Corrective Exercises For Bad Knees
Many people experience pain and stiffness in their knees, the largest joints in the body. But painful knees needn't be permanent, and regular corrective exercise can strengthen the muscles around the knee, preventing further degeneration within the joint.
Why muscles affect joints
The muscular system attaches to our bones and controls their position and movement. Often when we have joint problems, the cause relates to certain muscles being too tight and others too weak, allowing excess movement in the knee when you walk and causing damage.
The muscles around your knee need to be strengthened, but you also need to activate your butt muscles as they prevent the knees from moving sideways.
Try the following exercises to activate the muscles, ligaments and tendons around your knees and butt! And get your technique checked by a fitness specialist to ensure you are obtaining maximum benefit from the exercises.
1) Shoulder bridge
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, facing forwards.
- Draw your belly button into your spine and clench your butt.
- Keeping the squeeze in your butt, lift it off the floor towards the ceiling until you make a straight line between your knees and shoulders.
- Hold this position for 2 seconds before slowly lowering yourself halfway down towards the floor.
- As you lower, aim to keep your tummy in and your butt muscles squeezed!
- From the halfway position, repeat the process.
- Try not to lower completely to the floor with each rep as you want to keep constant demand on these muscles, they can rest at the end of 15 repetitions.
- Aim for 15 reps for two sets, 2-3 times a week, not on consecutive days.
2) Single leg toe touches
- Activate your core muscles and lift one foot off the floor while in a standing position.
- Bend your knee and take your opposite hand down to touch the toe of the leg you are standing on.
- As you bend, ensure you load your weight backwards on to your heel.
- As you go from your squat to standing position, keep your bodyweight through your heel and squeeze your butt muscles.
- At the top of the movement, squeeze your glut as tightly and tuck your butt under. Butt muscles burning are good sign!
- Aim to complete 10 reps on each leg. Work up to 15 each side for two sets with slow, controlled movement.
IMPORTANT: fatigue setting in through the lower leg, means you should sit back on that heel more.