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Healthy, pain free knees – best exercises and advice

2nd April, 2017

Knee pain - examination by a physiotherapist

Take care of your knees and they’ll help you get up off the floor, walk downstairs, balance on uneven ground and walk for miles without pain.

It’s not all about muscle strength either … in fact, that’s only one part of the picture.

Flexibility, good control of the way you move and balance are all equally important for fit, healthy knees. Here are a few of our favourite exercises to target these key issues and help you maintain your knees for life.

Quadriceps and glutes strengthening exercises

Bridge

 

Exercise to improve knee pain

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Breathe out and lift up your hips. Hold for a breath in at the top and lower again slowly and with control. Repeat 10 times

Squats with ball

Squats with a ball for knee pain

  • Lean against a wall and place a ball between your knees, just above your knee joint.
  • Breathe in to prepare.
  • Breathe out and slide down the wall, bending your knees to squat
  • Breathe in to hold for a moment and breathe out to rise again, repeat 10 times

Lateral band walk

Strength training for the thighs with resistance band

  • Tie a band around your knees, just below the knee joint.
  • Tighten your abdominals and Hinge through your hips and bend your knees slightly into the squat position and hold.
  • Breathe out and step sideways with one foot.
  • Breathe in to follow it with the other.
  • Breathe out to step back again and in to finish.
  • Repeat 10 times without straightening up.

Stretches to improve flexibility

 Hip flexor

Stretch for the hips

  • Place one knee on a rolled towel and the other out in front.
  • Tuck your tailbone under and press forwards slightly to stretch the front of your hip
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times on each side.

Glutes

Stretch for the buttock muscles

  • Lie on your back and place one foot on the opposite knee
  • Lift the leg underneath and reach through and around your underneath thigh to hold it with your hands and support the stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times on each side.

Seated hamstring

Stretch for the hamstring muscles

  • Sit with one leg straight out in front of you
  • Hinge through your hips and keep your back straight as you lean forwards to stretch the back of your thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times on each side.

Quads stretch

Stretch for the thigh muscles

  • Lie on your side and bend your top knee.
  • Take hold of your ankle or trousers and press forward through your hip to stretch the front of your thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.

Control

Single leg squat

Single leg squat exercise for knee rehab

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Keep your pelvis level as you bend your knee slightly.
  • Focus on keeping your knee in line with your toes as it bends.
  • Straighten again and repeat 10 times on each side with good control.

Tips: practice in front of a mirror first

Balance

Star excursion

Balance work to improve control around the knees

  • Stand on one leg and imagine the points of a star around your leg on the floor
  • Reach along one of the points with your other leg. Move as far as you can with good balance and control then lift it back and repeat in each direction

A physiotherapist will be able to make adjustments to your programme to focus more specifically on the areas where you are weakest, so you get the most out of it!

Contact us if you have any questions

The Pilatesfit Team