Whilst hitting the gym regularly and getting plenty of physical exercise and activity on a weekly, even daily basis is considered extremely beneficial for our general health and well-being, it’s important that we take special care of ourselves when we exercise and work out.
Always consult a GP/Doctor to diagnose knee problems. Use these tips at your own risk and only after consulting a medical professional.
As far as exercise-related injuries are concerned, one of the most commonly afflicted parts of the human anatomy is the knees.
As well as being exercise-related, knee problems can also be weight-related and as so many people in the world are now classed as overweight, it’s little wonder why as many as 1 in 4 adults now suffers with some form of knee injury or pain.
As mentioned, the exact causes are not clear as sometimes these injuries can be freak occurrences, sports or exercise injuries, whilst other times they may be caused due to the fact that the knees are not used to having to support so much weight.
Whatever the causes may be, the good news is that there are natural ways of strengthening and protecting your knees, and to help you out we’ll be taking a look at just 4 examples of how.
1. Foam rolling
Foam rolling is considered highly beneficial for a whole variety of different reasons, one of which is injury prevention.
By foam rolling your shins, studies have found that this is the most beneficial part of your body for when it comes to protecting your knees.
As the shins are located in such close proximity to the knees, it’s no wonder why foam rolling them can help to strengthen and protect your knees.
There are a number of different exercises you can do, and what’s especially great is that many of them simply last a few minutes.
2. Hamstring flosses
Another great way of strengthening the knees is to perform what are known as hamstring flosses.
Basically, these exercises require you to take a basic tennis ball, a ledge or a solid box that is roughly thigh height, and to then sit down and place the tennis ball underneath your legs upon your hamstrings.
You then simply bend your knee and extend your leg whilst applying direct pressure upon the muscles and allowing the tennis ball to roll up and down your hamstrings.
3. Quad stretches
If you have a wall, and there’s a very strong chance that you will have, you can perform this basic exercise.
This stretch is ideal because it’s easy, it’s quick, and it targets the knees and various other parts of the leg as well.
To perform wall quad stretches, face away from a wall so that you’re in the bottom part of a lunge position.
Next you will need to flip the foot at the back of you so that your toes are now touching the wall surface.
Your rear knee will be the axis point for this stretch. The closer your knee is to the wall, the deeper the stretching sensation will become.
4. Band Terminal Knee Extension (TKE)
This is another great exercise that is often incorporated into many knee injury rehabilitation programs.
To perform this exercise, take a basic exercise band, loop it around a sturdy and solid base, then, using just one leg, step into the band, placing it just above the knee.
Next, step forward until you create a little tension on the band.
Now you need to bend and extend your knee whilst trying to completely straighten the knee, contracting your quad muscles as you do.
Aim for as many reps as possible, then switch legs and repeat for the same number of reps again.
This article was originally published in Gym Geek.