Who has ever used the excuse of “bad knees” to get out of an exercise program, or to get out of having to get up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym?
Well the truth is, that excuse doesn’t fly anymore. Why? The “bad knees” you feel don’t come from the knees themselves; they come from the lack of balance and strength in the muscles around the knees – the muscles designed to protect the knees.
For knee health, the keys are the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. When those are not balanced in their strength and flexibility, knee pain can result. Instead of using “bad knees” as an excuse to get out of exercising, and they should now be a reason to get back into exercising those legs.
No more excuses, only reasons.
Whether you are working out at a gym or using alternative methods such as PRP therapy, the legs are vitally important in supporting the entire body. Any pain in the hips, knees or ankles can be traced to the muscles of the legs not having the strength to bear the weight and force of the body.
Following are some exercises that you can do to help those “bad knees” become good again – and they have very little to do with the knees themselves. It is recommended you do two sets of each, with 30 seconds rest in between sets.
- Kneeling hip flexor stretch. Make sure to keep your pelvis tucked underneath as you move to each side so your feel your hips stretch. Thirty seconds each knee.
- Calf stretches. Hands against a wall, arms pressed outward without locking elbows, stretch one leg behind you, keeping the heel of the foot on the ground. Stretch 30 seconds per leg.
- Standing hamstring stretch. Put heel on top of a bench or small table, stretching leg out straight (no locking the knee) and bend forward over your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds then switch.
- Use a resistance band around your legs, just above the knee. Keep legs shoulder-width apart. Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and knees are pushed out. Return to start for one rep and do 15 for a set, two sets.
- One leg squat. Standing a 12-inch-high bench or box, letting one leg hang over the edge. Squat light normal, but go down until your hanging leg’s heel just brushes the ground, then drive yourself back up through your other heel. Down and up is one rep, do 15 reps per set, on set on each leg.
- Hip raises. Use a resistance ban d just above your knees. Lay on your back, feet on the ground, knees bent. Raise your hips off the floor slowly until there is a straight diagonal line from your hips to the shoulders. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower down to compete one rep. Do 15 reps per set.