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The knees are a particularly delicate part of the human body for two reasons: the complex arrangement of the joint and the amount of pressure they carry on an almost constant basis. Knee injuries can be tough to recuperate from, and the level of healing isn’t always satisfactory. It’s better to prevent serious injury by taking some basic precautions as well as strengthening the muscles around the knee with some key exercises.

Take Caution When Lifting Weights

You can injure your knees very seriously if you perform weight or strength training exercises the wrong way, even if the exercise is of an upper-body type. Say you’re doing overhead presses, for instance. You need to make sure your feet are the right distance apart as you lift heavy weights above your head. One wrong twist to the side, or any similar unstable action, might cause a twisting injury to one or both knees quite easily.

Bodyweight Squats

The most common, and one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the knees, are bodyweight squats. Standing with your back straight and feet hip-width apart, fold your arms across your chest with each hand lightly grasping the opposite upper shoulder. Slowly squat as far down as you can comfortably go. Then, slowly stand up until you’re standing straight. This is one squat, and you can do as many as three sets of ten to start off with if you’re not used to doing this exercise.

Sitting Knee Extensions

If your knees are injured or weak, you can really benefit from doing sitting knee extensions. They help build strength in your quadriceps, the surrounding muscles that support the knee. Sitting down on the floor with one leg in front of you and the other bent to a 90-degree angle.

Roll up a gym towel and place it underneath the knee of your straightened leg. Then carefully lift the foot of the straightened leg. You should feel the pleasant pressure of the towel underneath your knee if you do this the right way. Try doing the same number of reps and sets as you did with the bodyweight squats.

Take the time to find other exercises that suit your needs, and try to find ones you enjoy doing if possible. The more you enjoy doing these exercises, the more likely you are to do them regularly.