Do your knees ever ache throughout the day? Does knee pain keep you from doing the things you love? For 100 million Americans that answer is yes. Knee pain causes limitations in your everyday movement, which makes the idea of exercise seem impossible. It’s easy to let your lifestyle become more sedentary as a way to avoid causing that pain. But did you know that limiting motion altogether puts you at further risk for chronic aches and pain?
Let’s take a look at the common causes of knee pain to try and avoid those root causes. Then, by introducing simple and targeted exercises, you can help your body diminish that knee pain over time.
Common Causes of Knee Pain
Lack of movement causes a decrease of fluid production within the joint. This will increase friction and the feeling of “stiffness.” Remember – Motion is Lotion!
Weakened leg muscles can cause instability and predispose the joint to “giving out.” This can speed up the arthritic process.
Prolonged sitting decreases glute activation which leads to imbalanced movement patterns. This also causes overuse of the patellar tendon.
Now that you have a better understanding of WHY knee pain occurs, check out these simple exercises to help strengthen and relieve knee discomfort!
These movements can comfortably be performed 3x/week, in less than 10 min. This quick and easy “corrective exercise” routine can help alleviate knee pain by activating muscle groups that are typically dormant throughout your day.
Glute Bridge (Gluteal Complex) – 20 controlled glute bridges
1. Lay on your back with knees bent and feet planted on the ground
2. Drive through your feet as you engage your legs and glutes to lift your hips off the ground.
3. Pause and slowly lower your body back to the ground (1x bridge)
Standing Toe Raise (Anterior Tibialis/Shin) – 20 controlled reps each side
1. Sitting or standing, position yourself near a stable surface for balance
2. Lift the front part of one foot towards the shin, keeping your heel on the ground. Keep your opposite planted for support.
3. Hold foot in raised position for a moment, the slowly lower to ground (1x rep).
Calf Stretching (Calf Complex) – 20 seconds each side
1. Position yourself standing, facing a wall
2. Place both hands on the wall, about shoulder height
3. Bring one leg forward into a staggered stance.
4. Bend front knee towards the wall while keeping back heel on floor and hold for 20 seconds.
Corelife’s fitness program is designed to enhance functionality through a mindful and movement based approach. Our program focuses on healthy pain-free movement so that daily movement and exercise enhance your overall health and well being! Contact your local CoreLife trainer with any questions about these or any exercises!