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Can’t Wait To Eliminate Knee Pain? Try These 8 Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees

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Can’t Wait To Eliminate Knee Pain? Try These 8 Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees

We can’t deny that our knees are one of the most important parts of our bodies. Whether you play football, swim, do the housework or drive a car, your knees are essentially the ones bringing your forward, getting you to places and helping you get things done. Knee pains are never to be trifled with.

Muscle Groups Supporting Our Joints

knee_anatomy

    As you can see from the illustration above, our knees are intricately structured with various ligaments, muscles, and bones. With ligaments, you might have heard once or twice about the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and how it has ended the careers of many sportsman and women because it is essential for normal knee function.

    Just as important as our knee ligaments are the supporting muscle groups surrounding the joints. Simply by strengthening your supporting muscle groups, you’ll strengthen your knees and ligaments supported by them.

    Take note that the following 8 exercises involve low impact movements and are specially chosen with the purpose of strengthening and restoring balance to the support muscle groups, resulting in strong knees with stability.

    1. Seated Straight Leg Raises

    Seated leg raises are one of the easiest knee strengthening exercises you can do at the comfort of your own work desk. Most importantly, it works the quadriceps which is the large front muscle of the thigh.

    two_chairs

      Instructions:

      Step One: Sit on a chair with one leg on another

      Step Two: Simply lift one leg and straighten for 5-10 seconds

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      Step Three: Slowly lower down your leg onto the other chair and repeat for 5 – 10 times for each leg

      2. Seated Bent Leg Raise

      skimble-workout-trainer-exercise-seated-leg-lifts-3_iphone-1

        The seated bent leg raise is similar to the seated straight leg raise but this time, bent your leg in a 45 degree angle and hold it there for about 30 seconds. Repeat for 4 repetitions for each leg. Seated bent leg raises are best for the hip flexors which is the muscle greatly involved in supporting walking, running and standing.

        3. Abductor Raises

        You would want to take note that this exercise has been recorded by doctors in the Journal of Romanian Sports Medicine Society to help patients with knee pains, drastically. The abductor raises is an exercise that helps strengthen your abductor muscle groups such as buttocks and lateral hip region.

        side_hip_abduction

          Instructions:

          Step One: Lie on side with arm supporting your head

          Step Two: Straighten both legs out, you can bend lower leg slightly to support body

          Step Three: Lift straightened upper leg up and hold for 5-10 seconds. Do 10-12 repetitions per leg

          4. Hamstring Curls

          When experiencing knee pains, you won’t quite exactly know where the pain is. Sometimes, it could even occur at the back of the knee. To reduce the pain, hamstring curls is a great exercise to keep those thighs toned and to strengthen those hamstrings.

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          trail-leg-curl-400x400

            Instructions:

            Step One: Stand against a pole or a chair

            Step Two: Lift your leg up towards your buttock, keeping your foot pointing to the ground

            Step Three: Hold your foot in the position for 5 – 10 seconds

            Step Four: Repeat for 15 repitions per leg

            5. Step Up

            The step up is an overall strengthening exercise for your entire lower body especially the supporting muscles for your knees. However, do note that if you experience discomfort during the step up exercise, lower the height of the step.

            step-up

              Instructions:

              Step One: Just like climbing stairs, put one foot up the step

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              Step Two: Lift yourself to place the other foot up, using the foot to support yourself while lowering the other

              Step Three: Repeat for 1 minute before changing to the other foot to step up first

              6. Spinning

              Unlike slow jogging, spinning on a stationary bike doesn’t put much impact on your knees and it helps strengthen your ligaments and surrounding muscles around your knee.

              sole-fitness-sb700-exercise-bike

                Instructions:

                Spin 10 minutes every day with light resistance

                7. Short Arcs

                Short arcs are the quintessential exercise for knee strengthening, widely used for rehabilitation after knee surgery or injury.

                maxresdefault

                  Instructions:

                  Step One: Lay on your back

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                  Step Two: Place a foam roller or a ball under the knee

                  Step Three: Straighten your knee and hold the position for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10 -15 times per leg

                  8. Seated Knee Marching

                  When you strengthen the muscles around your knees, you basically add more stability and mobility to your knees. With the seated knee marching exercise you can strengthen the quadriceps.

                  seated-knee-marching

                    Instructions:

                    Step One: Sit on a Chair with back straight

                    Step Two: Lift one knee up slowly and slowly lower it

                    Step Three: Repeat with other knee and coninue for one minute

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                    Last Updated on September 8, 2021

                    10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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                    10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

                    “You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

                    Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

                    Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

                    And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

                    Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

                    In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

                    Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

                    Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

                    1. I don’t have enough time.

                    This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

                    First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

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                    Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

                    A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

                    Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

                    2. I’m way too tired to workout.

                    Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

                    If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

                    You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

                    If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

                    3. But exercise is so boring!

                    You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

                    So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

                    The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

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                    If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

                    4. I have no motivation to workout.

                    If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

                    What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

                    That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

                    The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

                    Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

                    5. I have kids to look after.

                    One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

                    Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

                    If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

                    You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

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                    6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

                    What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

                    Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

                    By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

                    7. I don’t feel very well.

                    After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

                    At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

                    If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

                    8. The gym is too expensive or far.

                    If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

                    The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

                    There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

                    If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

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                    9. I don’t know how to train properly.

                    If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

                    However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

                    People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

                    10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

                    This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

                    The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

                    Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

                    Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

                    Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

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