Spring Training – Strengthening Your Knees
Spring is here and many people are increasing their outdoor activities, running and sports. Spring and summer season soccer, lacrosse, track, and various other sports have begun. All athletes – young and old – are susceptible to suffering knee pain and/or a debilitating injury. Here’s some exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles around the knee and minimize your risk for injury.
Single Leg Balance
Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and attempt to maintain your balance for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep your hip, knee, and foot aligned with hip over knee over foot. Do 1-3 sets. As this task becomes easy, make it more challenging by increasing the time you stand on your foot and by standing on a soft surface, such as a pillow or foam pad.
Stand on one foot on a solid and sturdy box or a step with the other foot off the edge. With your hands on your hips, bend your stance leg and lower your body down until your opposite heel, on the hanging leg, touches the ground and then push back up. Keep your hips level and your hip, knee and foot aligned while you execute this exercise. Do 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions on each foot. If you feel pain in the front of your knee, select a lower step height or discontinue this exercise.
Resisted Side Steps
Stand with your feet together and step forward with one leg, bending your knee to 90 degrees after your foot hits the ground. Make sure the front knee remains over the ankle/foot and does not go past your front foot. Continue moving your body forward by bringing your back (stationary) leg forward, then together with your step leg. Alternate legs with each step. Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each leg.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and jump forward, landing on both feet. Focus on taking small, controlled jumps and landing with equal weight distribution on each leg. Concentrate on soft, quiet landings and maintaining your lower extremities in good alignment, with your hips over your knees, and knees over your feet. Make sure your knees do not come together when you land from this jump. Do 5-15 reps. Over time, this exercise can be progressed by increasing the length of the jump.
Single Leg Bridge
Lay on your back with one knee bent slightly and one leg straight. Using the bent leg as your support leg, elevate your trunk and hips, bringing your shoulders, hips and leg in a straight line. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Do 1-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Yours in health & fitness,
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.
Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.