The key to protect the knees from any pain or injury is to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. If the muscles are weak they cannot support the knee joint properly or absorb a shock. Then, such shocks reach the knee and injure it. Exercising can help to make the knee stronger, thus reducing the risk of injury. Precede these by a 5-minutes warming-up of low-impact aerobics to raise the blood supply to the muscles.
Quadriceps Knee Strengthening Exercises
Quadriceps refers to a four-part muscle that exists at the front of the thigh and the front of the shinbone, below the knee. Three exercises pertaining to it are described below.
Quadriceps Strengthening Contractions
- Sit on a chair and extend legs.
- Heels must touch floor and knees must be straight.
- Tighten the thigh muscles and retain the state for a count of 10.
- Loosen the thigh muscles and retain the state for a count of 3.
- Perform 10 repetitions to complete 1 set.
- Perform 2 or 3 sets, many times in a day.
Quadriceps Strengthening Leg Lifts
- Lie with the back on the floor.
- Bend the left knee at an angle of ninety degrees with the foot flat on the floor.
- Straighten the right leg and move it upwards till it reaches the height of the left knee.
- retain the position of both the legs for a count of 3
- lower the right leg
- This procedure is to be repeated 10 times.
- Switch the legs.
- Increase up to 10 repetitions after some weeks.
Quadriceps Strengthening Knee Dips
- Stand with knees bent a little.
- The toes and kneecaps must point straight ahead.
- Lift one leg and balance on the other.
- Move down and up by a few inches only.
- The knees must point straight forward and not inward.
- The body should be vertical and not inclined to any side.
- Perform 10 dips for each leg.
- If knees experience pain, decrease the number of dips.
Hamstrings Knee Strengthening Exercises
Hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh and the back of the shinbone, below the knee. Two exercises related to it are described below.
Hamstrings Strengthening Contractions
- Sit on a chair with heels on the floor.
- Without moving heels pull back on them - tension will be felt in the hamstrings.
- Retain the position until you count 10.
- Loosen the tension at the count of 3.
- Perform 10 repetitions.
Hamstrings Strengthening Curls
- Lie with the stomach on the floor.
- Place the left foot on the back of the right heel.
- Pull the right heel towards the buttocks - resist this motion with left leg.
- This opposite movement contracts the hamstrings.
- Hold the contraction for a count of 10 and then release at the count of 3.
- Perform 10 repetitions.
- Walking backwards is also a good exercise as your body weight gets distributed more evenly when you walk backwards. This causes less stress on the knees and develops the hamstrings.
Other Knee Strengthening Exercises
These exercises focus on strengthening the gluteal muscles along with strengthening the knee joint.
Glute Strengthening Backward Leg Swing
- Grip the back of a chair for support.
- Straighten any one leg and swing it backwards till the buttocks tighten.
- Tense the muscles to a maximum and swing leg further by about two inches.
- Return leg to floor and perform 10 repetitions.
- Repeat the same procedure with other leg.
You may experience a little stiffness in your muscle, when you start off with your exercise regimen. However, the stiffness should disappear on its own, once you start doing these exercises regularly.