Did you know that your knee is the largest joint in your body? We use our knees every day, but most of us don’t think about them too much. That is until we have knee pain. When you go from bending to climbing stairs to knee pain, it takes a toll on everything you do.
There are a variety of reasons you might have knee pain. You might have twisted it the wrong way while working out, or you may have arthritis in your knee from an old injury or just due to getting older. Whatever the reason, there are exercises that can help you get back on your feet in no time.
Why Does Knee Strength Matter?
Knee exercises aren’t really about the knees or the knee joint. Rather, they strengthen the muscles around the knee. Our knees benefit from having strong leg muscles. By reducing pressure and tension on the knee joints, this support may help you feel better and be more active.
- Lie flat on your back, preferably on the floor.
- Keep one leg straight and bend the other slightly at the knee.
- With the bent knee, bring your foot closer to you.
- Pull the abdominal muscles inward to help keep your lower back down against the floor.
- Slowly lift the leg that is straight without bending the knee.
- Point your toes and stop when you’re about 10 -12 inches off the floor. Do not lift it higher than the bent knee.
- Hold the leg up for a few seconds.
- Lower the leg back down.
- Repeat with the same leg, then switch to the other leg.
Standing Hamstring Curl
- Stand straight with the knees a few inches apart.
- Balance yourself with a chair or another object for balance.
- Slowly bend one knee behind the body and lift the heel off the floor while keeping the thighs in line. Keep lifting the heel in a smooth motion until the knee is bent 90 degrees. Keep the straight leg bent just a little bit to keep it from locking. Hold the bent leg up for a few seconds before lowering it to the floor.
- Repeat two more times and then switch sides and repeat.
You can do this on a fitness step like the ones used in step classes at the gym or on your steps at home.
- Step up with one foot and allow the other foot to follow behind.
- Continue stepping up and down, alternating feet.
- You can widen your stance as you step up as well for a different stretch.
- Be mindful of where you’re stepping.
If you are experiencing knee pain, consult your doctor before starting any exercises that focus on your knee.