Last weekend, the family and I headed up to the local ski mountain and enjoyed an amazing day of skiing.
It was awesome to be on top, enjoying the beautiful view of this snowy landscape.
Knee pain can be a common issue in skiing. So, today I will be sharing some exercises that can help you manage knee discomfort.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercises and stretches that are meant specifically for your knees can help reduce and, in many cases, eliminate most types of knee pain. The beauty of these exercises is they don’t require a physical therapist or athletic trainer, nor do they require using specific gym equipment or an expensive gym membership. These stretches and exercises are designed to be performed in the comfort of your own home, in your office or even in your hotel room if you’re traveling. The best part is that they only take a few minutes per day, giving you more time to enjoy your life on your now pain-free knees.
The exercises listed below are designed to help you lessen or completely eliminate your nagging knee pain quickly. The amount of time it takes to decrease knee pain will vary depending on several factors, including the age and health level of the person performing the exercises, the number of sets and repetitions that the person does, and the level of knee pain that the person is experiencing. If you are experiencing severe knee pain, your first step should be to consult with your personal physician or a specialist. It is also advisable to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program ― even the one listed below. Although these exercises are designed to reduce the knee discomfort that you may be experiencing, any exercise can degrade the situation if there are other health issues involved, such as illness, dislocations or fractures.
However, unlike some knee pain exercises that you can find online or in exercise books, the movements listed below are safe for anyone to perform and are gentle enough to not cause additional joint pain. As with any new exercise program, especially if you are not used to exercising regularly, there will likely be some muscle soreness. However, this is to be expected and is a positive side-effect because it lets you know that you are working muscles that likely need to be worked. These low-impact exercises will allow you to build strength in both the muscles around your knees and the knees themselves. This will occur gradually, but will eventually make it so that you can sit, stand, walk, run, sleep, perform other exercise routines and do everything else that you use your legs for in your daily life without pain in your knees.
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#1 – Knee Extensors With Band
Use a resistance band, such as a loop band. Sit upright on the floor with both legs extended in front of your body. Bend one knee and loop the tubing under the arch of your foot. Straighten your leg, pushing against the resistance in the band. Retract your knee to return to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Knee Extensors With Band
Complete 1 set of 10 repetitions on each side. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement, with a good stop at the end position.
This exercise strengthens the muscles around the knees. We are also stretching the hamstrings when the legs straight.
#2 – Toe Pulls With Band
Sit upright on the floor with both legs extended in front of your body. Loop the resistant tubing under the arch of one foot. Use your arms to pull the band towards your body, increasing the resistance and pulling your toes back. Relax to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement.
Toe Pulls With Band
Complete 1 set of 5 repetitions on each side. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good hold at the end position.
This exercise stretches the calf muscles and improves ankle mobility.
#3 – Quadriceps Stretch With Band
Lie on your stomach. Bend one knee and loop the resistance band around your ankle. Use your hands to pull the band forward, increasing the intensity of the stretch.
Quadriceps Stretch With Band
Complete 1 set of 2 repetitions on each side, holding the end position for 20 seconds.
This stretch improves flexibility in the quadriceps, which lessens the stress or pull in the knees.
#4 – Seated Leg Lifts
Sit upright on the floor with both legs extended in front of your body and your toes pointed upward. Place your hands on the floor behind you for support. Lift your leg in a slow, controlled movement. Hold the top position for 1 second, then lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat the movement.
Seated Leg Lifts
Complete 1 set of 5 repetitions on each side. Perform the exercise in a smooth, controlled movement, with a 1 second hold at the top position.
This exercise strengthens the quadriceps.
#5 – Single-leg Squat
Begin in an upright standing position with one hand against the wall for balance. Shift all of your weight onto one leg. Bend your knee and hinge your hips slightly to lower into a squat position. Straighten your leg to return to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Complete 1 set of 5 to 10 repetitions on each side. Perform the exercise a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end position.
This exercise strengthens the muscles around the knees and hips.
Give these exercises a go to help overcome knee pain.
Rick Kaselj, MS