One of the common problems that many people are facing today is the knees problem. It either gets relocated or causes pain or some might even require knee replacement surgery. The causes of knee pain can be as simple as weight gain or sometimes lack of proper exercise can also lead to knee pain. Lack of strength in the knee can make your legs really weak and some might even not able to walk because of this. You need to know that the health of knees is in your hands. With some simple strengthening exercises, you can keep your knees active and healthy. In this article, we are listing you some strengthening exercises to improve your knee health and be active and fit.
Strengthening your knees for running:
In order to strengthen your knees and prepare them for running, it is quite essential for you to know that, in addition to the knees, all the muscles around the knee are required for walking or running. Those may include thighs, buttocks or calves. So, you need to work regularly on these muscles too. Working on your knees is essential at least twice or thrice a week.
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You can choose your convenient time to work on these knees. It can be before you start running or after. Below are some strengthening exercises for the knee especially when you decide to run regularly.
- Knee Flexion: This is a simple strengthening exercise that you can do while standing. Stand on a small step and align your thigh with the upper body. Now start bending your knee to a 90 degree and again come back to the initial position. The foot needs to be flexed up and not strained. For keeping the thigh aligned properly you can take the support of a table.Repeat the same with the other leg too. This will make the hamstring muscles strong.
- Calf and Heel raises: One of the best exercises to strengthen knee and ankles at the same time is calf and heel raises. The initial position for you is to stand on an aerobic step or board. Then keep your toes and balls of the feet comfortably on the step. While holding to a support such as a wall you need to slowly raise your heels and your body as high as possible and should ultimately stand on your toes. Then slowly lower down to initial position. This greatly causes a stretch in the calf and hamstring muscle giving you the strength necessary for the knee.
- Knee Extension: For this strengthening exercise, sit on a table or a bench and hang your legs freely. Place something under the knee to raise its level slightly above the hip. Now, you need to extend the knee by keeping the foot flexible until the leg is completely extended. Hold in this position for a few seconds. Then, slowly bring the leg back to the initial position. Once you start feeling the strength in your knees and legs, you may start to add weights to the leg through ankle weights.
- Swimming: Swimming is one of the best activities to gain strength in the knee. It also helps as a cardio workout too. Front crawl, treading water, kicking laps with a flutter board or backstroke will definitely make your knee solid.
What exercises do athletes need to do to strengthen their knees:
There are some techniques that can be used by athletes to continuously gain strength in their knees and legs for perfectly working on their routine. Below are some of the techniques.
- Ankle Band: Ankle is one of the main parts that help knee and hip to work together. When ankles become stiff or rigid, injuries happen which might take several days to heal. With this simple ankle band exercise, you will be able to tame ankle with knee and hip. All you need to do is take a band and loop one of its end around a solid base and other end loops around the ankle of one foot. While coming into a staggered stance position, keep your banded leg in front. Now start inching out to the maximum and then drive the knee forward. The banded foot needs to be firmly on the ground. Now start rotating the ankle side to side and the knee back and forth. This helps for a perfect stretch and knee strengthening.
- Rollout: Soft tissue helps for the movement and when it is not right it causes knee pains and other problems. A foam rolling helps to relieve soft tissues, especially at hips, lower back, or other trouble zones that athletes face regularly. The shins are an important part that we generally ignore and athletes need it. So, foam rolling on the shin area is essential to keep your knees stay in place. For the shin rolling, you need to be in a pushup position and toes need to be in the midline of the body. Now place the shins firmly on the roller. Slowly inch up to the knee. This greatly strengthens the shins and knees.
Knee Caps – Strengthening techniques:
Knee caps are the essence for the knees to work properly. They might get dislocated, injured and cause tremendous pain even when you try to walk. Below are some exercises for strengthening the knee cap and help with the pain.
- Wall slide: For the wall slide exercise, lean against the wall keeping your heels 6 inches away and feet 1 foot apart. The buttock and back should touch the wall. Now, slowly slide your body down until the knees reach an angle of 45 degrees. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then slowly go back to the initial position.
- Quad sets: Sleep on your back with both the legs extended. Keep a roller or towel under the knee so that it is bent slightly. Now from the bent position, lift the foot until it is straightened at the knee fully. Hold it for a few seconds and come back to the initial position. Repeat this with the other leg. This greatly improves the quadriceps and in turn the knee cap.
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Now you know all the exercises that can be done for strengthening your knee and knee cap. Try these exercises and keep your knees healthy.