Despite their numerous health benefits, high-impact workouts such as running and HIIT (high intensity interval training) can cause havoc with some people’s knee joints.
But, if you start to experience pain or discomfort in this area, don’t think that all is lost and you have to abandon your morning jogs and stress relieving cardio sessions.
By incorporating knee strengthening exercises into your weekly routine, the muscles around your knees will start to gradually develop. This will give them extra support while you’re pounding the pavements or launching into a jump squat, and improve your overall flexibility.
As long as your doctor or physical therapist gives you the go ahead and you start slowly and build up over time, knee strengthening exercises can be an effective way of relieving pain and avoiding any further damage.
However, before you begin, make sure that you warm up you properly. This will help you get more out of your workout, stretch more deeply and reduce the chances of you hurting yourself. If you’re in the gym maybe hop on one of the spin bikes for five minutes, or if you’re at home you could go for a quick brisk walk and do a few calf raises.
Then simply pick a few options from our list of the best exercises to strengthen knees below, and repeat several times a week. Different exercises work best for different people, so give them all a try and then just stick with the ones that suit your body the most.
This is a great exercise to remedy knee pain, and an easy one to start with if you are just beginning to experiment with strengthening the muscles around your knees.
It effectively targets your quadriceps (the muscles at the front of your thigh), whilst putting little to no strain on your actual knee. No equipment is needed either, so you really can do it anywhere.
How to do it:
As the name suggests, this one targets your calf muscles, found in your lower leg and behind your shin bone. You can do this holding onto the back of a piece of furniture, or on stairs whilst gripping the banister and letting you heels hang off the edge of the step.
How to do it:
This is a handy move that targets a number of different parts of the leg, and you might even have come across it before in a Pilates classes.
How to do it:
If you’ve never tried this machine before it’s best to ask a member of staff to help you get set up. But, once you’ve done it once you’ll find it super easy to progress with independently.
This move is designed to target your hamstrings, the muscles along the back of your thighs. A lot of gyms will have a specific machine for this move, or you also do it lying on your stomach or standing up and holding onto something in front of you.
You can do this on a plastic step in the gym or on a step or low and sturdy surface in your own home.
This is a more difficult move that’s best attempted when you have been training your knee muscles for a little while.
For more personalised advice about how to deal with knee pain and which knee strengthening exercises are best for you, contact the team at Embody Fitness.