Do you want to prevent knee pain over 35?
In this video, I’ll show you six exercises to help stabilize and strengthen your knees as you get older.
Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.
There is some natural wear and tear of the knee joint over a time. And there’s not a lot we can do to avoid that.
When we think about wear and tear, it’s generally of the cartilage between the joints there, the exercises that I’m going to show you will help keep the muscles balance. So there’s less stress on the knee. They’ll help stabilize the knee and prevent injury as well.
Stick around until the end, because the last exercise addresses the one muscle that most people completely ignore. When they’re trying to prevent knee pain or deal with knee injuries.
The first exercise is a glute bridge. This exercise helps you activate the glutes and strengthen them. Weak glutes can affect the positioning of your pelvis and they can lead to knee. So you really want to squeeze the glutes with this exercise.
A band just above your knees can provide additional resistance and force more activation of the gluteus medius, which is the important glute for stabilizing of the knee.
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
The next exercise is the Single Leg Romanian Deadlift.
This can be quite a challenging exercise for stability of the leg. It’s really important that it’s also a unilateral exercise. So you’re forcing that one leg to stabilize. You’re going to get some hamstring work here and glutes as well as you try to stabilize.
Don’t worry if it’s a bit wobbly, just focus on the position. And if this becomes too easy for you, then you can add weights either to one side or to both.
Side-Lying Hip Abduction
We’re moving on to the side-lying hip abduction.
Now with this one, you really want to lead with your heel and keep your toes slightly down. That helps activate the gluteus medius and really focus on that. This exercise has been found in research to be most effective targeting the gluteus medius. This is the glute that’s responsible for stabilizing the legs and the hips keep this fairly slow and controlled, and you don’t need to come up too high.
Actually, if you come up to a higher than it’s not as effective for the glutes.
Towel Hamstring Curls
The next one is going to be Towel Hamstring Curls.
You’re just going to use any towel and a slick surface, and you want to curl in and out each time. You’re just going to have your legs straight out in front and then curl in and back out. The three hamstring muscles are involved in knee flection, and they’re often weaker compared to the quad. So we want to correct that balance and help protect and stabilize the knee. If this one becomes too easy for you, you can try it by lifting your hips off the ground and then pulling it hard at the same time. So you’re keeping your hips up with this one. It’s going to require a lot more strength to do the hands.
Now we’re moving on to the VMO Step-Up.
VMO stands for vastus medialis oblique. That’s the inner quad muscle. This muscle is weak in many people relative to the other three quad muscles. So we’re trying to balance it out by training this muscle specifically, keep an upright stance for this exercise. If you lean forward, you’re working more on the glutes and we’re already dealing with the glutes with other exercises.
So here, we’re going to focus on the VMO. You can keep this one fairly fast and do about 15 to 20 reps.
Calf Raises To Prevent Knee Pain
And the last exercise is calf raises the gastrocnemius or the gas drop is one of the calf muscles. And it’s the one that crosses the knee joint. So it’s involved in knee flection, which makes it important for me, strength and stability.
If you’re just starting out, calf raises are just fine doing bilaterally, both legs at the same time, but once you get a little bit stronger, it’s quite helpful to do it. One leg at a time. It’s a good idea to do it on the edge of a step so that you can get the full range of motion on the gastrocs.
Let me know in the comments:
What kind of knee pain do you get? How have you been able to manage it in the past?
I look forward to seeing you next time.