5 Stretches That Are Easy on Your Knees
Knee issues can diminish your quality of life. Keep your knees healthy with these simple exercises you can do at home.
If you regularly have aching knees, you’re part of the 26% of the adult population who experiences knee pain. There are a lot of causes of knee pain, but often some of that pain can be alleviated by doing stretches and exercises designed to strengthen your knees. A few are so simple they can be done in a chair, while others require a little more agility. Try these exercises to get started.
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1. Knee Straightening
This exercise, which is exactly what it sounds like, is great for knees and hips.
Sit up straight in a chair with your feet on the floor. Lift one leg to straighten and exhale as you do so. Hold this position for five seconds, and then breathe as you release it. Switch off doing each leg.
2. Leg Crosses
Sit on the edge of a bed or a chair with your legs hanging down. Cross your ankles. Push the back leg forward and the front leg backward. This action will make your thigh muscles contract. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds before lowering your legs. Repeat with the opposite leg in front.
3. Straight Leg Raises
A healthy woman in her 70s claims that she still runs marathons and is able to do so in part because of the straight leg raise. She does it for about five minutes per leg before she runs.
Start by sitting up straight on the floor. Bend one knee and place the foot flat on the ground. Straighten out the other leg and flex the foot toward you. Raise the straight leg to about the height of your knee and repeat this 20 times. If it’s easier for you to lay on your back for this exercise, that works as well.
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4. Hamstring Curls
Your hamstrings are the muscles that run along the back of your thigh, and gently stretching and flexing these muscles can help prevent future injury.
While laying flat on your stomach, bring your leg up behind you bending your knee so your heels come as close to your buttocks as possible. The quadriceps should stretch just enough to feel the muscle engage, but not so much that it hurts. Repeat this 20 times while switching off legs.
You can also effectively do this exercise standing up. Hold onto a chair and lift your leg toward you. You can gently reach back and pull it in if you wish, but be careful not to pull it to the side.
5. Side Leg Raises
This exercise is a great at toning, which also makes it more challenging.
Lay on your side and bend the bottom leg into a right angle. This will support your body through the movement. Your top leg should remain straight with your toe slightly pointed as you lift it into the air about 45 degrees. Hold it for several seconds before gently lowering it and repeating several times. Don’t forget to switch sides and do this exercise for your opposite leg as well.
Knee pain can be so frustrating. It can diminish the quality of your life as it makes everyday activities painful. Hopefully these simple exercise can help you control the pain and get you back in the swing of things.
What exercises do you do at home to strengthen your muscles? Tell us in the comments. And while you’re here, check out our other healthy living articles.
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