6 Knee Exercises for Healthy Joints
Over time and with activity, knee joints can experience wear, tear, and injury. Notwithstanding, one of the best ways to protect the knee joints is to focus on exercises that target the areas surrounding them. The following leg exercises will help to minimize knee joint trauma, strengthen the adjacent muscles, and prevent injury.
This exercise can be done on either a short platform — stool or bench — or the bottom step of a staircase. Place one foot on the platform, and slowly lower the opposite foot until its toes touch the ground. Then, bending at the knee, lift the foot until it reaches the same height as the foot resting on the platform, and repeat. Perform this exercise in sets of two, with 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
Start from a standing position with a sturdy surface to grab for balance, as needed. Slowly, simultaneously lift both heels and balance on the toes, hold the pose for a few seconds, and return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise with two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Seated Hip Marchs
Sitting in a chair with straight posture, place one foot slightly behind the other with toes touching the floor. Bending at the knee, lift the front foot and hold it in the air for three to five seconds. If necessary, support the lifted leg with your hands. Slowly lower the lifted foot to the starting position. Repeat two sets with 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
Prepare for this exercise by sitting in a chair, on a bench, or atop a comfortable surface with a rolled hand towel or similar padding underneath the knee. From a seated position with straight posture, extend the knee, lifting the foot and calf to create a parallel line. Slowly return the foot and calf back to the resting position, and repeat. For best results, conduct this exercise separately on each leg in sets of two to three with 10 repetitions per set.
In a seated position with straight posture, bent knees, and a pillow placed between the knees, squeeze the knees and attempt to bring them together. Hold this pose for three to five seconds, relax for three to five seconds, and repeat. Complete this exercise in two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Standing Knee Flexions
Standing with straight posture, lift and flex one foot by bending the knee. Lift the flexed foot until it reaches an angle 90 degrees from the thigh. Slowly lower the foot and straighten the leg to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for each leg with two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Physical Therapy in St. Augustine
Before you set out on a physical therapy or general exercise plan, consult the orthopaedic specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. Our rehabilitation team can help restore your mobility, protect your joints, and get you back to the daily activities you know and love. To schedule an appointment, complete our online request form or call us at 904-825-0540.
PAUL ROETTGES – MD
A member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Knee and Hip Surgeries, Dr. Roettges performs hip and knee replacements as well as complex unresolved hip and knee pain.