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Having strong knees is important to have a good body balance and to be able to walk and run well. Now, because of many reasons like knee surgery, injury, disease or a sedentary lifestyle we lose the strength in our knees. So, here are some ways to strengthen your knees.
Knee strengthening techniques or exercises don’t directly impact the knee joint. They work in a way that strengthens the muscles surrounding the knee which in turn relieves the pressure off our knee joint and reduces the pain, if any.
The first and foremost thing you need while trying to strengthen your knees is resilience and willpower because as studies have shown people usually stop doing these exercises after a day or two. Most people try knee strengthening exercises after a knee injury or surgery or if you are suffering from a condition like Osteoarthritis, and in all these cases you are going to experience pain while performing the exercises which makes people give up. But it is important to push through the pain and find the right exercises for yourself.
According to a 2012 study published in the National Library of Medicine, resistance training done 3 times a week can help strengthen your knees and also help in reducing pain for patients suffering from various conditions like osteoarthritis. Resistance training can include exercises like seated leg presses (or a variation of a squats), leg extensions and leg curls (with ankle or wrist cuff weights to provide resistance). Inclusion of hip adduction and hip abduction and calf/toe presses can help with improving and maintaining appropriate knee mechanics. Strength is best improved with lifting heavier loads with fewer repetitions, so plan your routine accordingly.
According to a 2019 study, regularly doing strength and mobility exercises can relieve pain and improve joint function after only a few weeks. Mobility exercises can include step ups performed on stairs or you can improve your knee strength by standing on one leg while doing activities like brushing your teeth and then switch on to the other foot after a few minutes.
The study also shows that endurance sports like walking, cycling, swimming and aqua aerobics can be great for strengthening the knee muscles. The study shows that to improve endurance, it’s best to choose low-impact sports with smooth motion sequences that move the joints but don’t stress them. Sports where the joints have to absorb a lot of weight and impact, like jogging, tennis, or soccer, are usually not recommended.
If you are overweight, losing weight can take some strain off your joints. In studies, losing more than 5 percent of the starting weight improved mobility and relieved joint pain, says the study. So, keeping a control of your diet and having an active lifestyle will help you shed off the extra weight.
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