7 Exercises to Relieve Knee Pain | Mark’s Daily Apple
The knee is almost always the first joint to go when people “start getting old.” How many people do you know have given up any kind of ...
...serious physical activity because of their “bad knees”? How many people avoid the gym because their knees are supposedly too stiff?
How many people take the elevator to go up a floor, avoid hikes because they can’t handle the hills, or give up on their favorite sports—all because their knees hurt? It’s too many.
The couch stretch, a movement and term coined by Kelly Starrett of Ready State fame, is a stretch that undoes hours of sitting.
1. Couch Stretch
Then, when we go to do some squats or any other dynamic knee-centric sport or movement, we have to deal with all that tension upstream of the knee.
See how it feels to rest in the bottom position.
You should feel much less pressure on your knees and a greater ability to rest in the bottom position comfortably.
Toperform the knee circles, place your hands on your quadriceps, just above the knee caps.
2. Knee Circles
Knee circles are great for people with meniscus issues.
These are a great warmup before leg workouts, or even done every morning as a warmup for life.
The teardrop squat is named for its ability to target the teardrop muscle of the quadriceps, also known as the vastus medialis obliques (VMO).
3. Tear Drop Squats
Traditional leg workouts often do not adequately target the VMO, but the teardrop squat can help to engage it by maintaining an upright torso and keeping ...
...the feet on the balls of the feet as you squat down, allowing little to no space between the glutes and calves at the bottom of the movement.
VMO step downs are also a great exercise for strengthening the VMO that you can do almost anywhere.
4. VMO Step Downs
Do not push off with the hanging foot; all the work comes from the foot that’s planted on the step.
There should be little to no hip flexion.
Keep your torso upright and straight.
5. Deep Knee Split Squats
To perform a deep split squat, start by reaching one foot far behind you and put one in front of you with your torso centered between both.
If these are too easy unweighted, progress to weighted with dumbbells, weight vests, or even barbells.
The tibialis anterior is the muscle running along the front of your shin.
6. Tibia Raises
A lot of knee pain occurs because the tibia is too weak to control the knee during the hard impactful flexion that occurs during jumping and landing, running and planting, and lifting.
Tibia raises involve starting with your ankle in plantar flexion (toes pointing down), then performing dorsiflexion (toes moving toward the knee) against a load (weight, band, etc).
There is also specialized equipment designed to help you do weighted tibia raises, or you can use resistance bands or weight room cable machines.
7. Backward Weighted Hill Walks
Walking backward up a hill with a weight vest on or carrying weights is a low stress way to increase quad activation, strengthen ...
...the muscles surrounding (and controlling) the knee, and promote blood and healing synovial fluid flow to the knee.
Doing these before any leg workout is a fantastic way to warm up your knees without exhausting them.
You can also do a weighted backward sled drag using a prowler, weight sled, or even an automobile.
Even if you don’t have knee pain, there’s no downside to strengthening your knees and the muscles that support them.
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