Exercises to Strengthen Weak Knees
By KayLee Chie Kuehl
Walking, running, and jumping are only possible because of our knees. Without them, we couldn't do any of those things! But in turn, our knees are more susceptible to injuries. Overextensions, strains, and tears can be common problems that break down the muscles in our knees. That's why it's extremely beneficial to perform knee exercises every now and again. Keeping our knees in exceptional shape promotes less chance of injury while at the same time increases our range of motion. The stronger these muscles are, the healthier our joints! Here are three knee strengthening exercises that can complement any kind of workout routine.
Step-up exercises focus on the quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glute muscles. They're great for joint flexibility in addition to strength training. In order to perform step-up exercises, make sure you have an elevated platform. Its level really depends on your height, but it's recommended to use nothing more than 6 inches to start. Then, when you're ready, use your right foot to step onto the platform. Your left foot should be hanging next to you. Be sure to put your body weight on the foot you're stepping up with only, letting the other dangle. Hold for however long feels right, and repeat. When you're ready, switch to the other foot. And remember, be consistent!
When performing this exercise, do not lock your knees, and ensure the foot your stepping with is fully on the platform. Otherwise, serious injury can occur. Additionally, those who struggle with severe balance issues should avoid this exercise.
Wall squats work the quads and the glute muscles. Mobility and strength are key components in this exercise. To start, press your back against the wall and keep your feet hip-width apart. You can choose to point your toes out in a pile squat, or keep them straight to remain in the standard position. Next, check to confirm there's enough distance between you and the wall. Then, lower yourself as far down as you're able to go. Hold for however long feels right, then slide back up.
As you squat, prevent your knees from bending over your toes. And don't be afraid to take it slow!
After any exercise, stretching out our muscles is crucial. Toe touches are popular and useful for lengthening the hamstrings. There are a number of ways to perform this stretch, from traditional to sitting toe touches. Traditional toe touches are straightforward; keep your feet shoulder- or hip-width apart and reach as far as you can toward your toes without arching your back. Sitting toe touches are the same, except you're sitting on a flat surface. It's likely that when performing sitting toe touches, your range of motion will decrease. So, be sure to keep your back straight and don't bounce toward your toes. Both of these variations are perfect for releasing tension in tight muscles.
Our knees are a key function in our body movements. That's why it's so imperative we keep these joints happy and healthy!
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.