Did you know that every pound of fat you carry equates to 10 pounds of pressure on your knee joints when running? Your knees don’t get too much of a break when you’re walking, either; then, every pound equates to 3 pounds of pressure.
With those facts in mind, it’s not hard to see why knee pain is so commonplace, especially in older individuals. But today, we’re going to learn how you can change that – not with a prescription or an over-the-counter medication but with a few simple exercises from licensed physical therapist Dr. Jo!
These exercises will strengthen your knees and make them better able to deal with the stress you throw at them. That means less pain!
You ready? Let’s go!
Exercise #1 – Step Ups
Grab a couple thick hardcover books and stack them. Next, take one leg and place it on the step. Your knee should remain behind your toes at all times.
Begin placing your body weight on the leg. In slow motion, pull your other leg up to the stack. You should feel your knee muscles working. Lower your leg and repeat this motion until they begin to burn. Then, do two more reps and switch sides.
Exercise #2 – Lunges
Hang onto that stack of books. If you have limited mobility, start with a high stack to ensure you maintain proper formation. Facing forward, place your feet on either side of the stack. As with the last exercise, your front knee should never pass your toes. Make sure your back stays upright as well.
In slow motion, drop your body straight down so that your back knee touches the stack of books. Lift your body slowly and repeat until your knee begins burning. Then, do two more reps and switch sides.
Exercise #3 – Squats
For this exercise, you’ll need a coffee table, chair or other bum-height flat surface. If you need a bit of extra height, grab that stack of books again.
Then, stand facing in the direction opposite your flat surface. Place your feet roughly a shoulder-width apart. Push your bottom back and down until you feel it touch the surface. Then, pop back upright. Repeat this motion until – yup, you guessed it – you feel a burn in your knees. Then, do two more reps.
Have a look at the following video from Dr. Jo to get some additional tips and learn more about these exercises. If you try them out, be sure to let us know how they work for you!