Most knee injuries occur because the knees aren’t strong enough to bear the stresses placed upon them. Knee injuries can also be caused by an imbalance between our quadriceps and hamstrings muscles (the muscles which help us bend the knee). This imbalance can lead to problems with the knees.
Even with proper exercise, knee injuries can happen to anyone. So why do some people get injured and others don’t? Maybe that’s because they are not correcting the imbalance mentioned above. They are probably strengthening one muscle and forgetting about the other. The result will be seen in the biomechanics of the legs and increase the risk of injuries.
But maybe you’re an older adult and not an athlete. What if you were not worried about strengthening your legs before reading this article? Unfortunately, knee injuries can be severe and can make everyday tasks painful. And if you’re the type of person who sits all day on your computer, your knees will be stiff and weak. To keep them healthy, you need to strengthen them. And don’t worry, you don’t have to enroll in the gym to do so.
In this article, we’ll give you a series of exercises you can use to strengthen your legs, with a particular focus on knee conditioning.
What you need to know before strengthening your knees
Now you realize knee strengthening is fundamental to preventing knee pain and stiffness; you’ve given a huge step towards feeling better and reducing the risk of injuries. But now we have to deal with something else because not all patients are safe performing knee-strengthening exercises. If you have mobility issues or need special training due to your athletic involvement, the best thing you can do is ask your healthcare professional or trainer to guide you through this knee conditioning program.
It is also recommended to follow medical advice if you recently had an injury. In such cases, you probably went through rehabilitation for a short while, including various exercises with passive or active motion. Be sure to ask your physical therapist what you can do at home to contribute to your recovery and ask them about these exercises before putting them to practice. That’s the safe way to proceed if you have a previous knee injury.
With that in mind, the exercises described below will help you develop strength and flexibility in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles. So, why is it called knee strengthening program if you’re focusing on muscles in other parts of your legs? Because these muscles are deeply involved in knee functioning, either directly or indirectly.
So, let us start to describe the exercises you should perform during the following 4 to 6 weeks to strengthen your knees:
1) Start with warm-up and stretching.
Before starting the knee strengthening program, do a few warm-ups of 5-10 minutes at low intensity, followed by 5-10 minutes of stretching. Warm-up is essential because it gets the blood flowing and helps prevent injuries. It also activates muscles to prepare for the exercises. Stretching is important because it increases the range of motion and reduces the chances of injury.
Many people skip the warm-up and end up hurting themselves, or worse still, injuring their knees. Don’t be one of them!