What causes weakness and pain in the knees?

Your knee is not just one of the largest joints in your body, but also amongst the most complex. It is one of the most used joints that is used in almost all movements. This is what makes it the most vulnerable to injury. 

Before we talk about workouts to strengthen knees, it is important to know what causes pain and weakness in the knees. Here are some of the most common causes of knee pain:

  • Being obese, which puts excessive pressure on the knees.
  • Arthritis
  • Injuries and strains
  • Torn ligaments or cartilage
  • Not exercising your knees often
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Dislocated kneecap
  • Metabolic issues such as gout
  • Bacterial infections like cellulitis

What are knee strengthening exercises?

Knee pain exercises are those that specifically focus on activating and strengthening the muscles around your knees. These exercises work on muscles such as:

  • Glutes
  • Hip muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

Which are some of the best knee strengthening exercises?

Here are some of the best knee strengthening exercises that you can include in your workout regime:

  1. Quadricep stretch: One of the best stretching exercises for knees, it helps improve the flexibility in your knee area:
  • Stand straight and your feet flat.
  • Bend your right knee and hold your ankle to pull the leg behind you.
  • Slowly pull the ankle towards your hips.
  • Hold this pose for 40-50 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  1. Calf stretch: One of the most effective stretching exercises for knees, it works towards improving your range of motion.
  • Stand straight and keep your weight balanced on both feet.
  • Stand on the leg that is painful and lift the other leg.
  • Lift the heel of the foot that you are standing on and lower the heel down.
  • Repeat on both sides.
  1. Wall squats: One of the best knee strengthening exercises for seniors, it improves the strength of your upper legs, glutes, and knees. 
  • Stand straight keeping your arms at your sides. 
  • Your back must be placed against a wall.
  • Slowly lower yourself down by bending your knees.
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 seconds and return to the starting position.
  1. Chair knee extensions: Amongst the most effective knee extension strengthening exercises, this helps reduce and prevent knee pain.
  • Sit in a chair and rest one of your feet on another chair while keeping your knee slightly raised.
  • Gently push the raised knee towards the ground. Remember to do this only using your leg muscles.
  • Hold the pose for 8-10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  1. Seated knee extension with a band: One of the effective knee strengthening exercises with resistance bands, it helps in making your knees flexible.
  • Sit in a chair and place a resistance and around one leg of the chair and your ankle on the same side of the chair.
  • Gently straighten your leg and hold for 5-10 seconds. 
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  1. Step-ups: One of the best inner knee strengthening exercises, this is also a great exercise to improve your balance.
  • Stand straight with a workout step in front.
  • Step up on the step with your right leg and then with your left leg.
  1. Ups and downs: This knee joint strengthening exercise helps reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Sit firm in an armless chair while keeping your feet flat on the floor.
  • Slowly stand up without using your hands.
  • Hold the pose for a couple of seconds and sit down again. 
  1. Hamstring stretch: One of the great knee strengthening exercises for elderly, it tightens and strengthens your hamstrings.
  • Lie down on the floor with your legs straight. 
  • Lift one leg off the floor.
  • Place your hand below the knee and behind your thigh and pull your knee towards your chest.
  • Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

What are the benefits of knee strengthening exercises?

People living with knee pain and a tendency to get injured may feel that workouts to strengthen knees is the last thing that they should do. That’s not true, since people suffering from knee issues benefit from knee strengthening exercises at home and gym.  

Some best knee strengthening exercises benefits include:

  1. Knee strengthening exercises for athletes help improve their power and flexibility, which improves their sports performance. 
  1. Knee strengthening exercises for seniors help in preventing degenerative conditions such as arthritis and let you manage its painful symptoms.
  1. Stretching exercises for knee pain improve your circulation and alleviate pain, tension, and stiffness in the knees.
  1. Medial knee strengthening exercises strengthen the muscles around your knees. This helps the knee area stabilise and reduces the impact on the bones during weightlifting.
  1. Gym and home knee strengthening exercises release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killers. 
  1. Staying inactive for long due to joint pain further increases joint stiffness. Doing knee extension strengthening exercises helps keep the muscles around your knees supple and improves the function of the knees.
  1. Most of these exercises don’t require much setup and can be easily included in your home exercises.

How to try knee strengthening exercises safely?

Whether it is knee strengthening exercises for runners or for regular gym goers, here are some things that you need to keep in mind to do these exercises safely. These include:

  • Don’t start doing high-impact knee joint strengthening exercises at the outset. Start slow and gradually build your practice.
  • Home knee strengthening exercises should be learnt from an experienced trainer. This helps prevent injuries.
  • Always do a warm-up session before doing knee strengthening exercises for elderly.
  • If you feel pain or dizziness while doing knee strengthening exercises at home, stop exercising immediately.

Takeaway

Even the best knee strengthening exercises will not benefit you if you don’t keep yourself stimulated through its variations. Also, consistency is the key to strengthening your knees. Don’t suddenly change the intensity of the stretching exercises for knee pain or reduce your activity. 

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Posted 
February 4, 2022
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