Friday, 31 October 2014

5 Exercise to Keep Your Knees Healthy and Stronger

Whether you're a gym rat or you simply have a rigorous walking routine, your knees take a pounding day to day. What's more, women are more likely to experience knee pain than men. 
Add a few of these key exercises to your next workout routine to help keep your knees ready for action.

1. Calf stretch

Stand at arm's length away from a wall. Place your right foot behind your left foot. With your hands against the wall for support, slowly bend your left knee forward, keeping your right knee straight, your right heel on the floor, and your left knee above your left foot. Hold for about 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

2. Single-leg hamstring curl

Using your right hand for support (hold the back of a chair, the wall, or even a tree trunk) shift your weight to your right leg. Slowly bend and lift your left knee, engaging your hamstring to bring your lower leg high behind you (as shown); lower your foot. Do 20 reps and then switch legs.

3. Partial squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed straight ahead. Slowly squat until you’re at about a 45-degree angle, bending at the knees but making sure the knees do not extend forward beyond the toes. To help keep your balance, try the partial squat while leaning your back against a wall (partial wall squat)

4. Leg raises

Lie face up with your left knee bent, right leg straight, arms by your sides with palms on the floor. Exhaling, lift your right leg toward your chest as comfortably as possible while contracting the front of your thigh; keep your abs tight and hands on the floor. Immediately and slowly lower your leg back to the start; switch legs and repeat. Do 10-12 reps per side.

5. Step ups

Step up onto a low bench or stair with your right foot, then bring up your left foot. Step back down, right foot first. Do 20 reps; then repeat, starting with your left foot. Too easy? Make the move more challenging by holding a dumbbell at your shoulder with your right arm when stepping with your left leg, and your left arm when stepping with your right leg.

6. Bridge

Lie with your knees bent, your arms at your sides, palms down. Tighten your glutes and core; raise your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (A). Bend your right leg toward your chest (B); straighten your leg and point foot (C); bend your leg and return to start. Repeat, alternating sides, for 1 minute.

Original Article - health

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