Let’s face it. Most of us will develop painful knees at some point in our life. And as an active person, it can be debilitating. It limits the number of lower body exercises that we can do without stressing our knee.
The easiest way out is to avoid working out the lower body until our knee feels better. But for someone who has a serious fitness routine, skipping “legs day” is not an option. Giving your knee a rest is very important for recovery.
But if you still want to work on your legs, these 5 advance exercises would not only strengthen your knees but raise your heart rate at the same time!
Before you begin, use a manageable weight which you can perform with good form. It is important to focus on proper technique than the number of reps. It’s much harder this way!
Always be mindful to load the muscles, and not the joint. Stop immediately if you feel any sharp pain at the knee.
Loaded Single Leg Glute Bridge
Lie on your back with a kettle-bell. Brace your core and lift one leg off the floor. Push your hips off the floor while keeping your hips level. Squeeze your butt at the top and gently lower the hips down. Repeat the process for 5-10 times and switch sides.
Loaded Wall Squats
Lean against the wall with both feet roughly 1-2 feet in front of you. Squat at a pain-free angle and engage your quads and core. Remember to keep your butt and shoulders leaning against the wall as you keep the kettlebell close to your chest. Hold the position for 30-90 seconds.
Plank with Leg Raise
Get into a plank position. Engage your butt, core, and quads by keeping your knees straight. Lift one leg off the floor and try to keep your hips level. Hold each position for approximately 10-30 seconds and switch sides.
Side Plank with Hip Abduction
Lie on your side with one knee bent and the other straighten. Lift your hips up and engage your core and hips. In a controlled manner, raise the straightened leg up and down without moving your hips. Perform 5-10 reps on each side.
Loaded Half Lunge With Knee Raise
Lift a kettlebell above your head and stand tall. Lunge backward and bend the front knee within the pain-free range. Gently lean forward and stand with the front leg as you lift the back leg off the floor with your knee raised. Avoid tilting your hips sideways. Squeeze your butt, core, and quads at the top while maintaining balance for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat for 6-12 reps and switch sides.
You can perform these exercises individually or as a circuit to give your lower body a good workout. Always get your knees checked by a qualified person before performing any of these exercises. And of course, cycling is also an excellent way to strengthen your knees!
About The Author
Ke Wynn is a certified personal trainer by ACE, specializing in corrective exercise and sports injury, and also a certified deep tissue sports massage therapist. He was given the prestigious and internationally recognized award as “The BioMechanics Corrective Exercise Specialist” of the Year 2018 for his commitment and success in helping his clients to live a pain-free and functional life. He is a strong advocate of staying active and eating right through education. Ke Wynn struggled with weight issues during his teens but managed to overcome them through exercise. Since then, he has successfully completed major triathlons, half-marathons, cycling events and obstacle races in his early 30’s.
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