There’s no doubt that remaining active is crucial for building and strengthening your bones. But if any part of your body is in pain – especially weight-bearing joints such as your knees – it’s pretty hard to keep moving.
That’s why today we’re going to discuss the importance of avoiding knee problems, and easy ways to prevent and relieve knee pain, including a simple exercise you can do at home.
Not All Exercise is the Same
If you’re a “Saver,” you know that not just any exercise will do when it comes to increasing bone density and strength. As I explained in the Save Our Bones Program, to really build bone, you need to engage in weight-bearing exercise that utilizes the effects of gravity on bones and muscles.
When your knees hurt, though, doing such exercises is certainly difficult, if not impossible. Even getting in and out of a car or climbing a short flight of stairs becomes a painfully challenging task.
The Importance of Healthy Knees for Your Bone Health
All of your joints and bones are important, of course. But knees have a particular role in bone health because they are so central to weight-bearing exercise.
Your thigh muscles are pivotal in maintaining the integrity of your knee joints. Walking, for example, is an excellent overall bone-strengthening activity, but it doesn’t target the specific muscle groups that stabilize the knee.
A study from the University of Iowa showed a 50% decrease in knee pain in women who had the strongest thigh muscles in the study. Other muscle groups play a role in maintaining the knee joints as well.
General Care of the Knees
Knee pain does not have to be an inevitable part of ageing. I want to talk about some general tips for keeping your knees healthy, and then we’ll move on to a special knee-strengthening exercise that you can do right in your home.
- Keeping your hip and bottom muscles (the “glutes”) strong helps keep the pelvis at the proper angle. Strong bottom muscles align the hips and thigh bones (femurs), which in turn keeps the knee joints in proper alignment.
- Stretching is also important, because it keeps muscles limber and flexible. Muscles that are rigid can pull joints out of alignment, but supple muscles hold your skeleton in proper form and help absorb shocks.
In our modern world, excessive sitting has become quite a health hazard. With regard to the knees, sitting weakens the outer hip and leg muscles while tightening up the inner thighs and groin muscles, creating imbalance. The knee, of course, is one of the main joints that suffer when this happens. Stretching the inner thighs and groin muscles helps even out the imbalance, especially when combined with strengthening the outer hip and leg muscles.
- Strengthening your core muscles also improves your knees’ integrity. It may seem odd that abdominal muscles would affect your knees, but they do. You see, when your abs are weak, your pelvis tends to tilt forward, creating a “sway back.” Strong abs “tuck” your tummy in and pull the bottom of your pelvis forward. Once again, it’s all about alignment; you can’t have healthy knee joints if the rest of your body knocks them off-balance.
And now, I want to share with you an easy exercise to prevent knee aches and pains:
The Knee Curl
- Stand and hold onto the back of a chair.
- Lift your right leg straight out behind you, without pointing your toes.
- Bring your heel toward your buttocks as far as you can by bending your knee. Don’t move your hips, and keep the leg you’re standing on
- Slightly bent. Hold for one second, then lower to the floor.
- Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times.
- Switch legs and do 10 to 15 curls with the left leg. Then perform another 10 to 15 curls with your right leg. Finish by doing 10 to 15 curls with your left leg.
I chose this exercise not only because it is geared toward the knees, but also because it is typical of the moves you’ll find in the Densercise™ eBook System. You see, Densercise™ is designed with knee pain prevention in mind. You’ll find exercises that strengthen the thighs, core muscles, and knees without hard impact, such as:
- Step Up
- Side Lunge
- Chair Dips
- Wall Squats
- Heel Lift
- Chair Knee Lift
- Mountain Pose to Chair Pose and many more!
You can do all these exercises right in your home – no special equipment necessary!