Are you sick of dealing with achy knees and sore joints? The following exercises for painful knees could be the solution.
Many people, when dealing with knee problems, avoid exercise wherever possible - convinced that it will only make their condition worse. However, stretching out the connective tissues around the knee, and strengthening the muscles near the joint helps to quicken recovery, and prevent future injury by decreasing the amount of undue stress you deal with on a daily basis.
The Golden Rule
Before we get started on the various exercises for painful knees that might be helpful in your condition, there's one rule to keep in mind:
- You should never bend your knees so far that they extend past your toes, and place extra weight on the front of your feet.
Movements that exert all of the pressure towards the ball of your feet place too much pressure on the kneecap. When you're doing the following exercises for painful knees, be sure to keep your knees extended at just the right level. You could also benefit from wearing a couple of knee compression sleeves too - as this will help to ensure that your joints are fully supported through each exercise.
1. Side-Lying Leg Lifts
If you're feeling confident, you can use a couple of ankle weights to add some extra challenge to this workout, but if you're nervous, start by using nothing but your own body weight. Lie on your right side, keeping your legs tight together and stretched out straight. Bring your right arm up to support your head, and gently left your left leg upwards as high as possible, then lower. Switch sides and start again with your other leg.
2. Inner-thigh Leg Lifts
Again, you can use ankle weights here, but you'll be better off attaching them just above the knee, rather than below the shins. Lie on your right side, leaning backwards slightly so some of your weight rests on your backside. Bend your left leg, and place it behind your right leg, with your right leg straight and your left foot flat on the floor. Lift your leg around three to five inches, then lower, and repeat the movements with your left leg.
3. Calf Raises
Find a sturdy chair, table, or wall that you can use to keep yourself balanced, and stand with your feet situated about a hip-distance apart. Point your toes straight ahead, towards the wall, and lift your heels slowly away from the floor as though you're training to be a ballet dancer. Try to push yourself as high onto your toes as possible, then lower the position and slowly lower yourself back down.
4. Hamstring Stretch
Lay flat on your back, with your right leg stretched out on the floor, then loop a rope, towel, or belt around your left foot, and pull your leg towards your chest as far as you feel is comfortable. Make sure that you keep your knee slightly bent during the motion, and your back tight against the floor. Hold the position for between ten and thirty seconds, then carefully release. Repeat the motion four times with each leg.