Do you have bad knees? You're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four adults has arthritis, and almost half of those people have knee problems. If you are one of them, don't worry – there are exercises you can do to help improve your knee health. Here are five exercises you can do at any
that will help get you started.
Step-ups are a great way to tone your legs and glutes, and they can be done just about anywhere. All you need is a step or a raised surface to put your foot on. Start by standing in front of the step with one foot on the step and the other on the ground. Keeping your core engaged, press down into the step with your foot to lift your body up until both legs are straight. Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat. Do 10-12 reps on each leg.
For an extra challenge, try holding a dumbbell in each hand as you do the step-ups. This will work your arms as well as your legs. Or, try alternating legs each time you step up. This will make the exercise a little more difficult and help to even out any imbalances in your muscles.
2. Calf Raises
Calf raises are a great way to strengthen your lower legs and improve your balance. To do a calf raise, simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise yourself up onto your toes. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower back down. You can do this exercise with or without weight.
If you want to make the exercise more challenging, you can try doing single-leg calf raises. To do this, stand on one leg and raise yourself up onto your toes. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower back down. You can also try holding weights in your hands to make the exercise more difficult.
3. Partial Squats
If you're looking to add a little extra to your squat routine, try partial squats. These are squats that are performed with only a partial range of motion, usually about halfway down. While they may not seem like much, partial squats can actually be quite challenging and will help to build strength in your lower body. They are also a great way to add variety to your workout routine.
4. Straight-Leg Raises
One of the best exercises you can do for your lower body is the straight-leg raise. This exercise works your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, and can help to improve your mobility and range of motion.
To perform the straight-leg raise, start by lying flat on your back with your legs extended straight in front of you. Slowly raise one leg up into the air, keeping your knee straight and your thigh in line with your torso. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
5. Hamstring Stretch
Start by lying on your back with both legs extended straight in front of you. Place a strap or rolled-up towel around the middle of your right foot. Keeping your left leg flat on the ground, slowly lift your right leg up toward the ceiling, using the strap to help guide it. You should feel a gentle stretch along the back of your right leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then lower your leg back down to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg.
While bad knees can be frustrating, there are plenty of exercises you can do to help improve their health and function. These five exercises should get you started on the right path, along with a Freehold personal training program. If you experience any pain or discomfort when doing these exercises, please stop immediately and consult your doctor.