5 Low Impact Knee-Strengthening Exercises

5 Low Impact Knee-Strengthening Exercises

Knee pain and injuries can arise even during the most moderate of activities. Simple things such as worn out shoes can negatively impact the tracking of your muscles compensating for instability and this can lead to problems with the functions your knee provides your body. Aside of back pain and injuries, knee injuries are perhaps one of the most debilitating due to it being such a core component of your physical movement: the knee-joint is constantly moving as it supports your body’s entire weight. When knee issues arise, the best course of action to rehabilitate it is to exercise the muscles that are essential to a proper functioning knee.

Here are five low impact knee-strengthening exercises to rehabilitate the knee-joint. Consult with your physician before engaging in these exercises to ensure that you do not exacerbate your injuries.

Partial Squatting

Strengthening your knee joint as it relates to pain and injury isn’t about engaging in deep squats or lunges to try to shock them into working, as that will cause further damage to the ligaments and cartilage. Focus on gradually building the muscles surrounding the knee including the thigh and calf muscles.

With a partial squat, you’re achieving results with reduced strain on the joint by dipping half way to the floor. Hold on to the back of a chair for support, with your feet facing forward, then slowly squat to a sitting position and back up. If there’s any pain in the knee, reduce the depth of the squat or the number of reps.

Knee Press

This exercise has a very simple technique but produces very effective results, as it simulates the effects of resistance training, which itself is a low impact strengthening technique.

Lie on your back with your legs straight, and then proceed to push your knee down towards the floor as hard as you can. You’ll feel your quads, glutes and calf muscles all tightening. Hold it there for about 5 seconds then release. Repeat the process on each leg about ten times for each set (depending on the pain in the knee). If it proves to be too painful, you can start by pushing down more lightly and reducing the number of reps.

Leg Raises

Lie in the same position as before, on your back with your legs flat. Slowly raise one leg so it’s about 45 degrees from your body then hold it there. Try to do at least five reps on each leg. For extra impact with this exercise, when your leg is held in the air, try slowly bending the knee and then raising it back to a straight position.

The slow, low impact nature of this exercise ensures minimum exertive force on the knee. Even the simple act of pulling the weight of your leg up a few inches is enough to gradually strengthen the joint from within.

Partial Lunge

This is simply applying the principle of the partial squats to lunges. Try standing in a doorway and holding on to both sides for support. With your legs facing forward about shoulder-width apart, take a large step and dip your weight forward as your knee bends. Go as far as you feel your knee can withstand and hold it there for a few seconds. With your feet back together, repeat the process on the other leg.

By using slow, methodical movements, this will again strengthen the core muscles around the knee-joint so there will be less strain on it, even while walking.

The Step

At the bottom of a set of stairs, step up on to the first step, stand there for a moment, and then step back down again. Repeat the process with the next leg, continue stepping up and down for several reps. Alternatively, you can climb and descend an entire set of stairs a few of times (depending on the size, of course). An average homes staircase should be just the right size for this exercise.

It sounds simple, but the knee is obviously doing its most work while bending, so employing a low impact exercise, which requires the knee to carry out its most common movement, is going to be beneficial. The basic act of carefully climbing steps helps your knee figure out how much strain it needs to be able to withstand.

Practice these low impact knee-strengthening exercises to rehabilitate from knee pain and minor injuries. If you continue to experience pain or your pain increases, consult your physician to determine is you have other issues that need to addressed.

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