By Andrew Huang
All too often people don’t take a great amount of care with their knees, only to suffer the consequences later. From bending to stretching, and walking and running, our knees are the key to a great deal of our mobility. Without proper exercising and stretching, knees experience joint issues. While knee problems are most common in people over the age of 65, an injury or strain can result in knee issues for someone of any age. Ligament, cartilage, and osteoporosis issues can also strike knees that are in poor shape. With these three exercises, you can keep your knees in good condition or make progress towards recovery if you have bad knees now. Of course, you should always consult your physician if you are experiencing serious knee issues. Because stretching is key to avoiding knee injuries, it’s also wise to stretch your legs before starting any knee work out.
Step ups are an exercise that just about anyone can do at home or in the gym. The first step is to get a six inch pedestal of some sort – this could be a platform at the gym, or a short stool that you have around the house. Lift one leg and place it completely on the platform. As you step on with one leg, let your other leg hang loose. Keep the stance for about 3 to 5 seconds. While you are in the step up position, be sure not to completely lock either knee. Once you step down, repeat the process with the other leg. This exercise will strengthen the muscles in your thighs, hips, and buttocks. In strengthening these muscles, you will improve the state of your knees.
Single Leg Dip
This exercise will also strengthen your thigh and buttocks muscles, and can easily be done at home. To begin, place two chairs a few feet apart, so that you can comfortably stand between them. With one hand on each chair for balance, lift one of your legs about 45 degrees and then lower your body a few inches by bending the knee on the leg that is still on the ground. Your motion should be similar to sitting down in a chair. Make sure to put your weight on the heel of your foot, and hold the position for about 3 seconds before switching legs.
Hamstring curls also require a chair, table, or another device that can be used for balance. Stand behind the chair with both hands on it, and lift one leg behind you. Stop lifting once your leg is bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold the position for about 3 seconds, and then lower your leg and switch to the other leg. This exercise will strengthen the back of your thigh muscles, and will also help improve the mobility for your knees.
Knee stretching and exercising are essential to overall leg health and mobility. These exercises take only a few minutes each day, but can help improve your knee health and make it easier for you to get around and stay fit.
– Andrew Huang has an interest in healthy knees having suffered from several knee injuries in the past. He likes to share his insights and tips by writing for health blogs so that others don’t suffer as he did. Click here for knee replacement information.