10 Excercises to improve Knee Health​

10 Excercises to improve Knee Health

One of the strongest and most important joints in the human body is the Knee Joint. It allows the lower leg to move corresponding to the thigh while supporting the body’s weight.
It is sort of like a Swiss Army knife, as the movements performed by the knee joint are very essential to everyday activities and help you to sit, stand, lift, walk, run, and jump, etc. It comprises several parts such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones that can get injured by crack, tear, dislocate, overuse, underuse, etc.
So, taking care of your knees is of utmost importance, and like any other body part comprising of muscles & joint you can take up certain exercises & stretches to strengthen it and increase flexibility in its motion.

Knee Exercises

In this blog, we will divide the exercise into two groups.
In 1st group, we will discuss general knee strengthening exercises to build surrounding muscles that help to improve joint stability & support. These exercises fall under the “strengthening exercises” category.
(These are exercises to avoid knee pain)
In the 2nd group, we will discuss certain stretching exercises which help improve the range of motion and flexibility in your knee joint, reducing knee pain. These exercises fall under the “stretching exercises” category.
(These exercises are commonly suggested to reduce knee pain, but should be undertaken along with strengthening exercises to avoid knee pain)
*Note Before undertaking these exercises, be sure to consult your physical therapist/trainer or even your doctor (in case of knee Pain) to make sure the exercises are safe for you. According to your situation & condition, they may suggest some changes & adjustments.

Strengthening Exercises

1 Half Squat.
Targets & engages your Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, Hip Flexors, Calves & Core Muscles.
To Do: –
 Place your feet about shoulder-width apart, with toes pointing @45 degrees outward.
 Stretch your hands out in front of you or place them on your hips as per your balance preferences.
 Keep your neck and torso in a neutral straight & upright position. Look ahead keeping your chin down.
 slowly squat down about 10 inches or parallel to the ground. (Your shins should be positioned vertically as possible).
 Pause for a few seconds
 Then stand up by driving your hips up and back, pulling in your shins to vertical as you return to standing.
 Perform 2 to 3 sets consisting of 10/12 reps.

2 Hamstring Curl.
Targets & engages your Hamstrings & Glutes.
To Do: –
 Lie flat on your stomach with legs extended straight behind you.
 Slowly bend your legs & bring your heels as close to your butt as you can
 Pause for a few seconds
 Slowly release and bring back your legs to resting position
 Perform 2 to 3 sets consisting of 10/12 reps.
You can also perform the same exercise standing by holding a back of a chair & slowly bending each of your legs behind you in turn.

3 Leg Extensions.
Targets & engages your Quadriceps
To Do: –
We will be looking into the variation of this exercise using your own bodyweight rather than a weighted machine, as you can perform this @ your home.
 Sit up tall in a chair.
 Put your feet flat on the floor, with some distance between your knees.
 Looking straight ahead, contract your thigh muscles and extend your right leg as high as possible without raising your buttocks off the chair.
 Pause/ Hold your position for a few seconds, then lower to the starting position.
 Perform 2 to 3 sets consisting of 10/12 reps. for each leg.

4 Lunges.
Targets & engages major muscles of your Hips, Glutes & Thighs
To Do: –
 Stand with feet hip-width apart.
 Take a big step forward with your right leg.
 Slowly lower your hips, bending both knees & shifting your weight forward so the heel hits the floor first.
 Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your right shin is vertically straight.
 Make sure that the front knee does not fall over the toes.
 Pause for a few seconds
 then push up by pressing into right heel to return to the starting position (Standing)
 Repeat the same set of motions for the left leg.
 Perform 2 to 3 sets consisting of 10/12 reps.

5 Step-Ups
Targets & engages your Quadriceps and posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings)
To Do: –
 Stand in front of a staircase, step bench, or a platform.
 Step up with the right foot
 Pressing through the heel straightens your right leg.
 Bring the left foot up to meet the heel of your right foot on top of the step.
 Keeping your pelvis level, bend your right knee and slowly step back down with the opposite foot to the floor.
 Bring the right foot down to meet the left foot, returning to the resting position.
 Repeat 10/15 times & then switch and perform the same set of motions with your left leg.
 Perform 2 to 3 sets of the same.

Stretching Exercises

1 Quadriceps Stretch
Targets & engages your quadriceps & hip flexors.
To Do: –
 Stand next to a wall or a chair or a countertop for support & balance.
 Bend one knee back toward your glutes, by grasping your ankle with one hand.
 With the same hand pull/assist your ankle toward your glutes as far as comfortable.
 Pause/ Hold for 25/30 seconds.
 Slowly return to resting position.
 Perform the same for 3 to 5 reps with each leg.

2 Calf Stretch
Targets & engages your Calf & Heels
To Do: –
 Stand facing a wall
 Lean your hands against a wall
 Move/Extend one foot back as far as you can comfortably do so.
 Bend the knee in the front.
 Keeping both feet flat on the ground & toes facing forward
 Lean into the stretch until you get a stretching sensation in the heel and calf of the extended leg.
 Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
 Slowly return to resting position.
 Repeat the same set of motions for the other leg.
 Perform the stretch for each leg 2 to 3 times.

3 Prone Straight leg raise.
Targeting & engaging your Glutes, Hamstrings & Core.
To Do: –
 Lie flat on your stomach with legs extended straight behind you.
 Tighten your hamstring and glutes of one leg.
 Lift the same leg backward without bending your knee or rotating your back or pelvis
 Hold the raised leg straight and count five.
 Slowly release and return to the resting position.
 Repeat the same set of motions for the other leg.
 Perform the same for 10 to 15 reps for each leg.

4 Standing Hamstring Stretch.
Targets & engages your Hamstring
To Do: –
 Stand Straight
 Extend your right leg forward by placing the heel on a slightly raised surface or on the floor with the toe pointing up.
 Keeping your back straight, bend at your hip and left knee and hinge forward, bringing your chest towards your thigh as you sit back.
 As you are bending your left knee and sitting back keep your right knee straight.
 You should feel a stretching sensation in the hamstring of your straightened right leg.
 Hold for a few seconds.
 Repeat the same set of motions for the other leg.
 Perform the same for 3 to 5 reps for each leg.
5 Prone Hamstring stretch
Targets & engages your Hamstrings
To Do: –
 Lie down on the floor or mat with your back flat and straighten both legs.
 Lift your right leg off the floor.
 Place your hands behind the thigh of your right leg.
 Slowly pull your raised leg’s knee toward your chest.
 You should feel a stretching sensation in the hamstring of your raised right leg.
 Hold for a few seconds.
 Repeat the same set of motions for the other leg.
 Perform the same for 3 to 5 reps for each leg.

Remember Exercise should never cause pain or make the situation worsen. Muscle soreness after a workout is normal, but shooting pain in muscles and joints is an indication that you should stop and consult your doctor.

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