Our knee is a very important part of our lower body. It is the one which takes the entire weight of our body and helps us to make all types of movements. Without proper functioning of our knees, we won’t be able to conduct our daily day-to-day activities smoothly. The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. The knee joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The smaller bone that runs alongside the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are the other bones that make the knee joint.
However, it is the tendons that connect the knee bones to the leg muscles that move the knee joint. Well, there are ligaments, which join the knee bones and provide stability to the knee. One of the ligaments is ACL i.e. the anterior cruciate ligament that prevents the femur from sliding backwards on the tibia. Whereas the posterior cruciate ligament prevents the femur from sliding forward on the tibia, while the medial and lateral collateral ligaments prevent the femur from sliding side to side.
Besides ligaments, there are also two C-shaped pieces of cartilage called the medial and lateral menisci, which acts as shock absorber between the femur and tibia.
One of the best ways to develop stronger knees and ward off future injuries is to build strong, fluid and solid muscles around the knees and in your legs and core. By incorporating precise knee stretches and targeted exercise for knee pain into your routine, you can revamp and enhance the strength of those achy knees that have been bothering you for years.
Why Knee Strengthening Exercises Are Important for Better Knee Condition
Knee exercises and stretches that promote both power and flexibility are the greatest benefits because they can help you to combat any uncertain injury. Knee strengthening exercises develop the muscles around the knee, but they can also cause the muscles to get tight, if not stretched properly. A tight muscle will constrict the knee joint and be more prone to injury. Stretching after knee strengthening exercise will alleviate muscle soreness and keep the muscles long and elastic.
If you are facing knee pain due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and regain range of motion. Exercising a knee that’s injured or arthritic may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, exercise is better for your knee than keeping it still. Not moving your knee can cause it to stiffen, and this may worsen the pain and make it harder to conduct your daily activities.
Best Knee Strengthening Exercises
Before you start the knee strengthening exercises program for knee pain or knee strengthening, be sure to consult your doctor or physiotherapist to make sure the exercises are safe for you. Depending on your situation, they may recommend some modifications to your exercise regime.
1.) Squats Exercise
Squats are considered great for knee strengthening exercises. You can either perform a squat hold or a squat for reps. For each, begin slowly and walk your feet out, keeping your back slightly bent, bending at your hips and knees until you’re in a seated position where your knees are in line with your hips and your ankles are directly under your knees pointing straight forward in line with your toes. To hold, just stay in that position for 30 seconds and then come up to rest. Repeat this five times. Repeat three sets of ten.
2.) Lunges Exercise
Lunges is one of the great knee strengthening exercises that one can perform in the comfort of their home. Standing up straight, step one foot back and lower down into a lunge position until you feel a light level of pain or until your bottom knee nearly touches the ground. Make sure your front knee stays in line with your front ankle, and your back knee stays right under your hips. Hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat three to four times.
3.) Leg Extension Exercise
To generate extra power into your legs and knee and to keep it in good condition, the leg extension exercise is the great one to consider as one of the knee strengthening exercises. Performing this exercise will help your muscles in the front thighs to grow. The more toned your front thigh muscles will be, the better strength will develop. Leg extension exercise will help to keep your ligaments and tissues in proper shape. Performing leg extension will power up your quadriceps muscles, as you do this exercise your quad muscles are contracted, to bring the knees up against the weighted resistance.
4.) Side-lying Hip Abduction Exercise
Side-lying hip abduction exercise is also one of the best knee strengthening exercises that one can perform without any hassle. To perform this exercise start lying on your side opposite the painful leg with your hips and legs stacked on top of each other. Lift your top leg up, making sure it stays in line with your lower leg and doesn’t drift down in front of you, and then lower it back down. Repeat three sets of 10 reps.
5.) Leg Curl Exercise
A hamstring curl or leg curl is a very important exercise that one should do. Being one of the great knee strengthening exercises, leg curl is an exercise that strengthens the hamstrings. It involves bending your knees and moving your heels toward your butt while the rest of your body stays still. During a leg curl, your back thigh muscles work to lift your lower leg. This movement engages your hamstrings and glutes, which makes them stronger. Making your hamstring muscles strong will certainly make you less prone to injury and pain. That’s because strong hamstrings can withstand the impact of exercise and help to stabilize your knees. Typically, the exercise is done on a leg curl machine. But if you don’t have suitable gym equipment, you can do other types of hamstring curls at home.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.