“I can’t do that – I’ve got sore knees!” Ever heard yourself say this when you’re exercising? Knee pain can really cramp your workout game, but the best thing for most forms of knee pain is, you guessed it, exercise! This is because you can target the muscles around the knee to offer it more support. But, if you have poor form, or are doing the wrong exercises in the first place, you’re going to send yourself limping back to the bench in no time at all.
The Harvard Medical School says: “The proper balance of strength in the muscles can hold the joint in the most functional and least painful position. With any knee, the first muscles to lose strength are the largest antigravity muscles, the quadriceps and gluteals, so an exercise plan for any injury is likely to focus on these.” Furthermore, strong quadriceps can take over the shock-absorbing role usually played by the meniscus or cartilage in the knee.
Check in with your BODYTEC trainer what will work for your particular situation, but you can get the ball rolling with these exercises to do at home:
Don’t do: full squats
Do: Partial squats
Standing in front of a chair in the squat position, lower yourself towards the chair. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes.
Don’t do: lunges
Standing on front of a step, step up onto it (right foot first). Tap your left foot on the top of the step, and then lower. As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle. Repeat with the left foot.
Don’t do: leg curls
Do: calf raises
Using a chair or wall for balance, stand with your feet about hip-width apart, toes straight ahead. Slowly lift your heels off the floor, rising up onto your toes. Hold, then slowly lower.