The knee joint is an important weight-bearing joint of the body which is under constant stress from our body weight. It’s a complex structure with menisci, ligaments, cartilage, and bursa in and around the joint for its proper functioning. The knee joint is vital for our movement, stability, and efficient walking. It’s also vulnerable to injury and pain. So, it’s essential to keep it strong. Knee strengthening exercises strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and help in supporting and stabilizing the knee by alleviating any pressure on the joint. Walking can be done to warm up before starting the knee strengthening exercises.
- Quadriceps set– Lie on your back and place a small towel roll under your knee. Straighten your knee by tightening your thigh muscles. Press the back of your knee into the towel and hold for 5 -10 seconds. Repeat 10-20 times on each side.
- Hamstring Curls-Stand straight with the knees only 1–2 inches apart. Hold on to the back of a chair for balance. Bend the knee to 90 degrees behind the body by lifting the foot off the floor. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Slowly lower your leg and repeat 10 times on each side.
- Bird dog exercises-Go on to your hands and knees, keeping your shoulders over your hands and your knees spaced hip-width apart. Simultaneously straighten and raise your left leg and right arm, keeping your pelvis and shoulders in a neutral position. Hold for 5-10 seconds and go back to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
- Reverse Lunge-Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips. Take a step backward with right foot, lower your body to the floor by bending your knees. Ensure to keep your knee above your ankle. Return to standing position and repeat on the other side.
- Squats-Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping your back straight, sit back and down as far as you can comfortably go without letting your knees extend past your toes. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then stand up. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Hamstring stretch-Sit up tall with both legs extended straight in front of you. Your feet should be neutral — not pointed or flexed. Place your palms on the floor and slide your hands toward your ankles. Hold for 30 seconds. Reach from your hips. Do not round your back and lock your knees.
- Bridging is also important as weak glutei can also lead to knee pain. Start with supine lying with knees flexed together and pointing towards the ceiling, arms by your side with palms facing down. Inhale and push through your heels, lift your lower back and hips, so that whole body from knees to shoulder is aligned in a slanting line. Your body must be resting on your upper back and shoulders. Hold for 10-15 seconds, repeat 10 times.
- Standing quad stretch-Hold on to the back of a chair for balance. Lift one foot and bring your heel up toward your buttocks. Grasp your ankle with your hand and pull your heel closer to your body. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Knee extension in high sitting-Sit in a chair with the knees bent, feet dangling above the ground. Slowly extend and lift your right leg until it is parallel to the floor, do not lock your knee. Hold for 10-15 seconds, repeat 10 times on each side. You can strap a weight of 1kg around the ankle.
- Step-ups– Use a stool or platform at least 6″ in height. Step up with your right foot followed by left foot but let the left foot hanging. Keep the bodyweight on the right foot and hold for 5 seconds. Then bring your left foot down followed by the right foot. Repeat 10 times and switch to another leg.
Knee strengthening exercises are an effective way to help prevent injury and keep the legs strong.
STAY INFORMED AND MAKE YOUR KNEES STRONG!