Exercises for weak knees

By PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, July 30, 2018

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THERE are some occasions when weak and even wobbly knees are given a pass — like on days when you're crippled with bouts of good anxiety such as your wedding, graduation, or at your surprise party. Outside of that, Gisel Harrow, personal trainer and fitness instructor at Hard End Fitness Factory on Ardenne Road, said that you should seriously consider strength training targeting your knees.

“Your knees are essential for staying active and performing simple functions such as sitting, walking and standing. They consist of bones, cartilage, muscles and tendons — structures that can weaken or become injured in accidents, repetitive motions or [due to] conditions such as arthritis and obesity. Fortunately, there are exercises to counter this which can strengthen your knees and improve function,” Harrow said

Before doing any of these, though, Harrow recommends that you consult your doctor and, if approved, you should always warm up and do basic stretches for at least five minutes before an exercise session in order to reduce the possibility of injuries.

Below, Harrow shares her guide to stronger knees:

 

Modified squats

To do this squat, stand in front of a chair, place your feet about hip-width apart with your toes pointing out slightly, while keeping your weight evenly distributed. Then fold your arms over your chest and keep your shoulders back and lower yourself into a squat, as if you're about to sit on the chair. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then return to a standing position. Do three sets of 12 repetitions and rest for a minute between each set.

 

Hamstring curls

Hold onto a wall and use a desk or chair for balance. Now tighten your tummy muscles and with your left leg planted on the floor, slowly lift your right foot, bringing your heel towards your buttocks until your leg is at about 45 degrees. Hold for three or five seconds, then lower. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions, then repeat with the other leg — don't lock the knee of your supporting leg. As your legs and knees become stronger, you may add light ankle weights for more resistance or increase the number of repetitions.

 

Leg extensions

Sit on a comfortable chair with your back and hips resting against the chair's back. Keep your left leg at about 45 degrees and slowly lift your right foot off the floor until your right leg is parallel to the floor. Do not lock your knees. Hold the position for one or two seconds and then slowly return your foot to the floor. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for each leg and rest for about 30 seconds between each set. You can use light ankle weights or increase the number of repetitions as the legs get stronger.

 

Inner thigh squeeze

While seated and keeping good posture, place a ball or a rolled up towel between your knees. Now squeeze the ball by contracting your inner thighs and release slightly. Ensure that you never release all the way and keep doing this for three sets of ten repetitions.

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