You can’t do much in the way of physical activity without your knees, but if you’re prone to suffering from knee pain, you probably wish you could. The knee is one of the most complicated joints in the human body, consisting of several bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Unfortunately, its complexity also makes it vulnerable to injury. Sports, exercise, arthritis, or even just everyday wear and tear can lead to severe knee problems that can be painful and debilitating.
Whether you’re prone to knee issues or not, you can greatly reduce your chances of suffering a knee injury. Research has shown that exercise routines centered around building knee strength and stability can reduce the risk of injury by nearly half. And the best part is that it doesn’t require much time to see results. Add some of these simple exercises to your routine to increase balance, strength and agility.
Standing Hip In-and-Outs
Stand straight with feet together and slowly raise your knee until it forms a 90 degree angle. Slowly rotate your knee out to the side and lower your leg until your toe taps the floor. Raise your knee again and return to the starting position.
Hold a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell or body bar) at the base of your neck and hinge forward from the hips. Keep knees slightly bent and feet facing forward about shoulder width apart. Bend forward from the hips, pushing them back until your back is almost parallel to the floor and you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Slowly return to the starting position.
Goblet Squat with Calf Raise
Stand holding a kettlebell or barbell close to your chest. Keeping your back straight, lower into a deep squat until your hamstrings touch your calves. Push through your heels to return to the starting position and rise onto your toes.
Stand straight with arms at your sides and knees soft. Push through the heels to explosively bring your body up and forward, drawing your knees quickly in to your chest then extending your legs for the landing. You should land a few feet in front of your starting position. Reverse your movement, jumping backward to return at your starting position.
Perform these exercises twice per week to build stronger muscles that will support your knees and keep them free from injury (Source: Men's Journal).