Bad knees can happen to us all – maybe from running, carrying too much weight or just simply overuse and they can really inhibit exercise. To avoid further injury and discomfort, here are a few knee strengthening exercises to work around your bad knees.
5 knee strengthening exercises for mums with bad kneesWe have included an easier and harder option with each exercise. To help prevent further injury, start with the easier option and build up your workout to move onto the harder one.
1. Modified squats
Modified squats onto a chair (less range of motion) and wider stance (depending on the pain/injury) Modified squats holding a wall for support (less range of motion) and wider stance (depending on the pain/injury)
2. Shadow boxing
Easier option Box fast into the air with hands in a fist. Do 100 punches. Harder option Box slower into the air, holding dumbells (alternate punches forward and upwards).
3. Dumbell tricep extensions and bicep curls
Easier option In a standing position with one leg slightly forward, hold the dumbell in the right hand and tuck the elbow in towards your ribcage. Extend your arm straight behind you, then bicep curl that same arm so your hand touches your shoulder for full range of motions. Do 15 reps on each arm Harder option User heavier weights
4. Side lying leg lift
Easier option Lie on your side with legs extended out straight like a pencil shape. Rest your head on your bottom hand and lift your top arm vertical towards the ceiling. Keep your face forward and try not to rock your pelvic bone forward or backward. Lift your top leg up towards the ceiling. Do 20 reps on each leg Harder option Bend your knees and elbow. Bring the elbow down towards the knee. Repeat.
5. Bicycle crunches
Easier option Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and support your head with your fingertips. Tuck your chin down towards your chest, pretending you have a peach under your chin. Abdominal-crunch up towards your knees, then lift legs up to 90 degrees at the hips and knees. Rotate your right shoulder to your left knee while straightening your right leg, then return to start. Alternate sides. Keep repeating the exercise, breathing deeply at all times, for 30 seconds, alternating. Harder option Hold the movement on each side for 3 counts and slow down the movement.
- Bicycle riding indoor or outdoor
- Gentle walking
- Wall squat
- Depending on injury or pain – wider squats
- Dyno band – back rowing