Your knees are the largest joints in your body. And while you may not give them much thought day to day, you couldn’t jump, squat or even bend your legs without them.
That’s why protecting your knees is so important. And the best way to do it, is by strengthening the muscles that surround them.
First, warm up with 5-10 minutes of walking or cycling. Then try the three exercises demonstrated in the video below to help safeguard your knees.
1. STRAIGHT-LEG LIFTS
- Lie down with your back on the floor and your stomach muscles tightened.
- Keep one leg straight and bend the other.
- Then slowly and smoothly lift your straight leg about a foot above the floor, tightening your thigh muscles as you go.
- Hold this position from 3-5 seconds then slowly lower your leg.
- Repeat the sequence a few times, then switch sides.
You’ll feel this move most in the front of your thigh.
You’ll need a 6 inch stool or step.
- Start by placing your right foot on the step.
- Simultaneously lift your left foot off the floor, holding it out next to but not resting on the step for 3-5 seconds.
- Then lower your left foot and step down with your right foot.
- Repeat a few times then switch sides.
You’ll feel this exercise in your hips and buttocks as well as the front and back of your thighs.
3. WALL SQUATS
- Stand with your head, back and hips against a wall, abdominal muscles pulled in tight.
- Move your feet about 1-2 feet away from the wall
- Carefully slide down the wall until you are nearly in a sitting potion or your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Hold your pose for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
You’ll feel this move mostly in the front of your thighs. As your strength increases you should be able to gradually increase how long you can maintain your pose.
Click here to watch a video demonstration of the above exercises.
Practicing these three moves regularly will help keep your knees fit and strong. Healthy knees will keep you moving easy and pain free for years to come.