Strengthen Injured Knees with These Exercises

05 October, 2020
It's important to consult your doctor to find out what exercises you can do in if you have injured knees. Mainly so you'll avoid moving in a way that could worsen the problem.

Having one or both injured knees can be very uncomfortable since you don’t have your usual freedom of movement. However, with the practice of some soft exercises, little by little you can get relief.

If your doctor has recommended a specific type of exercise or activity, ask them if it’s convenient for you to include the following exercises. This way, you’ll be sure to choose your best options.

Are injured knees common?

Knees are made up of delicate cartilage, muscles, and bones. Along with other small parts, these give your knee the ability to support your body weight. Therefore, they are complex joints. Usually, they are very susceptible to injuries because of the many movements they need to make for various activities.

Any problem that affects the way your knee works tends to reduce your quality of life. This isn’t only because it causes pain, but also because it limits your ability to walk.

Five exercises to strengthen injured knees

A person sitting on a yoga mat.
There are several yoga exercises for the knees.

To reduce discomfort and pain, there are some exercises that can be practiced in case of injured knees, as long as your doctor authorizes it.

These same exercises can also be practiced as a care and prevention measure, to reduce the risk of injury when performing other activities or sports. Let’s look at them below.

1. Bending your hip with your knee extended

Bending your hip with your knee extended is a strengthening exercise that helps you to regain your damaged muscles and ligaments. Even though the work is focused on your hips, parts of your knees are also involved.

  • Firstly, lay face down on a yoga mat. Your knees should be bent and your feet flat on the mat.
  • Then, stretch out the leg you are going to work as far as you can. Then, raise your straight leg out to the same height as your bent knee.
  • Keep it in the air for 3 seconds. Then slowly and smoothly return it to the starting position.
  • Finally, do eight repetitions of this with each knee.

Check out the Four Things Your Knees Say About Your Health

2. Lateral knee elevations

Lateral knee elevations are an activity that works your abductors and adductors. This also works with the muscles that surround your knees.

Using this exercise reduces joint stiffness and helps to increase healing time for injured knees or pain.

  • On a yoga mat, lay on your side with your lower leg bent and your upper leg completely stretched out.
  • Support yourself by putting your hands on the ground. Raise your hips a little. Then raise and lower your extended leg.
  • Do three sets of 8 repetitions on each side.

3. Knee extensions

A person massaging their leg.

Knee extensions are movements that allow you to restabilize the movement of your joints when faced with muscle tension or lightly injured knees. However, you shouldn’t do this when you have problems bending and straightening your knee.

Do this exercise slowly. This includes both raising and lowering your leg. This way, your quadriceps can do their best work.

  • Sit on a chair or a firm platform with your arms at your sides and your back straight.
  • Raise one of your feet until it’s extended straight out in the air. Keep it there for three seconds.
  • Bend your knee to bring your foot back to the floor. Return to the starting position with slow movements.
  • Do three sets of eight to ten repetitions with each leg.

4. Lowered leg extensions for injured knees

Lowered leg extension can be done on a bed or yoga mat. The back part of your knees can be supported by a pillow or folded towel. This keeps you from having difficulties bending your knee.

  • Firstly, lay on the surface you want with one of your legs stretched out and the other on the pillow.
  • Secondly, put your hands at your side. Be sure to keep your back straight.
  • Then, with the leg that is on the pillow, straighten your leg.
  • Use slow movements and move it back down to the ground.
  • Finally, do three sets of eight or ten repetitions with each leg.

5. Squats with wall support

A woman working on her injured knees.

Squats with wall support are an effective way to work your quadriceps, knees, and glutes.

You should do this very carefully if you’ve recently had joint trauma. This is because this is a movement that could make the condition worse.

  • Firstly, support your back against the wall and be sure to keep it straight and firm.
  • Separate your legs so they’re shoulder length apart. Without your knees going past your feet, lower your hips.
  • Then, keep your arms straight out in front of you to give you more balance.
  • Straighten back up so you’re standing up straight again. Do three sets of twelve repetitions.

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Injured knees? Consult a specialist

Doing these exercises on a regular basis can help the treatment of painful or injured knees if your doctor approves them.

However, you should do these carefully. This is because improper movements can be counterproductive.