Why Do My Knees Hurt? 5 Exercises to Prevent Knee Pain

Do you find yourself asking more often why do my knees hurt? As you get older, your body begins to change. Your joints stiffen up and old aches resurface, especially in your knees. The reason your knees end up in pain so often is that they’re right between your hips and ankles. As a result, any issues surface as knee pain.

That doesn’t have to be your new normal. Your knees don’t have to be in pain and you can stop asking yourself why do my knees hurt? Just doing a few simple exercises a couple times a week will keep your knees young and pain free.

Here are the best exercises to ensure your knees stay in tiptop shape!

Quadriceps Contractions

Before getting into any big movements or stretches, you want to make sure your knees have the stability to safely do these. Performing isometric knee extensions does just that. By doing movements without any load, it trains your knees to move in proper alignment so that they won’t cave in or bow out, two of the biggest reasons for knee pain.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit up against a wall with your right knee bent and foot flat.
  • Extend your left leg out flat on the ground and place a small rolled up towel underneath your knee.
  • Flex your left thigh so the back of your knee presses into the towel and your heel rises off the ground.
  • Hold it for five seconds, relax and repeat for three sets of 10 repetitions then switch legs.

Single Leg Deadlifts

To build more stability in your knees without overtaxing them, you need to do single leg work. Single leg deadlifts challenge balance, stability and reinforce proper knee mechanics. They also create muscular balance between the front and back of the legs. Typically, the quadriceps overpower the hamstring throwing off the strength equilibrium, which is a surefire way to end up with chronic knee pain.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by standing up holding a light medicine ball in both of your hands.
  • Keeping your right leg on the ground with a slight knee bend, hinge at the hips and reach the medicine ball towards the floor keeping your back straight.
  • Rise and repeat for three sets of 10, alternating legs with each set. The goal is to build up to doing all 10 reps without having to reset.

Calf stretch

After trying the single leg deadlifts you’ll realize pretty quickly how much stress goes on your knees if your calves are tight and ankles don’t move well. Since the next joint up from the calves are the knees, that’s where the extra stress and pain is transferred. So every time you bend, squat or kneel down, your knees have to take on extra stress. Luckily the solution is pretty easy, STRETCH YOUR CALVES.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand arm’s length away from a wall in a staggered stance with your right foot behind you.
  • Placing your hands against the wall, gently bend your left knee towards the wall and keep your right knee straight and heel down.
  • Go to a comfortable distance and hold for at least 60 seconds, repeating two times on each side.

Kneeling Couch Stretch

Directly taking stress off the knee is never underrated. The quadriceps and hip flexors attach to both the knee and hip and basically make a steel cord of tension. These muscles are some of the strongest in the body and are constantly naturally making them tight. It’s only a matter of time before they overpower the other muscles around the knee. Stretching these muscles is truly one of the best ways to prevent knee pain.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start facing away from a couch or wall.
  • Place your right knee down as close to the couch as possible so your shin is up against it.
  • Bring your left leg out into a half-kneeling position, carefully raising your torso up to a comfortable neutral position.
  • Hold this position for at least a minute repeating twice on each side. Work towards bringing your torso perpendicular to the floor and your knees will feel incredible.

Hamstring stretch

As tight as your quads get, your hamstrings are no better. The calf and hamstring muscles cross over behind the knee so any tightness is easily manifested into discomfort and trouble extending your knee. If you have trouble bending down to touch your toes, it’s go time for stretching your hamstrings.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back with both of your legs straight and place a towel around the front of your right foot.
  • Keep your right leg extended, lift it using the strap until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat twice on both sides.

Knee pain is often a mysterious ache that’s easy to justify as aging. Don’t fall into the trap of living in pain. Spending just 15 minutes twice a week doing these exercises will prevent knee pain. Start doing these exercises today, you’ll outlast any weekend warrior or young gun and stop wondering why do my knees hurt?

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