You may feel like you won’t ever be able to work your legs out again because of your knees. But to that we say nonsense! The muscles in your legs are the largest in your entire body so you can bet they need regular exercise. The question is, how do you work out your legs and still avoid knee pain? Fortunately for you, we’ve pulled together a list of leg exercises that are gentle on your knees.
Focus: Glute, Hamstrings, back
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart, palms facing your thighs. Push your hips back behind you as you slowly bend forward from your hips, stopping when your torso is parallel to the ground (or when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings). Return to standing, keeping back straight and abs tight. Try up to 3 sets of 15 reps.
Focus: Glute & Quad
From a kneeling position, bend both elbows down to the floor below your shoulders, hands clasped (press both arms down into the floor and draw your abs in tight so that lower back doesn’t sag). Extend your left leg straight out from your hip, toe pointed. Imagine tracing a triangle with your toes, lowering left leg down and to the left (touching the bottom left corner of the triangle), lift back up to center (top of triangle), and then lower down and to the right (touching the bottom right corner), then back to center. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times then switch legs. Try up to 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Sit next to a bench or chair with your upper back against the edge and butt on the ground. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the ground. Lean back and thrust your hips up, driving through your heels. Go as high as you can with your hips, then lower back down until you’re an inch off of the ground. Do 12 reps.
Focus: Quads, Calves
Hold a heavyweight in either hand; use either a dumbbell or weight plate. Stand tall and walk slowly for as long as possible. The added weight stresses your leg muscles as well as your shoulders and forearms.
Single Leg Balance
Focus: Balance and ankle stability
Stand 1 arms-distance away from wall or chair, feet hip-distance apart and parallel to one another. Hold onto wall or chair for support, engage thigh muscles and abdominals, and lift 1 knee to 90-degree position injoint-friendly crease. Stay here 10 seconds, then switch sides.
Swimming is a joint-friendly exercise that takes the pressure off of your legs and will help you avoid knee pain. It’s also an amazing full-body exercise. If you have a pool at your gym, go ahead and test out the waters!
While going to the gym isn’t always the most convenient or exciting activity, it’s a great way to help lose weight which will reduce pressure on your joints. Strengthening the muscles around your knees will also help reduce strain on your joints, will improve your blood flow to your joints, and will improve your overall health.
For more information about if stem cell therapy is right for you, contact Joint Regenomics. Stem cell therapy with platelet-rich plasma for OA of the knee is a treatment, not a cure. Stem cell therapy works in most, but not all adults with OA of the knee in the middle stages of the disease. We do not recommend it for those with end-stage “bone on bone” disease, and insurance companies and Medicare do not cover our treatment or services. To find out more about our service call Kim Teasley at 404.574.2373 to schedule your consultation.