If you are suffering from knee pain, you are not alone! Millions of people today experience knee pain and it can wreak havoc on the overall quality of life. Let’s talk about what can be done to strengthen the knee and how.
The knee is made up of multiple muscles, ligaments and tendons which, makes it a very complicated joint and hence the chance of injury/pain is high. There can me myriad caused for a problematic knee such as overuse, underuse, muscle imbalances and mobility restrictions.The good news is that you do not have to live with it. Try and include these exercises in your daily warm-up routine to improve your knee health.
Let’s dive in but first, understand that performing 10-15 repetitions of these exercises every day is far more beneficial than doing 70 of them once a week. Frequency trumps intensity any day when it comes to these drills.
5 exercises that you should be doing every day to strengthen your knees:
- Ankle band distraction: This is a great exercise for ankle mobility. Stiff ankles restrict the range of motion and that leads to problems upstream i.e. the knees. The band distraction exercise helps avoid the possibility of an ankle injury and knee pain. Apart from expanding the range of motion they also assist in providing the necessary nutrients required for the cartilage.
Tip: Do this drill for 45 seconds on each side.
2. Roll out your shin: Foam rolling is the best and cheapest way to address soft-tissue problems. Having said that, rolling the shin often gets avoided as it’s a tough muscle group to hit. Even if you think that it doesn’t hurt, it could be a contributing factor towards knee pain. Rolling out your shin does a lot for the ankle and knees as both of them are moved to their end-range of motion. This is a great knee strengthening exercise to include in your routine.
Tip: If you are trying this for the first time, start with 10-15 seconds on each leg and then progress to 30 seconds. If it pains a lot, stop.
3. Knee circles: This exercise is great for strengthening the knee and improving the range of motion. You need a yoga block or a rolled up towel. Stand with your legs hip width apart, place the block in between the knees and trace a circle. Try and keep the hips as stable as possible.
Tip: 10-15 repetitions in each direction.
4. Side lying hip abduction: Glutes play an important role in keeping the knees healthy. They help to prevent your knees from caving in when landing from a jump or cutting. This is crucial as it keeps a lot of knee injuries at bay which brings us to this exercise.
Tip: Keep your upper body still and do not drop your hip. 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each side should be good.
5. 90-90 hip rotations: Hip rotations (both internal and external) and the ability to resist them are as important as ankle mobility drill for healthy knees.
Tip: Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
Strong, flexible ankles and hips along with good tissue quality are prerequisites for healthy knees. These exercises will strengthen your knee and also improve your athletic performance. So what are you waiting for?