Climbing up the stairs is a piece of cake, isn’t it? Well, not for those suffering from knee pain! Generally a problem associated with the elderly, knee pain is increasingly becoming a young age disorder. Add to that the fact that approximately 10-15 % of the Indian population is already suffering from severe knee issues, and you have a a problem of epidemic proportions.
Knee issues can emerge due to a variety of reasons, such as incorrect posture, obesity, arthritis, injury, malnutrition, old age, etc. Research suggest that the rising knee issues among Indians are a result of our lifestyle—the squatting, style of sitting down on the ground, using staircase a lot and so on.
If you have been hunting for effective and easy-to-do knee strengthening exercises that would alleviate your agony to some extent, then you have landed at the right page. We have compiled a list of top ten strengthening exercises for knee that would certainly provide significant relief to your aching knees.
Knee Strengthening Exercises:
1. The Hamstring Curl:
Step 1 – Stand straight behind a chair, so that you can hold the back of the chair for support.
Step 2 – Raise your left leg by bending the knee to an extent you are comfortable with. Hold for 5 seconds and put your leg back down. Repeat the exercise 5 times. Perform the exercise with the other leg as well.
3. Single Calf Raise:
Step 1 – This workout is an extension of the hamstring curl. So, raise your right leg by bending the knee as in a hamstring curl.
Step 2 – While the right leg is still raised and its shin is parallel to the floor, try to raise your body on the toes of the left foot.
Step 3 – Bring your right leg back on the ground to the starting position. Repeat for 5-10 times. Do the same by lifting the left leg and putting the weight on toes of the right feet. This workout will reinforce the calf muscles.
3. Quadriceps Lift:
Step 1 – Sit on a chair with your back straight and both feet touching the floor. You may put your hands at your sides, resting the palms on the seat of the chair. This would also act as a support.
Step 2 – Lock your abdominal muscles. Raise the right leg in front of you so that the toes point towards the ceiling. Try to raise the thigh as well, slightly, from the chair.
Step 3 – Hold it for a few seconds. Put the leg back down. Repeat the movement 5 times. Repeat with the left leg as well
4. Leg Raise:
Step 1 – Stand behind a chair so that you can hold on to its back for support. Keep your back straight.
Step 2 – Raise your left leg to the side. You may bend the right knee slightly to maintain balance.
Step 3 – Stay in that position for a few seconds. Put the leg back down. Repeat the movement 10 times. Do the same workout with the right leg.
5. The Exercise Bicycle:
Working out on an exercise bicycle or a stationary bike is yet another way to strengthen the knee joints and the adjoining muscles. This workout provides a full range of circular movement to the knee. You can workout at your own pace for 15 minutes in the initial days. Gradually increase the duration as per your comfort level. Don’t straighten your leg completely or lock your knee when you hit the bottom of the circular motion. Try keeping your knee bent at the angle of 15 degrees while performing this knee strengthening exercise.
6. The Leg Lift:
Step 1 – Lie down on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your right knee so that the foot is flat against the ground. Keep your left leg straight.
Step 2 – Tighten your left thigh muscle, but do not lock your knee. Now, slowly raise the left leg so that both knees are in the same alignment, i.e., parallel.
Step 3 – Hold on for a couple of seconds and then slowly bring down your left leg back on the ground. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times depending on your stamina. Then repeat with the left knee bent and right leg straight 5-10 times.
7. The Chair Squat:
Step 1 – Stand straight. Raise your arms so that the fingers point to the ceiling.
Step 2 – Bend down like you do when you sit on a chair, with your hips pointing backward and knees over the ankles. Bring your arms down in front at shoulder level so that the fingers point forward.
Step 3 – Stay in the position for 3-4 seconds and slowly go back to standing straight again. Repeat 5-10 times.
8. The Hamstring Stretch:
Step 1 – Sit down on an exercise mat. Stretch out your right leg in front of you so that the toes point towards the ceiling.
Step 2 – Bend your left knee in such a way that the leg is resting sideways on the floor and the sole of the left foot is touching the inner thigh of the right leg.
Step 3 – Now, bend forward, keeping your spine straight and try to reach the toes of your stretched right leg. You will feel the muscles in the back of the thigh, i.e., the hamstring, stretch. Stay in the position for 2-3 seconds. Repeat this knee strengthening exercise 5 times and then again with your left leg outstretched in front of you.
9. Forward Bend:
Step 1 – Stand upright with your feet a few inches from each other.
Step 2 – Bend down and try to touch your toes with your hands. You can bend your knees a little while trying to reach the toes with your fingertips. Bend as much as you are comfortable with.
Step 3 – Slowly unfurl yourself to stand back straight. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
10. Quadriceps Stretches:
Step 1 – Stand straight and use your left hand to gain support by resting it against a wall.
Step 2 – Now slowly bend your right leg backwards so that the heel almost touches the butt. So, now you are standing on just one leg, the left one.
Step 3 – Hold the right feet just above the ankle with your right hand. Stay in that position for a couple of seconds, put the leg down coming back to normal position. Do the same with the other leg.
Perform this exercise 5-8 times with each leg.
Perform at least 2-3 stretching and strengthening exercises for knee on alternate days for noticeable relief. Do the stretching exercises after the strengthening ones. The combination would make the muscles around the knees more pliable and provide workout to the joints in an attempt to make the leg movements less painful. Also, these exercises are an excellent way to avoid knee aches altogether for several years to come.
Do you suffer from knee pain? Do try these knee strengthening exercises and let us know if they helped you!