Knee pain is a debilitating condition that can impede your everyday movements. When you suffer from knee pain, exercising can be risky because it might aggravate your pain. However, the truth is that gentle exercise could be necessary to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees. You need knee exercises to increase your mobility and reduce your pain.
When you don’t exercise enough, your painful knee will only get worse, leading to joint stiffness over time. Try your best to implement some exercises for knee pain into your daily routine. Before you start exercising, don’t forget to warm up. Do some gentle walking or use a stationary bike for 5 to 10 minutes. Also, make sure you consult with a physiotherapy clinic to ensure these exercises are safe.
Once you are ready, check out these seven exercises that will help with your knee pain:
1. Calf raises
Doing calf raises will strengthen your calf muscles, as well as the lower back of your legs. The best part is that this exercise is really easy to do. All you have to do is stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise both your heels as high as you can. Then, lower them until they touch the floor again.
You can do two sets of 10 repetitions to get started. If you need some support, you can hold on to the back of a chair, to a couch, or simply to a wall in front of you while you do your calf raises.
2. Heel and calf stretch
This is another exercise that targets your calf muscles and the muscles that surround them. Stand in front of a wall and place your hands on it. Move one foot back, as far as you can move it. Next, lean forward as if you were trying to push the wall in front of you.
You should feel the muscles of the leg you moved back stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Afterwards, do the same thing with your other leg. Repeat this exercise twice.
3. Quadriceps stretch
Quadriceps stretches will strengthen your quadriceps, which attach to your kneecaps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can use a wall for support, or the back of a chair. Bend one knee and grab your ankle behind you. Gently pull your ankle towards your glutes and hold it in place for 30 seconds.
As you are doing this exercise, you should feel a gentle stretch. Then, lower your foot down. Do the same thing with your other leg. Repeat the exercise two times with each leg.
4. Leg extensions
To do leg extensions, you have to sit on a chair. Keep your back straight and put your feet flat on the floor. Contract the muscles of your thigh to lift one leg in front of you, as high as you can. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your leg.
Repeat the exercise for two sets of 10 extensions for each of your legs. This is another exercise that will help strengthen your quadriceps while being gentle on your knees.
5. Hamstring stretch
It’s also important to stretch and strengthen your hamstrings, which are the muscles in the back of your thighs. Start by laying flat on your back, ideally on a mat. Lift up one of your legs, and place both your hands behind your thigh. In this position, you can gently pull your knee towards your chest. When you feel a gentle stretch, hold this position for 30 seconds before lowering your leg.
Start again with your other leg and repeat the exercise twice on each side. Remember that it’s normal to feel a stretch while you pull on your leg. If you feel pain, you should stop pulling.
6. Side leg raises
Doing side leg raises will help strengthen your glutes, but also your hip abductor muscles. This can help to prevent hip pain and knee pain. To do this exercise, lay on one side with your legs on top of each other. Your head should be resting on one of your hands.
Next, raise your top leg as high as you can, while letting the other one on the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat for 10 times, then lay on the other side to exercise your other leg.
To do step-ups, you need a step bench, or simply the lowest step of a staircase. The goal of this exercise is to step up and down, again and again. Start by stepping up onto your step with one of your feet. Lift your body up by tightening your glutes and abdominal muscles Once you have stepped up, step down, and repeat the exercise 10 times with each of your feet.
Keep in mind that it’s important to start slowly when you want to exercise to help your knee pain. Remember to focus on gentle, low-impact exercises. Running or jumping could make your pain worse. And if you experience sharp pain during your workout, stop immediately.
My name is Alex Brown, a fitness enthusiast who loves to stay in shape. Over the years, I have done countless research on health, nutrition, and wellness. I’m an expert in all things related to exercises.