Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Strengthen Knees

Our knees are perhaps, one of the most used body parts. We use them when we walk, run, climb stairs, indulge in sports, basically for carrying on all the physical activities. Due to this regular wear and tear, our knees become very prone to injuries, often resulting in knee pain. That's why, it becomes important that we take certain measures to maintain their health. So, for all those people, whether exercisers, non-exercisers, runners or sports persons, who want to know, "how to strengthen knees?", given below are some effective knee exercises to maintain the health, flexibility and balance of knees.

Tips on How to Strengthen Knees

In order to avoid injuries to the knees, make sure that you wear good quality shoes. Also, start with warming-up your leg and knee muscles and then move onto the knee exercises in order to avoid injuries. As a warm-up, simply walk for about five to ten minutes.

Knee Stretches
For those wondering, "how to strengthen your knees?", this exercise is most suitable. Sit on a chair and keep your back straight. Next, keeping your one foot firmly on the ground and bending your other knee, bring your leg as near to your upper body as you can. Remain in this position for about ten seconds and then lower your leg. Repeat this exercise ten times on both the legs.

Knee Bends
Another of the effective knee strengthening exercises is knee bends. To perform this exercise, lie down on your stomach on an exercise mat. Next, keeping your one leg straight, bend your other leg from behind the knee and try to touch your hips with your foot. If you are feeling a tightening in your quadriceps, it means that you are performing knee bends correctly. Hold on for five seconds and then come back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for knee pain ten times on both legs.

Quadriceps Stretches
For those who are thinking, "how to strengthen knee ligaments?", this exercise is the solution. To perform this exercise, sit straight on a chair. Now, extend the legs in such a way that your heels touch the ground. Make sure that your knees are straight in this position. Next, tighten your thigh muscles and remain in this position for ten seconds. Relax and then repeat the same. Do this exercise ten times.

Knee Circling
One of the most useful of exercises to strengthen knees is knee circling. To do this exercise, stand straight. Next, bend your knees and take a position as if you are squatting in the air. Cup your kneecaps with your hands and start circling your knees clockwise. When you do this exercise, make sure that your toes and feet do not move at all. Repeat clockwise circling and anti-clockwise circling on both knees ten times.

Squats are very effective in strengthening the knee muscles. To perform this exercise, stand straight with your feet at shoulder width distance. Next, lower your hips as if you are going to sit on a chair. At any point of time, while lowering your hips, your knees should not come as forward as your toes. Hold on this squat position for ten seconds and then, placing your weight on your heels, stand straight. Do ten repetitions of this exercise.

Leg Raises
If you want to know, "how to strengthen knees for running?", the answer lies in leg raises. To perform this exercise, lie on your back on an exercise mat. Bend and lift your left knee, placing your left foot flat on the ground. Next, keeping your right knee straight, lift your right leg off the ground, about six inches. Hold on for a few seconds and then bring it back to the ground. Again raise the right leg in the same manner, however this time it should be slightly more than six inches away from the ground. Repeat this knee exercise for runners, ten times on both legs.

Here's hoping that now you know how to strengthen knees. Along with these exercises, taking a healthy diet is important too as it fastens the tissue repair and healing. So, eat lots of fruits, vegetables and dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese every day. Vitamin C and vitamin E are especially known to aid in the healing of joints so take vitamin C rich foods like oranges, pineapples and grapefruits as well as vitamin E rich foods like peanuts, mango, spinach and broccoli, a part of your everyday diet. A combination of the knee exercises given above and a well balanced diet, will ensure that your knees remain healthy, strong and flexible.

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