There are many knee exercises that can improve knee pain. Knee muscle exercises are the best way to protect the knee joints and provide knee pain relief. Knee strengthening, such as hamstring exercises creates a shock absorption effect around the knee joints.
Hamstring Strengthening Helps Knee Pain
The three hamstring muscles located at the back of the thigh, are important to address when treating knee pain. Research studies on knee problems show either a weakness or tightness in these muscles. Commonly, both inflexibility of the hamstrings and weakness of the hamstrings contribute to knee pain. Remember to stretch out the hamstrings after performing this exercise.
Knee Exercise: Hamstring Bridge on a Chair
- Lie on your back with a sturdy chair at your feet.
- Place your heels on the seat of the chair and bend your knees so that your hips and knees are now at a right angle.
- Dig your heels into the chair as you lift your hips up towards the ceiling.
- Your knees, hips and shoulders should all line up at the top of the movement.
- Hold your hips up for a count of 3 seconds
- Slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
- Repeat 10 times then take a break.
- Repeat again 10 more times.
- Practice this exercise every other day.
- This exercise will strengthen your hamstrings as well as your butt muscles. You should feel most of the work happening at the area where the hamstring muscles attach, just behind the knee.
- Keep your ankles and knees together during the entire exercise.
- If you have low back pain with this exercise, don't lift your hips as high. If the pain continues, despite the decrease in range of motion, stop the exercise.
- Exhale as you lift your hips up. Inhale on the way back down.
- Keep your knees bent 90 degrees (a right angle).
- You can also do this exercise on a medium sized exercise ball rather than a chair. It will be more difficult on a ball as your abdominals will have to work to keep the ball from roll off to the side.
Bridge on a Chair Exercise Benefits:
- Hamstring strengthening will improve knee pain.
- The hamstrings mimic the stabilizing duties of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee (the ACL). This is the most commonly injured knee ligament and hamstring strengthening will decrease the everyday demands on the ACL, thereby, reducing your risk for ligament injury.
- Don't forget that the benefits of hamstring strengthening will be minimized if you do not also stretch the hamstrings.