No More Knee Pain
If your workouts are being slowed down or completely forgotten due to knee pain, then we have some answers for you! Lunges and squats are great ways to strengthen the lower body and in particular the knee joint, but for many people this exercise causes knee pain or may be too strenuous.
The joint is supported by the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. When they are strong and toned, they keep the lower leg bones and upper leg bone in a happy place--no pain. However, when the body is weakened by extra weight or weak muscles the joint space closes and can lead to arthritis and irritation. If pain and swelling persist more than 7-10 days, consult a physician. Swelling may be relieved with proper rest, ice, compression and elevation.
The first step to increase pain free movement is to establish better range of motion.
Quad Stretch Active
Start standing with knees parallel to each other and draw the heel up towards the glute muscles. Be certain to keep the heel in line with the thigh and not to rotate inward or outward. Squeeze the hamstring on the back of the thigh to feel a stretch in the front. Hold for 10-30 seconds. This is an active stretch because we are activating a muscle, the hamstrings, to contract the reciprocal muscles, the quadriceps.
Quad Stretch Passive
Another stretch that will help increase the range of the joint is a passive stretch. Pull the heel towards the glutes keeping it in line with the hips as in the first stretch, but this time apply a small force to feel the stretching of the muscles in the front of the thigh. On both stretches, keep the body alignment tall and abdominals pulled into the spine as well as stretching thigh slightly behind the standing leg.
THE EXERCISES After stretching the muscles and signaling them to their full length, try these knee friendly exercises:
SINGLE LEG STAND UP
Start with a seat higher than your knee height. (As you progress you will start to lower the seat height to your knee height) Lift one leg and with assistance if needed, stand up holding the leg in the air. From stand and back