Whether you have knee pain now or your trying to prevent it, these exercises could have a HUGE impact on how you move, and how you feel. After having knee problems of my own, I know how painful it can be and how IMPORTANT it is to prevent it! One of these exercises was pulled from Dr Oz. and the others come from my background as a personal trainer. I believe that the combination of the two together are an awesome way to prevent injury and give relief from common knee problems. Use these 5 exercises to prevent tight painful knees.
Dr Oz Knee Strengthening Exercise
- Lay on your back, with your knees bent.
- Place a thera band just above the knees and hold it there with one or both hands
- Lift your hips off the ground and contract your butt
- Pull your knees in and out (repeat 12 -15 times) try to do 2 -3 sets – If the exercise is easy then increase the resistance band to a harder color.
Quad Strengthening Exercise
See Exercise Here Start with your right leg and pull your toes towards the ceiling so your ankle is at 90 degrees and contract your thigh muscle (you will feel your kneecap move up your leg). Rotate your leg slightly outwards and lift it off the ground. Hold your leg off the ground for 10 seconds. Drop the leg back down to start position and relax. Repeat on the left leg. Do this exercise for one minute. Repeat this exercise 10 – 15 time on each leg. Trainer Tip: If you can’t hold it 10 seconds, then try holding it for 5 seconds. You can always work up to 10 ; Don’t Forget that Flexibility and strength go hand in hand. If a muscle is too tight or (overactive) then it’s automatically weak. You have to release the knots in the muscles to regain flexibility, then use exercises to regain stregth. It’s a push, pull, BUT if you can make it through the rough sore periods it’s worth the time and effort to avoid having tight painful knees. Foam rolling is a key component to relaxing muscles so they no longer pull your knee in unnatural movement patterns. Use these 3 foam rolling exercises to get your flexibility back and to reduce unwanted pain. This came from our “Better Butt Exercises” If you want to read the full article, click here
Foam Rolling Your Butt (periformis)
Sit on the foam roller and cross a leg. Lean towards the crossed leg. Roll back and fourth slowly until you find a spot that is tender. Stay on the tender area for 20 -30 seconds and then find the next spot.
Foam Rolling IT Band
* The Secret Ingredient to really solving the problem is ROLLING YOUR IT BANDS. Yes the exercises above will help to strengthen your thighs. If the IT band isn’t relaxed it will continue to pull the knee joint inward. Make sure you roll 4-5 times a week for the first 2-3 weeks to really get them loosened up. After that, you can decrease it to 2-3 times per week.
Place the foam roller on the ground and lie on your side with your hip just under it, as shown in the image to your right. If you want to reduce the pressure of the foam roller on your thigh you can place your other leg over the knee and on the ground to give yourself more support (also shown in the picture to the right). In addition to your foot you can also use your arms to lift yourself off the ground to take the pressure off the foam roller. Use your arms and legs to move the foam roller along your thigh, from your hip down to your knee. Any areas that are sore or tight can be given some extra attention. Over time these exercises will help to loosen and stretch your ITB and help to relieve the pain caused by Iliotibial Band Syndrome (source).
Foam Rolling Your Quads (Front of thighs)
Lie on your stomach with the roller underneath your quads. Tip over slightly so that all of your weight is firmly on your left quad — your right leg should be in the air, or leaning against your left left.Using your forearms, slowly roll down the front of your quad from knee to hips (but don’t roll onto your knee). If your hip capsule/hip flexors are tight (at the very top of your quads), hold the spot for 5s before releasing down (source).
Whatever you do, DO NOT MINIMIZE your pain or discomfort. I say this because a lot go people say,” Oh my knees just hurt a little,” or “They aren’t that bad.” If your knees grind, constantly pop, and are a reminder that you’re getting old, then it’s time to take care of them and fix the weak, tight muscles that are causing pain, and bad movement patterns. Your knees remember. They remember all the times you got out of the car wrong, they remember that you sat for 12 hours straight without moving, and they remember that you were supposed to stretch before that long cycle class! Treat your knees like gold and you will have a life full of movement! If you know someone who struggles with any kind of knee pain then share these exercises for tight painful knees and give them back their motion.