This Month In Body
  • Genetically Tailored Exercise
    While the science is new and developing, genetic testing promises to help you know if you’re on the right track in your workouts or if you’re doing the right kind of exercise to reach your potential and avoid injury. Wondering if the promises are being fulfilled? Read >>
  • Exercises Your Knees Need
    Unlike what you may think, inactivity can worsen knee pain since sitting around causes muscles to stiffen. One of the best ways to keep your knees healthy or relieve minor pain is by doing exercises that increase flexibility of the joint and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Read >>
  • Yoga 101
    Though yoga poses may look easy to do, anyone new to yoga will quickly discover how challenging they can be. Here are five poses for yoga newbies to try out. Read >>
  • Choosing Your Strength
    Building strong muscles and bones should be a priority no matter your goals, and strength training is the best way to get there. But what kind of strength do you want? Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Exercises Your Knees Need

Practice these exercises for strong, healthy knees.

Knee pain affects people of all ages and stages. Often the result of injury, arthritis, or just overuse from everyday activities, the risk for knee pain increases if you’re overweight, the muscles surrounding the knee are weak or tight, you’ve suffered a previous knee injury, or you participate in high-impact sports or repetitive movement activities. In most cases, minor knee pain can be treated with at-home remedies. More serious cases may require medical treatments or surgery.

Unlike what you may think, inactivity can worsen knee pain since sitting around causes muscles to stiffen. One of the best ways to keep your knees healthy or relieve minor pain is by doing exercises that increase flexibility of the joint and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Anyone with knee pain or a propensity to knee problems would do well to practice a few exercises on a daily basis. If you have knee pain, talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting a new exercise routine.

Quads Stretch

Your quadricep muscles, also called your quads, run along the front of your thighs. Keeping these muscles flexible and loose is one way to prevent knee pain. To stretch your quads, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot up toward your glutes. Hold your left ankle with your left hand and gently pull your foot toward your glutes. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs. If you need help with balance, hold onto a nearby chair or wall.

Calf Stretch

To stretch your calves, the muscles along the back of your lower leg, stand several feet away from a wall. Place your hands against the wall and move your left foot away from the wall. With toes facing the wall and feet flat on the floor, slightly bend your knees and lean toward the wall until you feel a stretch along the back of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring muscles run along the back of your thigh. To stretch your hamstrings, lie on your back with your legs straight. Lift your left leg up, put your hands on the back of your upper leg, and gently pull your knee down toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, lower your left leg, and then lift your right leg.

Leg Extensions

A bodyweight exercise like leg extensions helps to strengthen your quads. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. With your back straight, your glutes on the chair, and your head facing forward, use your thigh muscle to lift and straighten one leg in front of you. Hold for a second and then lower your foot to the floor. Do two sets of 10 reps for each leg.

Squats

Squats are an effective exercise to work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. To protect your knees, avoid deep squats and only do half squats. Stand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out in front of you or place them on your hips. Look straight ahead and lower into a half squat position, only about 10 inches down. Pause and then return to standing. Do two sets of 10 reps.

Calf Raises

Strengthen your calves with calf raises. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your heels off the ground. Pause and then slowly lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat. Hold onto a wall or chair for support if needed.

Do these exercises, and your knees will thank you, today and well into the future.