As a personal trainer for seniors, one area that many of them tell me that they have pain in is their knees. Your knees are essential since they are associated with movements like squatting or even walking up stairs. Without having to go through a knee replacement, are there ways that seniors can reduce/limit knee pain through exercise? Well if your knees still have cartilage and not bone on bone, my answer would be yes. Notwithstanding the condition, your knees are in, without remaining active, your legs will get weaker and prompt different issues. To keep your legs strong and reduce/limit knee pain, here are 5 ways.
- Strengthen Your Hips- Typically when people squat and have their knees falling in, they have weak hips or gluteus medius muscles. A great exercise to strengthen your glute muscles is the side lying leg lift exercise; do 20x on each side for 3 sets
2. Stretch and Strengthen around your ankles- A big reason people can’t squat well is their ankles don’t give them proper mobility. Start by stretching your calf muscles with the wall stretch below and then strengthen your shin muscles with toe raises.
3. Learn How to Hip Hinge- A hip hinge enables that when you squat, your knees are not over your toes. When your knees are not over your toes, it enables you to use and strengthen your glute muscles.
4. Strengthen Your Glutes- As mentioned above, when your glutes are strong your knees don’t hurt as much. Another great exercise to strengthen your glutes is hip bridges. You can do hip bridges either with both feet on the ground or for more of a challenge with 1 leg in the air.
5. Stretch Hamstrings/Quads – What I have found with most people, is that they don’t stretch. To reduce/limit knee pain, concentrate on stretching your hamstrings and quads while holding each side for at least 30 seconds.