by Amanda Jane Snyder
Exercises for Healthy Knees! Got Knee Pain Try These Exercises!
"Oh, I can't run, I have bad knees."
"Oh I can't wear those shoes, they don't have enough support and hurt my knees."
"I tried squatting and it just hurts my knees."
Have you ever heard this or said these things yourself?
If you're new here, welcome! If you've been following my for awhile you know what I might have to say... knee pain is often a SYMPTOM of an underlying root problem. Not the actual problem. A few things may be going on here.
1. You may be weak in certain areas and over compensating which ultimately is causing knee pain.
2. You may be lacking mobility in certain areas and over compensating which ultimately is causing knee pain.
Why do your knees hurt when you run? Weakness or lack of mobility.
Why do certain shoes affect your knees? Weak feet.
Why do your knees hurt in a squat? Weakness of lack of mobility.
Of course, in certain situations, the weakness and tightness may be different depending on each situation. But more often than not, people who have constant pain in their knees are dealing with any or all of the following: weak glute medius, over active inner thigh muscles, weak quads, weak feet, tight and weak anterior tibialis.
Ultimately it's up to you to get a proper fitness assessment to understand your unique body better.
Until then, try this workout routine on your next leg day.
1. WARM UP
CARs stands for Controlled Articulate Rotations. We want to make the biggest circles we can possibly make in order to create space in these joint capsules. I recommend doing these DAILY. Especially if you're already experiencing knee pain. You might experience some clicking happening in these joints, if you do, start with smaller circles and gradually make them bigger. For more direction on how to do CARs, follow along here.
2. Anterior Tibialis Raises
The anterior tib is involved in deceleration as we walk, jump, hop, leap. It protects the knee! If it's weak, no wonder we have knee problems. 1-2 sets of 25 reps.
3. Heels Elevated Squat
This exercise allows for a deeper squat. It allows for greater range of motion in the knees rather than relying on the hips to get deep in the squat. Our knees are better able to get over the toes which strengthens are anterior tib and increases ankle mobility. Heels elevated also puts greater emphasis on the quads rather than the hamstrings or glutes. Strong quads and strong anterior tibialis is KEY for healthy knees. Try 3 sets of 10 and see how long you can hold at the bottom.
4. Weighted Single Leg Plié
This exercise specifically strengthens your Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO) which is apart of your quad! It sits right on the inside of your thigh. It also helps improve balance and stability, and creates an opportunity to activate your glute med by not legging your knee cave in. Try 3 sets of 15 each leg.
5. Knees Over Toes Lunge
This exercises increases the mobility and range of motion in your knee as well as ankle mobility. Try 3 sets of 10.
6. Leg Extension Machine
Strengthen your quads with this machine specifically designed to target the quads. Try 3 sets of 10.
Try these exercises consistently and see if your knee pain improves!
Amanda Jane Snyder is a certified FRCms from which some of the ideas in this article stem. She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Mindset Coach living in Brooklyn, NY. She has been vegan since 2016. She specializes in Strength and Conditioning for Actors, Singers, and Dancers.