Having chronically achy knees can be an excuse for some people to skip going to LA Fitness or Equinox, or run indoors on a treadmill. But did you know that experts say regular exercise poses more good than harm for achy knees? Strengthening the muscles around the joint can minimize stress on the knees, and actually protect you from further injury.
The key is to choose the right exercises, and avoid those that can compromise the health of your knees. The following are some of the best exercises for your knees:
Partial squats are modified versions of full squats, which are among the worst exercise for bad knees. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed forward. Lower your upper body as you can, without feeling any pain on the knees. Flex your abs while doing so. Your knees must remain behind your toes throughout this exercise.
Remember to wear good knee support while doing this exercise. You should also have a workout buddy with you.
Also known as toe raises, this exercise will target your lower leg muscles. To do this simple aerobic exercise, stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Your toes should be pointed forward, and the hips and ankles aligned with each other.
Then lift your heels very slowly before lowering them at the same pace. Start with 25 reps. Remember that the slower you raise your heels, the better it is for your knees.
Speed walking in particular is good for the knees, and an alternative to running and jogging which can put a lot of stress on achy knees. It’s a good whole body exercise as well. You can start by walking on flat, smooth surfaces. Once your knees become better, you may even take on low impact hikes.
Scissor kicks work on your thighs, hip flexors, and abs. You start by lying flat on your back, and your legs together. Keep your arms by your sides. With the forearms close to the ground, lift your legs six inches from the floor and your shoulders about an inch high. Hold to that position with the legs spread apart. Then bring them back together, crossing one leg over the other.
This makes for one rep. Attempt to do sets of 50 reps. Avoid resting your legs and shoulders on the floor during the entire set.