Sunday, April 22, 2012

Exercises To Strengthen The Knee Muscles

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Extreme Team Member had a question about strengthing the muscles around her knee. These are some articles I have read and know will help a lot of people get through rehabing their knee issues.

Certain exercises are designed to strengthen the leg and knee muscles that surround an injured knee ligament, reducing the amount of pressure put on the ligament and improving its rehabilitation time. According to The Mayo Clinic, torn ligaments in the knee can range from a torn meniscus to an ACL injury. Both injuries require extensive rehabilitation and strength training to successfully rehabilitate your knee.

Quadricep Strengthening Exercise
This exercise is designed to strengthen your quadriceps, which will indirectly relieve tension on your knee ligament and allow it to heal properly. Sit down in a chair with your back straight and knees slightly bent. From here, move to the edge of the chair and extend your legs out as far as they will go. Tighten your thigh muscles and hold them in this position for 10 seconds. Release for three seconds before repeating. Repeat the exercise 10 times before resting.

Illotibial Band Exercise
This Illotibial band exercise is designed to stretch your knee joints and strengthen your leg muscles. Start by sitting down on the floor and placing your right foot on the outside of your left leg. According to Big Knee Pain, your knee should cross over the midline of your body and line up directly with your opposite shoulder. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before releasing. Perform this exercise with your non-injured knee as well to keep both knees stretched and loose.

Static Quad Contraction
This contraction exercise is designed to strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings, taking pressure off your knee and helping it to return to its original strength. Start by sitting down on a yoga mat with your legs extended and back straight. From here, place both of your hands flat on the ground and at your sides. With your head facing forward, lift up your injured leg, making sure not to bend at the knee cap. Hold this raised position for a count of five before lowering it. Perform 10 repetitions before resting.

Glute Strengthening Exercise
The glute strengthening exercise will tighten your glutes, allowing for added weight and pressure to be removed from your recovering knee ligament. Start by standing directly behind a chair with both of your hands on the top of the chair. Swing your injured leg backward until you feel your glutes tighten. While holding this position, tighten your glutes and attempt to push your leg back even further. Bring your leg back and repeat the exercise 10 additional times.

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How to Strengthen Your Knees

Edited bySondra C and 12 others
Your knees are very important for all your daily tasks, but they can be damaged somewhat easily. Here are some tips for taking care of them.

Your knees are cushioned by special pads of cartilage. Those pads can wear out from too much impact, which is one reason marathon runners suffer from knee problems. Hundreds of thousands of bounces on a hard paved surface will cause injury eventually.

One of the most important ways to strengthen your knees is to strengthen your Quadricep muscles. Those are the muscles running along the front of your thighs. They are exercised when you extend your knee, so they're used when you walk, climb stairs, squat, or pedal a bicycle. Stretch and exercise regularly. Leg presses are a good idea, too.

Always wear appropriate shoes when you participate in high-impact sports. Replace your shoes every six months, even if they don't look worn, because the springiness is gone by then.

Make sure to get lots of calcium in your diet. While cow milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are recommended, humans digest calcium from goat milk better. Almonds are an excellent source as well as supplements and some leafy greens.

Get plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C is particularly helpful to the body in repairing connective tissue and joints. Oranges, grapefruits and pineapples are good sources of vitamin C.

Make sure the diet is rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E is believed to hinder enzymes that break down the cartilage in the joints. Spinach, broccoli, peanuts, mango and kiwi are excellent sources of vitamin E.

 •"Exercise Physiology, Energy, Nutrition &Human Performance"; William McArdle, Frank Katch and Victor Katch; 2007
 •"ACSM's Certified News": Anterior Knee Pain in Exercising Individuals; Jeffrey Anderson, M.D.; Oct/Nov/Dec 2009

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  1. Thanks for this! I had to have knee surgery a few years ago and have been looking for ways to strengthen my knee so I can get back into running.

    1. You are welcome. Let me know how you are doing.

  2. I've actually noticed my knees getting stronger. When I first started running a couple months ago, my knees would be sore (not painful) the next day. I wondered if they would be okay, but the soreness was like any other and now I am strong enough to not have issues. Thanks for the info!