by Will Grumke July 28, 2020 5 min read
Do you have creaky, painful knees? Have you ever tried to do anything about them? Did you know you could even do anything for them?
In this article, we’ll talk about your knees and ways that may help to strengthen them.
The knee is the joint that’s between the thigh and the lower leg.
Your knee allows you to walk, run, stand, kick, jump, and sit. As far as your mobility is concerned, it’s one of the more important joints in the body.
That being said, a lot of people experience knee pain,so you're not alone. This can make it very difficult to go about your day-to-day routine without a lot of pain and discomfort.
But what causes knee pain? Actually, it could be a few different factors.
One of those issues may be an imbalance in the muscles surrounding your knee.
The placement of a muscle determines whether it pulls or pushes.
If there’s an imbalance, it’s possible that some of the pushing muscles or the pulling muscles in your leg are overpowering others and causing problems.
Another possibility is that you’re lacking certain nutrients.
Lastly, there are several joint-related health issues that would require more in-depth medical help. Arthritis is one of the most common examples of this.
If you’re experiencing knee pain, or you simply feel like you’re experiencing knee weakness, you should talk with your doctor.
He or she will help confirm whether or not there is something going on that requires more serious medical attention.
But until then, here are some tips that may help you strengthen your knees.
If you want to learn how to possibly strengthen your knees, follow the steps below.
If none of these suggestions seem to make a difference, then once again, it would be a good idea to visit your doctor to see if there’s something more serious going on.
To work on strengthening your knees though, try to do the following.
Strengthening the muscles in and around your knee will help to stabilize the joint and can assist with it feeling better quickly.
One of the best things you can do for your knee is exercise.
We understand that warming up is not the most exciting part of a workout. However, it can be very beneficial for joint health if you warm up before exercise.
Warming up before you really start working on strength and conditioning will help prepare your knee and the surrounding muscles for the workout you’re about to do.
This is important for two reasons.
First, if your knee weakness is due to a muscle imbalance, we want to try and avoid injuring any of the muscle groups we are working.
That’s because any injuries you sustain while working out could just make the problem worse.
It may further weaken the injured muscle, or it could set your progress back for as long as your body needs to properly recover.
Second, warming up can be an indicator for how much your weakened knee can handle that day.
Typically, we want everyone to push themselves during workouts, but without overdoing it.
Here are some exercises you can do to help strengthen your muscles week-after-week.
Knee extensions can be pretty simple. All you need to do is sit on either a chair, desk, or table that’s high enough for your leg to dangle in the air without touching the ground.
If you want, you can place a blanket or some other small layer of padding under your leg for added comfort.
From a dangling position, raise your leg straight up until it’s more or less parallel with the ground. Hold it in that position for a few seconds and slowly lower it down in a controlled fashion.
Do 2-3 sets of 10 knee extensions to work on your quadriceps (front of your thigh).
You can buy ankle weights if you feel like your body weight isn’t making much of a difference, but take it slow and listen to your body.
Knee flexion will help develop your hamstrings (back of your leg).
All you have to do is stand on a board that lifts your body an inch or two off the ground, so one leg is on the board while the other one is just barely above the floor.
Lift the dangling leg back until it’s at a 90-degree angle. Hold your leg in that position for a second or two and slowly let it drop.
This will help strengthen your hamstring while stretching out your quad.
Do the same sets and reps as you would with the knee extensions.
Heel and calf raises work the same muscle groups, but in opposite ways. Simply stand up straight and lift your calves upward until you are standing on your tippy-toes.
From there, slowly lower your foot until it’s on the ground.
Keep that momentum going by pulling your toes upward until you’re standing back on your heels. Move between these positions every couple of seconds.
If you’re trying to be gentle on your knees, try a wall squat.
Lean against a wall so your back is more or less flush with it and your feet are on the ground, perhaps, a foot or two away from it.
Slowly lower your body down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Hold that position for a couple of seconds and then push your body back up the wall.
Here are some final knee strengthening tips you should keep in mind.
We get the excitement to workout, but don’t push yourself too hard right off the bat. Joints can be tricky since there is no "knee muscle", but instead we are focusing on the surrounding muscles.
Do these exercises slowly, purposefully, and under-control. The last thing you’ll want to do is make things worse by going too hard, too quickly.
When you’re focused on knee strengthening, it’s a great time to try some low-impact exercises like swimming a few laps in the pool or simply going for a walk on flat surfaces.
This is great exercise and very easy on your joints.
Yoga is another good low-impact exercise option.
Try and get plenty of antioxidants in your diet. These will help combat the free radicals in your body, as well as lessen any inflammation you may be experiencing.
In fact, one of the best things you can do to help your body feel better is to stay hydrated.
Whether you’re working on those muscles surrounding your knee or you're correcting a nutritional imbalance, we have something for you.
Our mission is to help you, whether it is nutrition help, protein shakes, post-workout recovery supplements, or vitamin supplements. We are here for you to make sure you can work toward your goals everyday.
Whatever your needs are, we're here to help you out!
Will Grumke is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.