Knee exercises can help boost your fitness level and increase your sports performance. But even more important, they also can help keep your knees healthy and prevent serious injuries.
Regularly exercising your knees can build strength and flexibility in your joints and muscles. Learn how to keep your knees in good condition with this handy exercise guide.
Getting Started with Knee Exercises
If you have never done knee exercises before, it’s critical that you consult with an orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist or physical therapist before beginning a new exercise program. This is even more important if you have any medical conditions or other health problems.
A medical professional can offer guidance for proper form as well as suggestions for specific exercises that would be beneficial to you.
When you start exercising your knees, make sure to do a low-impact warmup first to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout. Be sure to take it slowly, gradually increasing the number of repetitions or adding weight over time.
Finally, be careful not to overdo your exercise regimen. You should never work out to the point of being in pain. Working with a trainer or fitness instructor, at least in the beginning, can help you learn the right way to perform your knee exercises.
Knee Exercises for Building Strength
Strengthening the muscles that support your knees can reduce the constant strain exerted on your knee joints. The less your knees are stressed, the lower your chance of suffering a sports or orthopedic injury.
A knee workout may include several strengthening exercises designed to build up muscles in different areas of the leg.
Straight-leg lifts, performed while lying on your back, and wall squats work the muscles at the front of the thighs. Hamstring curls help to strengthen the backs of the thighs. And to work all areas of the thighs, hips and buttocks, you can do standing single-leg dips, step-ups and knee stabilization exercises.
Knee Exercises for Stretching
Strengthening exercises help to build muscles, but they also can leave them tight, and tight muscles are more susceptible to sports injury.
For this reason, it’s important to always stretch after a workout. Stretching exercises help keep your joints and muscles flexible.
Standing quadriceps stretches can reduce muscle fatigue and soreness at the front of the thighs. Hamstring stretches can keep the muscles at the back of the thighs and behind the knees loose.
For maximum effectiveness, hold your stretches for 30 seconds.
Three sets of each of these knee stretches, performed after your strengthening workout, will provide maximum benefit. And to maintain increased flexibility and strength, most experts advise repeating your knee workouts at least twice per week, or more if your doctor or trainer advises it.
At Steward Health Care: Centers of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we care about your health and well-being. We are located in West Jordan, Utah, but we provide comprehensive care for patients throughout the Salt Lake City area and northern Utah.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your orthopedic health, and to learn more about beneficial knee exercises.