Professional athletes, as well as occasional joggers have something in common. They are more likely to injure the knee than non-athletes. The fact is that knee injuries are one of the most common sporting injuries in men and women. Typically, the injury occurs because the individual made an awkward move that twisted the knee, or they placed a tremendous amount of pressure on the knee. Knee injuries result in a lot of unnecessary pain for most people. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Proper exercise, rehab and treatments using knee straps, knee braces, or wraps should restore the individual to better condition.
Physical therapists recommend a core group of exercises that are designed to strengthen different parts of the knee and leg in general. The knee exercises are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
Beginner Program Exercises:
- Hamstring Exercise – Lie down on the floor with knees bent to 10 degree angle. Feet on floor. Dig the heel into the floor. Tighten the muscles on the back of the thighs for ten seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Quadriceps – Relax on the stomach and place a towel under the ankles. Push ankles down into rolled up towel. Hold for several seconds. Repeat.
- Straight leg raise – Lie on back with one leg bent at knee. Slowly life the other leg and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
Intermediate Program Exercises:
- Straight leg raise – lie down on the back and bend one knee. Take the other knee and straighten with muscles in quads. Raise leg until the foot is 12 inches off the floor. Slowly lower. Repeat 10 times.
- Chair Squats – Hold on to the back of a chair. Feet spread 12 inches apart. Keep back straight and bend downward a few inches only. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Advanced Program Exercises:
- Knee Bends – Stand with one hand on the back of a chair for support. Bend one knee backward with the toe touching the floor for support. Slowly lower your body, while keeping the other foot flat. Straighten up to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.