A painful knee is stubborn.
A day of skiing, hiking, running or biking will always end with nagging knee pain. Outdoor trainers recommend that you should push your body to the limits.
But It’s hard getting close to these limits with a bad knee. Especially when you know that you’ll have to take some ibuprofens thereafter.
What causes knee pain and can you train it away?
Unless you’re facing a specific injury- such as a torn ACL – knee pain is typically caused by muscle imbalance. There are two joints on the knee; one between the thigh bone and the shin bone and the knee cap is the second joint.
Multiple tendons are anchored at each joint. When you have imbalanced muscles – such as the glutes being weaker than quads that complement them – repetitive movement wears out the knee joint.
Physicians refer to this as anterior knee pain, a fancy catch-all term for general knee pain. Additionally, the knee is aligned by stabilizer muscles next to the hips.
Extra stress is put on the knee when you’re unable to control your foot’s position when exercising. These 3 knee rehabilitation exercises strengthen muscles supporting the knee and improve balance.
How to know if you’ll benefit from knee rehabilitation exercises
Stand on one leg and extend the arms outwards for balance. Squat a few times paying attention to how your knee moves. If it’s wobbling sideways as you squat, or diving nard as you go down, you will find relief in these rehab exercises.
- Side steps
You’ll knee a resistance band on your knees while performing this exercise. Stand tall with your feet together and hips leveled. You’re going to keep the band tensioned at all times or you won’t be activating the gluteus muscle. Keep your chest up and out. Slowly extend your right foot to the side, up to shoulder width. Hold for two seconds and then back to the starting point. Do 5 more reps and then switch sides.
- Wall calf stretch
Calf muscles are often neglected in most knee strengthening routines but you can’t afford to miss stretching them if you plan on doing high impact aerobic exercises. Face the wall and extend your hands such that they touch the wall at about eye level. Put one leg behind the other and your back straight. Gently bring your chest and hip towards the wall and you will feel slight tension in your back leg. Maintain this position for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times, switching legs on each rep.
- Single Straight leg raises
Lie on your back, face up. Bend one knee while keeping the other one straight. Flex your core muscles (abs) and raise the straight leg off the floor as high as you can. Tighten the quad muscles (front part of the thigh) as you raise the straight leg. Lower it. Do as many reps as you can switching knees after each rep.