As the weather continues to improve, outdoor exercise becomes more and more appealing. The impact that exercise has on our knees can be damaging, and nobody wants to spend the summer inside with an injury. So, how can you help protect your knees and make the most of the nice weather?
Our knees need repetitive bending, straightening, rapid acceleration and deceleration movements during activity. These can place significant stress on the joint, making it easy to understand why the knee is at risk for injury.
Knee injuries account for 15% of injuries in the US, and 50% of those injuries result in a doctor’s visit. Most knee injuries occur with a single event, but others can surface over time. The key to protecting your knees is to include flexibility and strength exercises into your weekly routine. We advise that you always perform exercises that are within your comfort zone.
The exercises below will help build knee stability and allow you to stay active this summer:
- Hamstring Stretch: Stand with one leg in front with the toes pointed up.
Place your hands on your knees and gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the upper leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 4 times.
- Straight leg raise: Lay on your back with one leg bent and the other straight. Tighten your thigh muscle and raise the straight leg up to the bent leg. Pause for 1-2 seconds and perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Quarter squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to lower yourself, like you are going to sit in a chair. Raise your arms forward as you bend your knees. Pause for 1-2 seconds and perform 3 sets of 10 reps.