Do your knees hurt when you go upstairs? Do they give out on you when walking long distances or after a workout? Knee pain is one of the most common types of pain people may experience for reasons ranging from arthritis and overuse to injury and athletics.
But don’t worry – by incorporating knee strengthening exercises, changing your diet, and adding supplements, you can help strengthen your knees and improve their overall function.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Knees
Living a sedentary lifestyle can affect more than just your waistline. It can also weaken the muscles in and around your knees, making it harder for them to carry weight. In addition to this, poor form and an improper warm-up when working out can lead to knee pain by straining or overusing certain muscles.
Here are a few exercises you should incorporate into your daily routine to help strengthen your knees:
Straight Leg Raises
Straight leg raises work the quadriceps in the front of your thighs. Straight leg raises put no weight on the knee, so they’re a good exercise for people whose knees are in bad shape and need some strengthening.
To do this exercise:
- Lie down on your back and bend one knee with your foot flat on the ground.
- Straighten out your other leg and lift it to the height of the opposite knee.
- Slowly lower your leg back down to starting position and repeat this movement. Do three sets of 10 to 15 on each leg.
Wall sits are a great way to work the muscles in your thighs and buttocks and improve knee stability.
To do this exercise:
- Stand with your back against a wall and press your hips and lower back into the wall.
- Slowly slide down the wall until your knees bend at a 90-degree angle.
- Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then slide back up the wall.
- Repeat this movement and increase the hold time as you get stronger.
Low-impact cardio such as swimming, cycling, or elliptical machines is ideal for preventing knee pain because it minimizes stress on the knee while still getting your heart rate up. In addition, cardio helps make weak knees strong by increasing muscular leg endurance.
Foods for Knee Strength
Incorporating the above exercises into your workout is just half the battle when it comes to strengthening your knees. Another important factor is your diet. Foods high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids can help promote joint health.
Some good food choices for knee health include:
Supplements for Knee Strength
In addition to exercise and a healthy diet, you might also want to consider amplifying your routine with joint health supplements. Here are some supplements that may help strengthen the joints in your knee:
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acids help the joints function and reduce inflammation by lubricating the joints. By taking fish oil, you can help to minimize any damage and pain caused by inflammation.
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining bone health and helps your muscles move more smoothly.
A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to joint pain and muscle weakness, so make sure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D in your diet, you can also supplement with a vitamin.
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the body that helps build and repair cartilage. As you age, you start to produce less glucosamine, which can lead to a decline in cartilage production. Taking a glucosamine supplement can help to slow down this process and keep your joints healthy.
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric, which has long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin helps to reduce inflammation and can reduce knee pain. Taking this supplement can provide relief for those with osteoarthritis of the knees.
Rejuvinix specializes in non-surgical joint therapy to help improve joint function and reduce pain. If you’re experiencing knee pain or any other type of joint pain, request an appointment today, and we’ll help you get on the road to recovery.