Have you recently had an injury or suffered from an overuse injury? Does arthritis or bursitis cause pain when you move your knee. If you’ve already seen your doctor, and he gave the okay to exercise, finding movements that are kind to your knees is important. In some cases, your doctor may even suggest physical therapy where you’ll get a list of exercises that not only build strength and provides a cardio workout, also can build strength around the knee muscle and help relieve pain.
Is a cardio workout what you want?
What can you do that will build your cardiovascular system and also strengthen your lower body? How about a swim? Your buoyancy in the water takes the pressure off your knee, yet provides resistance so you can get your heart rate up and strengthen the muscles. Just walking in water can build muscles, while providing cardio. You can walk forward, backward and even side-to-side to work all the leg muscles. Check with your doctor to see if water aerobics might be a good option.
A step style exercise can improve your cardio and leg muscles.
You’ll work your legs and even your cardio with level step touches, where you step to the side with one foot and bring the other in to meet it, tapping the ground lightly and then moving back to start position. As you get stronger, stepping up a stair with one foot, then bringing the other from below to tap next to it, then back to the original position, moving up and down, is another simple workout. Keep it gentle. It will work muscles and provide lower body strength.
Do jumping jacks without the jump.
Modify your jumping jacks to get the workout without the stress. Stand in jumping jack position, feet together, arms parallel to the ground. Do traditional jumping jacks without the jump. Simply step to the side with one foot as you raise your arms overhead and then step back. Switch sides halfway through your workout. Add a slight pivot when you’re stepping to the side if your knees can handle the added pressure.
- Do knee lifts. You can march in place or use a prop like a medicine ball that you hold in your hands, raising it with feet down, then lifting one leg with knee bent as you lower the ball and touch your knee. Alternate sides.
- Lay face down on your stomach and do a hamstring curl. Lay flat and slowly bring one leg up, bending your knee, bringing your heel toward your buttocks. If you’re ready, do the same movement as you stand.
- Use a chair for support, standing beside it. Flex your foot and lift your leg out to the side of your body. Lift your leg, keeping your body straight and then lower. Do a few times on each leg.
- If you’re working out with our trainers, don’t forget to tell them you have a special need, such as knee problems. The trainer will modify every exercise to prevent injuring your knees further or cause pain.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness!