Knees are the most commonly injured joints in the body and for some simply walking can cause pain. Knee pain is often caused when the muscles of the leg are weak – quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh) and gluteal (buttocks).
Weakness in any of these muscles can lead to an imbalance in your knees. But when the muscles of your leg are strong, it keeps the knee in alignment and relieves some of the pressure in your knees. The best way to strengthen your knees is to develop these muscles.
Even if you are already experiencing knee pain, it is not too late to strengthen your legs.Performing resistance exercises will strengthen the weak muscles, ease your knee pain and decrease your chances of sustaining a knee injury. Resistance bands are an inexpensive and beginner friendly way to incorporate resistance into your exercises and develop muscles.
5 Exercises To Strengthen Legs and Keep Knee Pain Away:
- Side Steps: Tie the ends of a resistance band together to form a loop. Place the loop around your legs, secured below your knees. Bend your knees slightly and place your feet hip-width apart. Take a step to the right until the band provides some resistance.
Bring your left foot in towards your right foot, returning to the starting stance. Continue sidestepping to your right for 15 steps and then take 15 steps to the left.
- Monster Walk: Loop the resistance band around your legs and secure below your knees. Bend your knees slightly and place your feet hip-width apart. Step forward and to the side at a 45 degree angle with your right foot. Remember to keep the bend in your knees. Now step forward and to the left at a 45 degree angle. Continue alternating steps to the right and left on a 45 degree angle for 30 steps.
- Hamstring Curls: Holding on to the back of a chair or counter, place your feet shoulder width apart. Loop the resistance band around your ankles and without moving your hips, bend your right knee and bring your heel up towards your buttocks. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your leg. Complete 15 repetitions and then switch legs.
- Lateral Leg Raise: Lay on your right side with your legs extended out and stacked one atop the other. Loop the resistance band around your ankles. Slowly lift your left leg up, until you meet resistance in the band. Lower your leg and return to the starting position. Complete 15 repetitions and then switch sides.
- Bridge: Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees. Loop the resistance band around your legs, just above your knees. Raise your hips until your shoulders, hips and knees align. Hold for 5 seconds, lower hips slowly to floor. Do 15 repetitions.
Remember to keep the movements slow and controlled. Think about contracting the muscles.
Complete 3 sets of each exercise and rest as needed between sets. Aim to do the exercises two to three times a week to help strengthen your knees.
These exercises are meant to help strengthen your legs and should not hurt. If you experience any pain in the muscles or joints when exercising, you should stop that exercise.
Looking for a customized exercise plan or guidance on how to perform these exercises? You can book an appointment with one of the physiotherapists at York Rehab’s Newmarket Physio Clinic. They can assess your injury, offer a treatment plan for rehabilitation and share advice on injury prevention.