5 exercises for improving knee strength

All Woman

5 exercises for improving knee strength

Monday, January 18, 2021

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ONLY lovers are really keen on getting weak in the knees — the rest of us want to be able to bend and pivot without missing a beat. But age, life mishaps and playing sports can do a number on the knees, making them weak and compromising overall health.

How does one improve knee strength and get back to the good young days when a squat was easy as 1-2-3? There are exercises that are targeted at strengthening the knees that aren't that difficult to do. These include:

Modified squats

You may not be able to do the fast, deep squats that come easy to everyone else in gym class, but personal trainer Lennox Richards says when it comes to improving your knee strength, it's not a race.

Start small and slowly, using an item like the back of a chair or stair railing as a crutch. Then hold on, and slowly lower your body, after placing your feet about hip-width apart with your toes pointing out slightly. Hold on to your crutch and lower yourself as if you're about to sit on the chair. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then return to a standing position.

Leg extensions

Sit on a comfortable chair with your back and hips resting against the chair's back, then extend each leg at a time, slowly lifting from bottom to top, with the leg outstretched. Keep your other leg at about 45 degrees and lift the outstretched leg up and down. You can use light ankle weights or increase the number of repetitions as the legs get stronger.

Hamstring stretch

Using an exercise band, belt, or a towel, loop around one foot while lying on your back, then pull the leg straight, and hold for 30 seconds. Afterwards you should lower the leg, repeat twice, then do the other leg.

Hamstring curls

While standing this time, and holding onto a crutch for balance — chair, wall, etc — slowly bend one knee behind your body, lifting your heel off the floor, while keeping your thighs aligned. Lift until your knees are 90 degrees at the bend, then lift and lower for several repetitions.

Dips and elevated push-ups

Simple exercises such as dips and elevated push-ups can be done by using the edge of a desk or even the chair. With your back to the chair and arms gripping the base of the chair, bend both legs at the knee, then push up and down — like squats, but more reclined.

Have you managed to transform your body through weight gain or weight loss? Want to share your story with us? E-mail allwoman@ jamaicaobserver. com

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