Hey guys, this is Sylvia over with 360 Pilates. Today, I have two bodyweight exercises for your knee pain and this is for all the friends and fans of Rick Kaselj at ExercisesForInjuries.com.
With me I have JP.
JP came to me because he has got some serious issues going on with his knees and was wondering how Pilates would help him.
Two Bodyweight Exercises to Help with Knee Pain
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Sylvia Favela: Let me know exactly what you have going on with your knees?
JP: I have patellar tendonitis in both the knees and my left knee is a little more chronic than the other.
Sylvia Favela: Little background on JP. He is really active, you can see he is wearing his Crossfit shirt which he does every day and then he also play sports on top of that, right?
JP: Yes, I use to be a swimmer and a water polo player.
Sylvia Favela: Okay, so you can see he is pretty active but he has got some knee issues going on. You have visited a physical therapist, right?
Sylvia Favela: What did the physical therapist tell you on what is the best thing for your knee?
JP: Basically said that I am more quad dominant with my workouts and then he told me to develop more in my glutes and my hamstrings.
Sylvia Favela: Okay! Perfect! This is going to be great.
Because we are going to do two bodyweight moves that you can do to help strengthen the muscles around the knees and the glutes. If you have issues going on with the knees, this is going to be perfect for you to do.
What you will need is a resistive band.
#1 – Bridging with Knees Up
The first one that we are going to do is without a band. What JP is going to do is go ahead and lay down on his back and all you need is a mat for this. You are going to lay down, keep your shoulders open and keep your hands down. Even while lying down here, you are already going to get a nice stretch in the shoulders as well.
If you are quad dominant or you are tight in your hips, what you want to make sure that you do is try to bring the feet in hip width apart. Naturally the knees will open out just because you are tight in the hip area.
Bridge Position with Knee Up (Right Side)
From here you are going to bring yourself up into a bridge position.
JP is going to bring his hips up and he is going to keep his abs nice and tight and not push them out in that case you really want to think about pulling them in. From here already, JP should be feeling it in his hamstrings.
Here what you are going to do is you are going to take one foot off the floor and you are going to keep the knee bent. What you are going to do is just bring up your knee and make sure it is inlined with your hip and then you are going to drop the toe down and then you are going to bring it right back up.
JP is going to keep doing that and what I want you to do is do about 10 of these at home. If you feel your butt is cramping already, take a break in between.
We are going to go ahead and come up and then JP is going to do the same thing on the left side. As you are moving one of the most important things I want you to think about doing is keep your belly pulled in the entire time. Don’t let your hips rock so you want to keep them square the entire time.
Bridge Position with Knee Up (Left Side)
What tends to happen is the hips start to shift and I want you to keep them as square as possible. You want to try to not let the knee go out. Try to really think about focusing on pushing the big toe down into the floor the entire time. Again, I will let you do about 10 of these on each side. If you have to take a breather in between, go ahead and take a breather.
This is going to fire up in the glutes and hamstrings instantly. And if you feel the cramp right away, that is because you are right into that hamstring. Again, if you need to take a little break in between, go ahead and do so.
#2 – Knee Separators
Now the next one we are going to do, JP is going to lay on his side. You are going to lay down in a fetal position, the bottom arm you want to lay your head down on it. Now, this is where the band comes into action. We are going to show this with a band and without a band in case you do not have one.
You want to keep your hips stacked and knees stacked. What I am going to do is I am going to tie up JP here so I am going to bring your knee up. You want to tie this pretty tight. What you are focusing on doing here is you are going to keep the side of the feet together, hips stacked and feet stacked the entire time.
Knee Separators (Left Side)
You are going to bring this top knee up towards the sky. JP is going to open it and hold it. I am sure and then you are going to bring it right back down again. You are going to open that up, hold it for about 5 seconds and then bring it right back down again. What I want you to do is 10 of this particular move.
Now what this is going to be working is the side of that glute. This is going to be huge to help with that knee pain. And again, the hamstrings are already firing and the glutes.
Now when you open that up and as you are moving, you want to make sure that you keep your hips stacked. What tends to happen is this hip will start to move up and crunch up because it starts to hurt. You will start to feel the glutes firing and it’s going to be a very distinct feeling. But you want to make sure that you keep the hips stacked the entire time.
Same thing keep those abs in. You never want to let your abs relaxed, always keep that core engaged the entire time. What I want you to do is 10 of this on this side as well, hold it and then bring it right back down again.
I am going to have JP come over and just do the other side. You are going to lay down on this side and then you are going to bring your knees in.
Your alignment is super important.
What I am looking for is bring your knees in just a little bit more. You are in a nice fetal position.
Knee and Hip Stretch with a Band (Right Side)
You want to make sure your knees are directly inlined with your hips. Same thing, feet are going to be stacked and then you are going to open up, hold it, squeeze and then bring it right back down. You will notice where I am putting my hand so you are focusing on keeping those hips nice and stacked and keeping the feet together not letting them move around.
Remember, this position is all about control. Don’t try to just throw your knee up, really think about focusing that glute and really working it because that is where our goal is with this. Again you are going to do 10 of this on each side. You are going to hold it open and you are going to hold it for about 5 seconds and then bring it closed.
If you do not have a band at home, what I want you to do is go ahead and stay on your side, bring it in. You are going to keep the feet together and then you are going to keep those hips stacked. You will notice that my hand is on his hip and you want to think about really lengthen through those obliques as well because what tends to happen again you tend to come and crunch up and I want the length here.
Knee and Hip Stretch without a Band
You want to squeeze those glutes as tight as you can. Think about squeezing the feet and think about squeezing the glutes. Now, just bring your knee up towards the sky, hold it right there and then squeeze your glutes as tight as you possibly can, hold it there and then bring it right back down again. So you are giving your body that resistance even without the band. How does it feel without the band?
JP: I still feel it.
Sylvia Favela: You still feel it. So the band just adds more resistance and it just helps you to think about okay, yes my butt that is where it should be firing up. So, you want to think about that as you open and as you close. I want you to go ahead and try to do those 2 moves and that is going to help you strengthen the glutes, strengthen the hamstring and help you with the knees. So this Sylvia over at 360 Pilates and I hope you enjoyed that.
If you are looking for more bodyweight exercises to help you out, you can check out Body Weight Pilates: