Practical Knee Strengthening Exercises
Knee strengthening exercises are not just known to make your knee stronger but it is also an effective way to reduce knee pain and hasten knee and other lower extremity recovery. These set of exercises are needed in order to help make the muscles become stronger so that the knee joints can absorb shock and pressure. The muscles groups involved and should be exercised during the knee strengthening exercises include the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The hamstring helps during knee bending and pushing the knee against the surface. The quadriceps on the other hands is involved in the kneecap movement.
For starters especially those who are recovering from an injury, basic knee strengthening exercise are needed. According to experts, the basic exercises can be done approximately 10 times and it is best to be done on a regular basis to monitor the improvement of the knee strength. There are also intermediate exercises, it can be done in a range of 1-3 times a week and the exercise should not be performed consecutively to avoid injuries and allow recovery. Whichever phase you are doing, it is very important to do some stretching and warm ups so that the muscles won’t be strained which can add more injury to the knee.
Examples of basic knee strengthening exercises :
- Quads over fulcrum exercise – This means that you should lay on your back and towel that is rolled and have your knees relaxed. Then slowly tighten your thigh for 5 seconds and gradually increase the time frame. You can repeat this 10 times.
- Static inner quadriceps contraction – Sit down and tighten the thigh though pushing your thigh where a towel is placed beneath it. You can feel the thigh tighten by holding on to the inner quads and hold it for 5 seconds or as long as you can. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Examples of intermediate knee strengthening exercises :
- Squatting with Swiss/exercise balls – With feet apart, place a Swiss ball between your back and the wall. Then slowly squat without dropping the ball and keeping you back straight. It is important to keep your knees aligned with your middle toes and repeat this exercise 3 times for 10-15 reps.
- Resistance band knee extension in sitting – In a sitting position, use a resistance band tied in your ankles. Then straighten or extend your knees while you keep your back straight. Repeat this exercise 3 times with 10 repetitions.
Exercise strengthening the hamstrings :
- Hamstrings strengthening contractions – In a sitting position, keep your heels touch the floor and pull back the heels until you can feel your hamstrings tighten. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.
Knee strengthening exercises for your quads :
- Quads strengthening leg lifts – Lie on your back and slightly bend the right knee to a 90 degree angle and straighten your left knee and move it upwards reaching the height of the opposite knee. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds or until you can then do the same on the other knee. Make 10 repetitions of the same exercise.