Joint and knee pain is a common problem that plagues many older adults. With age, the cartilage in the bones and joints breaks down and deteriorates, causing conditions like osteoarthritis that results in pain and stiffness. Such sensations can lead to more injuries and even sprains as our joints and muscles find it harder to support our weight. Sometimes, when we put too much strain on our knee joints, they can become inflamed through the overuse or improper use of the knee. This leads to a condition termed tendonitis, where the knee joints swell and become painful. Even among younger adults, tendonitis is common in athletics. Maintaining a healthy weight goes a long way towards healthy and mobile knees even as we get older. Read on for a list of knee strengthening exercises that you can do as part of healthy aging!
Standing Knee Flexion
This exercise stretches the hamstring muscles and has the benefits of improving balance and lower body strength.
- Begin by standing in front of a sturdy chair that you can hold on to for support.
- Stand on one foot and raise your right foot off the floor, bending it back behind you at the farthest point that you can manage.
- Straighten your leg back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Repeat the routine on the left leg.
- Do up to 3 sets on each leg.
This is a good beginner’s exercise as it doesn’t put too much pressure on your calf muscles. Doing this regularly can strengthen the quads and hamstrings that support the mobility of the knee.
- Lie on the floor facing the ceiling with your legs straight.
- Point one knee toward the ceiling, and place the foot flat on the floor toward your butt. This functions as your supporting leg.
- Keeping your other leg straight out, raise it as high as you can to align it with your opposing supporting knee. Feel your muscles working to lift this leg.
- Lower your straight leg back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.
- Switch legs and repeat on the other side. Complete up to 3 sets.
Resistance Band Squat Steps
This is an intermediate movement that is a more challenging form of side steps. This exercise helps you to gain balance and lower leg strength, while the resistance band establishes knee stability.
- Place a resistance band below your knees. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Slightly bend your knees as if you’re about to squat.
- Step your right leg out sideward, keeping your knees bent. The muscles in the knees, outer legs, and glutes will work to maintain stability.
- Maintaining the position level, bring your left leg in next to your right.
- Repeat these side step quats along the room as far as you can, taking about 10 steps.
- Now reverse the direction. Keeping the semi-squat position, step your left leg out and bring your right leg in. Repeat until you are back to the original position, taking about 10 steps.
- Rest after the full set. Repeat up to 3 times if desired.
Stay Healthy Effortlessly
When you live in our retirement community, you get to enjoy our Dimensions Health & Fitness program which includes guided exercises by a professionally trained team. Contact us today to find out about the healthy and stress-free lifestyle that we offer in our retirement community today!