It’s a fact. You’re probably going to have knee pain sometime in your life. Treating your knees and everything connected to them well now can pay off in the future.
It’s important to remember, your knees do not operate alone. They work in tandem with your hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and ankles. Weaknesses there can increase knee pain. When one muscle contracts, the opposing one relaxes, so when you straighten out your leg, the quadriceps contract and the hamstrings relax. Flexibility is important.
In general, make sure to stretch before doing any form of exercise and also after as a way to cool down. Try to avoid locking your knees when doing any exercise, especially during squats, lunges, or leg presses. Don’t add too much extra weight.
When on a machine at the gym like an elliptical trainer, exercise bike, or stair climber, be careful not to straighten your legs completely. Don’t exaggerate your stride or lock your knees. The same goes if you take your ride outside. Cycling is a low-impact activity and can help improve leg strength overall.
Squats and lunges can be good for your knees but be careful if you have a pre-existing knee injury or osteoarthritis. Squats help strengthen the quads and glutes also. Make sure your feet are planted and you don’t come too far forward. That motion is counter-productive and is bad for the knees. Stepping up can help the hip joints and ankle muscles.
Don’t Ignore the Core
Having weak back or stomach muscles puts stress on the joints that support your body. Abdominal and back exercises indirectly help the knees because your body will be stronger and have more support to hold it up.
Try Water Exercises
Exercising in the water has many benefits including the fact the water supports your weight which reduces stress on your joints. The warmer water can help soothe the joints and you can increase the range of motion and try new exercises without the extra effort you’d need on land.
No matter what you do, try to stay active. Any exercise that helps you build strength and maintain a healthy weight is good for the knees and other joints. Standing on one foot puts up to eight times your body weight on the knee joint. Each extra pound you gain puts more pressure on your knees. Find something you enjoy doing that helps you build strength while burning calories and gaining endurance at the same time.
As with any exercise, make sure you have proper technique and do not ignore pain. The professionals at Health Star Clinic in Montgomery and Prattville can help you find what works for you and your knees. Contact us today!