The Best Knee Strengthening Exercises to Relieve Pain
Anyone who works out regularly has faced knee pain. Knees absorb the brunt of the impact when running, jumping, or even just walking around. Prevention is always the best option of course, so high-quality workout shoes could be a worthwhile investment for anyone who exercises regularly—especially if they choose the outdoors over the gym. However, it’s likely you’re already suffering from knee pain, even if you do have quality workout shoes. These stretches and moves will help you relieve yourself of his knee pain quickly so you can get back to what you do best.
Top Moves To Relieve Your Knee Pain
These moves just require you to hold the position for 30-90 seconds to help relieve the stress from your knees. In addition to helping relieve pain, it will also help strengthen your knees, which will aid in preventing pain in the future.
- Straight leg raises. Lay on your back, prop your upper body up on your forearms, and bend one knee with your foot flat on the mat. Stretch your other leg out and flex your foot so your toe is pointed towards the sky and the bottom of your foot is flat. Lift your leg up off the mat and towards the ceiling. Repeat this 10-15 times each side, doing three sets on each leg.
- Hamstring curls. The hamstring is the muscle group along the back side of your thigh. Lie flat on your stomach and lift your legs up to bring your heels in towards your backside. Hold that position. Do three sets of 15, holding the position each time before bringing your legs all the way back out and then in again. You can also do this standing by holding onto a chair and lifting one leg at a time. You can add ankle weights as well, slowly increasing from 1 to 3 and then to 5 pounds.
- Prone Straight Leg Raises. Lie on your stomach and stretch out your legs. Tighten your muscles in your bottom half and the hamstring muscles of one leg. Point your toe out and lift your leg towards the ceiling. Do 10-15 lifts for each leg, holding each lift for about 5 seconds and then slowly and gently lowering. If you feel back pain, don’t lift your leg so high. If the move continues to cause you pain, stop doing the move immediately and speak with you doctor.
- Wall squats. With your upper back up against a wall, sit down, pressing your whole back against it. Your legs should bend as much as possible with your feet flat on the floor. Your calves should be straight up and down—don’t keep your feet too far underneath you. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Only bend as much as you can without feeling added pain in your legs. Try to hold a few seconds longer each time you try. Repeat 10 times.
- Calf raises. Stand with your palms against a wall, facing it, or holding onto a sturdy chair. Lift up onto your toes and then lower back down, doing both feet at a time. Do three sets of 10-15 reps. When it becomes easy, you can lift your weight onto just one foot. You can also do this on a stair or step so that your heels are able to go lower than the balls of your feet. Simply position yourself so your heels are over the edge for a greater stretch.
- Step-ups. With a stair or step in front of you, stand on it. Make sure to keep your pelvis level as you bend one knee and lower the opposite foot to the floor behind you. Do this for 10-15 reps then switch legs.
- Side leg Raises. Lay on your side and elevate your head in your palm. Put your other hand on your hip and bend your bottom leg (the one on the floor) so that your foot is behind you. Keep your other leg straight and lift it sideways towards the sky. Repeat 10-15 times per leg. Keep your foot flexed the entire time. If you wish, you can point and flex when it is lifted, then flex to go back down to help stretch out your leg.
Tips For These Moves
These moves are not about speed or getting in a lot of reps. The point of these moves is to strengthen your knees and relieve you of any knee pain you’re feeling. Always focus on having proper form over getting in more reps. Five repetitions done in perfect form will be much more effective than ten poorly composed reps any day of the week. Not focusing on your form will lead to more injury and pain, so take it seriously. Constantly be looking down to check your form, and when possible, use a full-length mirror so you can see what you’re doing. If you workout regularly at home, recording your session will help you see areas for improvement and help you avoid continuously using bad form or forming a habit of not using good posture.
Above all, make sure to stop doing a move right away if you feel a sharp pain in your leg, lower back, or anywhere else. It’s normal for exercises to be a bit uncomfortable, but there’s a difference between the healthy pain you feel when you’re challenging your muscles to the sharp pain you feel when you’re injuring yourself. If you ever feel the latter, stop your workout immediately and head to your doctor’s office. You shouldn’t feel bad pain during your regular workouts.
Healing Hands Chiropractic Can Help
Dr. Dee and her incredible staff at Healing Hands Chiropractic know how difficult knee pain can be. Through their expertise, they can help patients find natural solutions to alleviate knee pain! Contact Healing Hands Chiropractic today to schedule your consultation and appointment!