People unconsciously abuse their knees all of the time. It doesn’t matter whether you exercise in the gym, or walk everywhere, you abuse your knees and you’re not even aware of it! This happens more often to women rather than men, for various reasons.
The main reason why are hormones: the female hormones like estrogen and such, attack the ligaments around the knees and ankles. This is why the following exercises are targeted towards women, but this doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t add them to their exercise routine just the same.
1. Partial squats: Or partial wall squats, since, in order to keep your balance, you might have to lean against a wall. You begin with taking a shoulder-wide stance, and then squat, slowly, bending at the knees but making sure that your knees to go forward further than your toes.
2. Calf stretch: Stand a little more than 50 cm away from the wall. Then, put your right foot behind the left, putting your palms on the wall for support. Then, bend forward with your left knee, while keeping your right knee still and the heel of your right foot on the floor. You bend the left knee until left knee is above your left foot and then hold this position for about half a minute. After that, switch your legs, with your left foot behind the right this time, and repeat the exercise.
3. Single-leg hamstring curl: Use your right hand to support yourself onto a wall. And then, put your weight on your right leg. Then, bend and your left knee, bringing your lower leg behind you. After that, lower your foot. This exercise needs to be done, or repeated about 20 times before you switch to the other leg.
4. Side-lying hip lift and leg lift: Lie down on your right side, keeping your feet and hips stacked. After that, place your right forearm on the floor and use it to support your body. Then, you raise your body off the ground at the hips, making a side plank. Then, after you’ve lowered yourself down again, raise your right leg. Do at least 20 repetitions of this exercise before you switch sides.
5. Leg raises: Do some leg raises by lying face up on the floor, with your right knee bent, while your left leg is straight. Keep your arms still on the floor, palms down. As you exhale, lift your left leg to your chest, while keeping your stomach muscles tight and palms on the floor. After that, lower your left leg back down and the switch your legs.
6. Step ups: This easy exercise is done by stepping onto a low step with one foot, and then bringing the other one. Then you step back down, one foot after the other. Starting with the left one, do twenty repetitions, and then start beginning with the right foot.
7. Temple pose: You begin this exercise by standing with your feet apart at least four feet wide. Your toes should be turned outwards by 45 degrees. Then, bring your palms level to your chest, drop your shoulders and lift your chest up. As you inhale, you start bending your knees until your thighs are 90 degrees to your lower legs, or as parallel to the floor as you can get them. Your knees shouldn’t come closer together, and you need to keep them straight, as well as your back. Then, you draw your stomach up, and go down with your tailbone. Hold this position for about 15 seconds, and do three repetitions.
8. Bridge: Lie on your back, with your palms down and your knees bent up in the air. Then, tighten your stomach muscles, and raise your body until it’s parallel with the floor bellow you. Then, bend your left leg towards your chest, and then straighten it out till you point forward with your foot. Repeat and switch sides for about one minute.
9. Reclined butterfly: In this exercise, you lie on your back again, and with your knees bent, only the soles of your feet need to be lined up together, while your knees are close to the floor on each side. With your palms by your sides, keep your shoulders back and open your chest. Inhale through your nose and then exhale. Continue this exercise until you feel relaxed.
10. Quadriceps set: Sit on the floor, and extend your left leg out in front of you, putting a towel made into a roll underneath it. Push down with your knee over the towel as you tighten your thigh. Hold this position for at least five seconds, and then release. Switch legs, and repeat. Each leg should do about ten reps of this exercise.