when you are walking, working, carrying groceries, climbing stairs, playing with the kids or grandkids, or just going about your everyday routine.
Knee weakness and instability are common as we age and the older we get the more likely we are to start having knee pain. But there are other factors that can increase your risk for developing knee issues earlier in life. So how do you know if you’re at risk? The biggest contributing factors include things like inactivity, being overweight, poor posture, improper foot support, improperly treated injuries, low muscle tone, improper working conditions, unhealthy habits, and insufficient nourishment.
Luckily, one of the easiest ways to improve the strength and stability of your knees is to work them out every day. Exercises for improved knee strength are very popular and there are many to choose from. We will be going over some of the easy exercises for knee stability and pain management.
What Can Be Done
One of the greatest things you can to do maintain good knee health is just maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Low impact activities are much better than high impact ones as they can be done for longer periods of time and more often without risk of any injuries occurring. Low impact workouts are also safer on the entire body and yield results that last and are easier to maintain with a day to day approach. The knee is a very complex area of the body because there are many parts that are connected to the knee joint area and this can present some unique challenges. Multiple muscles connect to or overlap the knee or are impacted by the knee joint such as the calf, thigh, hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and soleus. There are also tendons and ligaments that are connected to the knee joint and the bones of the leg near the joint. All of these systems work together to flex, move, extend, bend, strengthen, support, and stabilize the knee. Because of all these parts working together, the exact source of pain isn’t always obvious and also means exercising involves other areas outside the knee itself. That is why exercises for improved knee strength and easy exercises for knee stability – like these routines here- are so popular among people today.
Wall Calf Stretch
Calf muscles can sometimes get neglected during a workout and stretching routine. However, calf stretches are very important as the calves are some of the strongest muscles on the legs and really help with strength and support. Calves can get extremely tight when they are not used or when they are overused in high impact workouts. Wall Calf Stretches are a good place to start building knee stability!
Face the wall and lean forward and as you flex your right foot, make sure you position your heel on the floor close to the wall. Your toes should be elevated and pressed against the wall. Keeping your heel on the ground straighten your leg as much as possible and lean into the wall, trying to press your chest against the wall if you can. Repeat the same stretch on the other leg. You will want to try and do each leg 10-15 times if possible. Of the exercises for improved knee strength, this one that is a quick and easy exercise for knee stability that can be done anywhere!
Calf Smash With Lacrosse Ball
This is a great move to work into your leg routine as it allows you to work out tension and tightness in both the calf and the hamstring. You will need to have a more private area to do this stretch as it does involve laying down on the floor. You will also need a lacrosse ball that you can use or other ball of similar size and softness. Many trainers work this type of workout into their routine of exercises for improved knee strength so let’s give it a try!
To begin, you will need to sit on the ground and pull one foot as close to your butt as you can. Wedge the ball in just below your knee. It will end up being sandwiched between the calf and hamstring. You are then going to generate what is known as “compression force” on the muscles in that area and you will do this by pulling your shin toward you. As you do this, slowly rotate your foot in a slow circular motion and then reverse the rotation. Do this a few times as you feel the knee joint start to loosen. Roll over and continue with the other leg.
Half-Kneel Hip and Quad Stretch
This is a great stretch that doesn’t just feel amazing, but it does double-duty workouts for your hip and quad muscles as well as your leg and knees. It is another workout that involves the floor so it’s probably not one you want to try on your lunch break in the office but it’s great for at home workout routines.
Kneel down on the floor so your weight is resting on one knee. You can use a matt or towel or some other soft cushion for your knee. Take your other foot and plant it flat on the ground directly in front of you. Your goal is to create a 90-degree angle, or as close as you can get, with both of your legs. Once you have your position correct, slowly lean forward on the front leg, stretching the hip in a downward direction. Next, grab hold of the ankle on the leg that’s on the ground, and pull it in the direction of your butt, stretching your hip, thigh, and calf muscle. Move in and out, repeating this stretch a minimum of 10 times and switch and do the same rep with the other leg.
Quad Foam Roller Stretch
Stretching out the quad muscles is essential to good posture, good support and strong muscles in the legs. For many personal trainers, exercises for improved knee strength is one of the main focuses of leg workouts and this is a routine that many use with their clients. If you have been looking for easy exercises for knee stability, then this is a great one to try!
You will start off this workout by laying facedown and placing a soft foam roller under your right leg. Make sure you position it so it is right under the quad. Slowly shift most of your body weight onto the leg and roll slowly. Starting by rolling up and down in the natural flow and to get the full benefit of working the deep muscles, roll your leg from side to side. You can do this for as long as you are comfortable doing so or for a few minutes max. Switch legs and do the same with your other quad.
Wall Hamstring Stretch
Many people do not associate the hamstring with the knees. In fact, most people give very little thought to this important muscle until something goes wrong. Our hamstring muscles has a huge impact on the knee and can be the source of many different types of knee discomfort, instability, weakness, or pain. This is one of the easy exercises for knee stability that can help you get the results you have been looking for!
Again, you will need to be on the floor for this stretching workout. Lie on your back flat, legs out flat against the floor in front of you, foot flexed. Take your right leg and with the use of a tension band, wall chair, or other prop, elevate your leg. This stretch needs to be deep enough so that you feel it radiate down the back of your leg. Once the deepest point in the stretch has been reached and you are extended as far as you can, alternate in five-second sets of flexing your foot and relaxing it. You can do this for however long you are able to but you should aim for 10 to 15 reps of the five-second holds. Lower your leg and then switch and do the same with the other.
The final exercise we are going to look at is one of the best exercises for improved knee strength. For those who need some easy exercises for knee stability or who are looking to build muscle strength in their legs, this is another wonderful stretch to use. These types of stretches are so great because they put little if any strain on your knee but help target and strengthen the muscles around the knee.
This is a very simple and straightforward stretch to do. Lie on the floor on your back with one knee bent slightly and the foot resting on the floor. The other leg needs to be resting flat on the ground in front of you. Lift the extended leg up as far as you can, shooting for approximately one foot of the ground if you can. While holding the leg up, rotate your leg outward so your toes point away from your body. Rotate the leg back center and lower slowly to the ground. It is recommended to do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps, while alternating between the legs- for those who are strong enough you can add ankle weights to improve the stretches.
Many people are looking for exercises for improved knee strength and workout that they can do to help improve muscle mass and movement of the knee joint. These are some easy exercises for knee stability that you can begin doing today in the comfort of your own home!
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