Your knees are expected to be able to support your whole body. From getting into and out of a chair to walking around the grocery store. They support most of your body weight every single day. Do you give them the support they need to stay strong and avoid injury?
Here are six exercises you can do at home to support your knees today, along with additional body parts that they help strengthen. All you will need is a chair and some space to move.
Squats are great for the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. When doing a squat, you should stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Then, with your back straight, bend your knees and sit back as much as you can, keeping your knees in line with your toes. Then extend your knees to go back up. As you get stronger you can add weights and move into a lower squat.
Lunges are great for the muscles in your hips and your thighs. You are going to start by standing with your feet hip width apart. Take a large step forward and bend both of your knees. Your front knee will point up and your back knee will point at the ground. Keep your front knee from going in front of your toes. Then extend your knees and move your forward leg back to starting position. Do this on both sides.
These are good for your hamstrings. Lay on your stomach on the floor. Then raise one leg up only as high as is comfortable. Hold this for a couple seconds and then slowly lower your leg back to the ground. Alternate legs.
Calf-raises are great for the muscles in your calves and, believe it or not, your hamstrings. This is an exercise that has several variations. Start with your feet hip width apart, raise your heels so you are standing on your toes, then return your heels to the ground. For some added difficulty you can add weights or do them one leg at a time. Another way to add some difficulty is to stand on the edge of a step. When you come back down from the raise, lower your heels below top of the step. You can also do these with bent knees to work the smaller muscles in your calves.
Bridges are good for your core, glutes, and your hips. Lay on your back with your knees raised. Your feet should be about 6 inches from your butt. Then raise your hips and hold for 30 seconds (or more if you can). To increase the difficulty, you can hold a weight on your hips or increase the time that you hold for.
Sit to Stand
This will strengthen your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. For this exercise you will need a chair. Stand in front of the chair, facing away from the chair, with your feet hip width apart. Then slowly sit down on the edge of the chair and stand back up. To make this more difficult you can use a shorter chair, add weights, or use only one leg at a time.
If you find any of these exercises difficult or painful, then stop and consult your doctor. Persistent pain in your knees or other joints is not normal and can be treated. An orthopaedic surgeon, like the providers at Summit Orthopaedics, can help you find the right treatment for your knee pain.