If you need to strengthen the muscles that support the knee, you’ll want to try these three exercises. No equipment is needed except your own determination. And possibly a mat or bed.
I had a knee replaced a month ago, so need to retrain my muscles and knee to work together. My mom is wary of falling, so she needs to keep her legs strong in order to get up and down safely. And some of our students are new to exercise and need some basic exercises that don’t require weights or a machine. Voila! These will help.
3 Knee Exercises
These three exercises will make your knee strong and flexible.
1. Straight Leg Raise
Tighten the muscles at the front of your thigh, then lift leg your 8-10 inches from the bed or mat, keeping the knee locked. For most exercises that we teach, we encourage our students to have a “soft,” slightly bent knee. This particular is an exceptaion and does require the knee locked.
2. Terminal Knee Extension
In the video I am lying supine (on my back), but you can also prop yourself up on your elbows. As long as you lift the chest and lengthen the neck. With the knee bent over a bolster (or pillows), straighten it by tightening the muscles on top of the thigh. Move only from the knee down, keeping the hips on the bed or mat, and the back of the knee on the bolster. Hold for 3 seconds if possible before lowering.
3. Seated Knee Extension
Sit with legs hanging off the side of a bed or chair, preferably without feet touching the floor. Tighten the muscles of the thigh, then bend at the knee to lift the lower leg up to a straight leg position. Keep the hips down.
Try to do 10 repetitions of each exercise. Once you’ve gotten that, add a second set of ten, with a short break in between sets.
If you are recovering from knee replacement surgery as I am, you will promptly ice your knee and take a nap after these exercises. Oh, yes indeed.