According to physiotherapy experts and health gurus, exercises for bad knees could be the best way to strengthen your joints and avoid further injury. By taking steps to reduce your risks of strain, injured ligaments, and twisted joints, you can strengthen your overall posture, and avoid as much discomfort as possible - regardless of whether you're an athlete or not.
In fact, exercises for bad knees that strengthen the muscles around the knee joint could be enough to eliminate those pesky visits to the doctor for good. Of course, like with any exercise, you need to make sure you're doing the right workouts - as some movements could simply make your condition worse. Following, we'll cover some of the best, and worst exercises for bad knees, so that you can say au revoir to achy limbs.
The Best Exercises for Bad Knees
Before you start exercising, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor to ensure you don't engage in any activities that may worsen your condition. One good tip is to invest in a couple of knee compression sleeves to support you during your workout. These sleeves help to strengthen your knee and keep the joint in place when you work out, so as to reduce potential injury risks. Once you're prepped with the right equipment, you can get started on some exercises.
1. Partial Squats
Grab a chair and stand about a foot away from the front, your feet situated a comfortable distance apart, with toes facing forward. Bending from your hips, lower yourself slowly down towards the chair, as though you're about to sit - but stay hovering, tightening your abs and keeping your knees elevated behind your toes.
Either using an aerobic step, or a standard staircase, lift yourself onto the step with your left foot, tapping your right foot on the top of the step, then lower back down. As you step, make sure your knee is situated directly above your ankle.
3. Straight-leg Raises
Start sitting down with your back against a wall, and lift your left leg out straight, keeping the right leg bent and the foot flat on the floor. Slowly, lift your left leg away from the floor so it's hovering by about twelve inches. Hold the position for a few moments, then relax, and repeat with the other leg.
4. Short-arc Knee Extensions
Using the same starting position as the straight-leg raises, grab a basketball and place it just underneath your left knee so that it's bent, then slowly straighten the leg, holding the position for a few moments, before gently lowering. Repeat with the alternate leg.
The Worst Exercises for Bad Knees
Just as there are great exercises for bad knees, there are some that can do nothing but aggravate your condition. The following tips are designed to help you stay away from exercises that put excessive pressure on your already aching joints.
1. Avoid Flexion of the Knees
Knee flexion exerts excess pressure on the bones in the knee joint and the kneecap. This excess pressure leads to grinding joints, and can result in knee ligament or tendon damage. Examples of exercises which require knee flexion include:
- Full-arc knee extensions
- Hurdler's stretches
- Deep squats
2. Avoid Sudden or Complex movements
Activities that demand agility, and require athletes to stop and start motions abruptly put excessive stress on the knees. Stay away from sports like basketball and agility, particularly if you're already recovering from a knee injury.
3. Avoid Jumping
Finally, since jumping places a great deal of force on your body, the excess weight on your knees can significantly heighten your chances of injury. Give your knees a break and avoid jumping if you want less pain.