Update: Stuck at home and need some easy exercises you can do on your own to take care of your knees? These 3 exercises were developed for arthritis sufferers in mind, but honestly, anyone who needs squeeze in a little moving in their day can benefit from these short exercises. Because let’s be honest, when you’re stuck in one place all day, everything is going to start feeling a little creaky.
You know the saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” is true for many aspects of our lives. Why are we mentioning this in a blog about knee arthritis you may ask? Well, it seems that people are taking their knees, the largest joint in the body, for granted, and only begin to appreciate their magnitude of importance when things go sour.
Think about it – if there’s a single joint (or two single joints) that we most heavily use and that carries most of our body weight, it’s our knees. Do you walk, run, climb, or jump? If you answered YES to one of these, you are in!
Before we discuss the importance of keeping active and illustrate a few core knee exercises, here is a great resource to learn more about arthritis knee pain and about finding relief.
We might also note that topical solutions like CBDMEDIC™’s Arthritis Aches and Pain Relief Ointment can offer a more natural alternative to help soothe arthritis symptoms, so you can find these exercises below easier to perform. We blend the naturally-derived pain relievers, camphor and menthol, with CBD hemp oil, jojoba seed oil, and other skin-soothing emollients to offer nourishment to your skin, while also naturally binding the ingredients together – no petroleum here.
In addition, we’ve included essential oils to enhance the cooling effect of the active ingredients and offer aromatherapy benefits.
So, let’s rub on some ointment or cream on those achy knees if you need it and let’s get going with some simple exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Show Your Knees You Truly Care With These Simple Knee Arthritis Exercises
While it may be tempting to avoid exercise when knee pain occurs, this is not always the appropriate solution. Certain types of exercise can help alleviate existing knee pain and prevent future pain or injury by providing the knee with extra support.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise may be the most effective way to treat osteoarthritis without surgery. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is the result of ware and tare –it could be related to aging, but can also hit young people, like those who engage in high-impact sports.
Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain.
Regular activity also replenishes lubrication of the cartilage of the joint, reduces stiffness and pain and is critical to maintaining a healthy range of motion.
To simplify, think about a door hinge –if you don’t use it very often, it will, at some point, become stiff, and, eventually, may even completely lock. WD-40 is a magical solution to lubricating and releasing stiff and stuck hinges. Thankfully, our WD-40 is generated naturally from within, as long as we keep active.
Start Your Engines and…Warm-Up!
It’s extremely important to use extra caution when exercising, especially relating to tender joints. A few rules to follow include:
- If you experience pain while exercising, you should stop and consult your doctor.
- In general, anyone with knee pain should consult their doctor prior to beginning an exercise routine.
- But there’s one step that many are tempted to skip – warming up! A few minutes will do.
Why is this warmup routine so important?
Warming up is a way of preparing your body for exercise. The same way as you (should) warm up your car before driving on a cold day. Low-intensity warmups gradually increase heart rate and circulation, so you are better prepared to handle higher intensity exercise.
Taking time to warm up will also increase your body temperature, so you perform like a well-oiled machine.
Furthermore, as your body temperature increases, you’ll loosen your joints and increase blood flow to your muscles. That means less stress on joints and tendons.
Ready, Steady, GO!
Here are a few core knee exercises that can help you give some knee-love and maintain and improve your joint’s health.
Standing hamstring curls
- Stand straight with the knees only 1–2 inches apart. Hold on to a stable chair, the countertop, or another object for balance.
- Slowly bend one knee behind the body, lifting the heel off the floor while keeping the thighs aligned. Continue to lift the heel in a smooth motion until the knee bend reaches a 90-degree angle. Keep the straight leg slightly bent to avoid locking it.
- Hold the bent leg up for 5 seconds and then slowly lower it to the floor.
- Repeat two more times with the same leg.
- Switch sides and repeat.
*Make sure not to point the toes or flex the foot on the lifted leg. Allow the foot to remain in a neutral, flat position.
Benefitting muscles: – Hamstrings (back of the thigh) and gluteal (buttock) muscles.
Use a large, sturdy step stool, exercise platform, or even a strong crate you have lying around the house no taller than 6 inches.
- Step up onto the stool with the right foot and allow the left foot to follow behind. The left foot should not be on the stool but should hang behind it.
- Keep the bodyweight on the right foot and hold for up to 5 seconds.
- Slowly lower the left foot down and then follow it with the right foot.
- Switch legs, stepping up with the left foot first.
*Do not lock the knees during this exercise. The knees should remain slightly bent.
*Do not allow any part of the stepping foot to hang off the stool or platform.
*People who have issues with balance should not perform this exercise.
Benefitting muscles: Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and gluteal muscles.
- Stand with the head, shoulders, back, and hips flat against a wall.
- Step both feet out about 24 inches away from the wall, while keeping the back and shoulders against it. Keep the feet no more than hip-width apart.
- Slide your back down the wall slowly until your body is just above a normal sitting position.
- Hold for 5 seconds and then slide back up.
*Do not squat too low. The knees should not go over the toes.
*Do not use fast, jerky movements. Perform the exercise slowly and smoothly.
Benefitting muscles: Quadriceps and gluteal muscles.
And remember: After exercising any muscle group, it is essential to stretch the muscles. Stretching helps improve flexibility and reduce pain and injury.
So, give yourself a pat on your knees and start showing them some love.