9. Wall Squats
Squats are the best exercise to help you assess the strengths and weaknesses within your knee joints. However, wall squats are the best as less force goes through the knees when performing them. Also, this exercise is simply perfect for anyone suffering from knee pain.
Although the exercise places pressure on the knees with repetitive bending, it helps in protecting your delicate joints and muscles in and around them. This exercise is specifically a boon for runners and athletes or those with runner’s knee injury.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science reports that use of the wall squat also aids in the control of common compensation patterns, such as pelvic rotations, dynamic valgus and weight-bearing deviations in the feet observed in the training environment.
- Stand with your back against a wall. Make sure your feet are about shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend your knees, keeping your back and pelvis straight against the wall.
- Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, however avoid bending too deeply. Adjust your position if you feel some pressure or discomfort in your knees.
- Slowly slide up the wall, keeping the abdominal muscles as tight as possible.
- Repeat the exercise while trying to hold the sitting position a little longer each time.
If possible, try to do this exercise with a Swiss ball. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reports that use of a Swiss ball during the wall squat exercise has additional benefit on lower limb muscle activity.
Note: Do not slide your hips down lower than your knees.
10. Calf Stretch (Gastrocnemius Stretch)
Calf muscles play a significant role in supporting your knees, as well as in reducing pain and improving flexibility.
The calves are made up of two muscles on the back of your lower legs–the gastrocnemius and soleus. The main job of these muscles is to pull the foot down, like when you point your toes.
However, these are often neglected during workouts and exercise routines. And a pain in the calf muscles can be extremely tight and might even travel up to the knees.
So, it is important to take care of your calves and loosen them up to avoid any kind of pain or trouble in the knees. Stretching is one form of exercise that can keep these muscles loose and relieve pain in the muscles and knees.
Plus, it is beneficial for treatment of plantar fascia. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation found that gastrocnemius-soleus stretching should be considered as supplemental to plantar fascia-specific stretching.
- Hold onto a chair or any other stable surface for balance.
- Bend your right leg.
- Step back with your left leg.
- Slowly straighten your left leg behind you.
- Press your left heel toward the floor. You will feel the stretch in the calf of your back leg.
- Hold for 20 seconds.
- Repeat twice, and then switch legs.