Knees can be one of the first things that go on athletes and others that use their knees extensively in their job. The causes of knee pain may differ but the effects are still the same. It can really hinder a person’s life. When knee pain starts, that’s the time most people start thinking about getting treatment. The truth is the best treatment for knee pain is knee exercises to prevent the knee pain and subsequent injury. Below we explore what could be causing knee pain and what exercise you should do to strengthen them.
Ever wondered how much strain our knees take? They are the weight bearing points of your body. And yet without a thought they are subject to much battering in our daily lives. Knee strengthening exercises require consistent effort to keep the knees healthy and strong. Moderate knee exercises and a healthy diet play an important role in easing the stress on the knees and preventing knee pain.
Knee exercises actually work the muscles and not the joints. Therefore, these exercises focus on strengthening the muscles so they can take the wear and tear. Most exercises for the knee muscles will result in stiffness. This is true especially when a person starts on a program for the first time. Irrespective of your previous lifestyle, if you focus on the right type of knee exercises, your knees will hurt less. They will also be better prepared to take in the shocks while walking or running.
You need to keep in mind a few things for your knee exercises. Always consult a medical practitioner to get a professional assessment of your general knee problems and readiness to start the exercises. In case you have knee pain ask the doctor for suitable medication. Finish the scheduled dosage if you are taking any and then commence the knee exercises. Do not try to do too much within a short time. Remember muscles take longer to get back in shape and the key is intensity combined with consistency.
Benefits of Knee Strengthening Exercises
Knee exercises are great for everybody as everyone needs to strengthen their knee muscles. Here are the benefits of knee strengthening exercises:
- Preventing knee pain. Prevention is the best treatment for knee pain. Weak muscles cannot absorb shock and support the body well.
- Increase flexibility and mobility. Doing exercise can greatly increase the strength of the muscles of the knees. This can help with athletes in their performance and regular people who want to move more freely.
- Weak muscles are more prone to knee injuries. Prevent knee injuries by strengthening the knee muscles.
For your knee exercises, always start with a warm up session of some aerobic activity. This improves blood circulation to the muscles. The two main groups of muscles for the knees are the hamstring and quadriceps. The hamstrings help in bending of the knees and the quadriceps with the straightening and movement of the knees. You can do the knee strengthening exercises anywhere and you don’t have to look for or buy complex equipment. A sturdy chair is all that is required. Repeat the exercises many times a day and each session can be 10 or 15 minutes long. If you experience knee pain, shorten the duration.
Here are some simple knee exercises.
- Sit on a chair keeping the knees straight. The heels should touch the floor. Now tighten the thigh muscles and count to 10. Loosen the muscles and count to 3. Complete the set 10 times in each session. This works the quadriceps.
- For the hamstrings, sit on a chair with heels on the floor. Without lifting the heels pull them back and count to 10. Release and count to 3. Repeat this ten times.
- With practice, you can also add variety like leg lifts, dips, curls and swings. Grip the back of a chair for support. Straighten any leg and swing it backwards as you tighten as best as you can. Come back to standing position and repeat with the other leg.
- Walking backwards is also good for the hamstrings.
Here are some tips when doing the exercises:
- Do some stretching before doing any kind of knee strengthening exercises.
- Start slow and pace yourself when you exercise. Too much strain in your muscles can cause knee pain. The best thing to do is to start slowly and gradually add more time and intensity to your workout.
- Give your muscles time to rest and heal. If you experience knee pain in the past, ask your doctor if it’s okay for you to exercise your knee. There might be some contraindications and precautions that you have to take.
- Perform the correct knee strengthening exercises. Ask an expert to help you with your knee exercises. Make sure that you perform the exercises the correct way.
Do not perform the knee strengthening exercises every day. You need to intersperse them with some stretching activity. Some pain in the knee is inevitable as you begin to exercise, but this is a sign of tearing of the muscles. As the muscles heal and you continue to perform knee exercises, they will get stronger. Knee pain is a serious problem and should be advised by a training professional. Knee strengthening exercises, when done correctly, can really change a person’s life and prevent pain.