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Seated Workouts to Ease Knee Discomfort: 6 Effective Exercises
Knee pain can be a debilitating factor in daily life, causing discomfort during simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs. However, regular exercise can play a significant role in managing and preventing this pain. Combining both stretching and strengthening exercises can help you build stronger muscles around the knee joint, reducing the risk of knee pain and injury. Here are six seated exercises that can be done at home to strengthen and stretch the muscles around your knee joint.
1. Hamstring Drags
Start by sitting at the edge of your chair, maintaining good posture, with your feet firmly planted on the ground, and your knees aligned with your ankles. Extend one leg out in front of you, flexing your toes towards you. Press your heel into the ground and drag it back towards you. If you experience any discomfort, keep a slight bend in your knee. Repeat this for five to ten times on each side.
2. Leg Lifts
This exercise focuses on the muscles at the front of your thigh. Extend one leg out in front of you while maintaining your posture. Engage your core and lift your extended leg up and lower it back down, ensuring that you're not using momentum to lift your leg. Your toes should be flexing back towards you throughout the exercise. Aim to do this ten times on each side.
3. Cat Cow
Seated Cat Cow exercises can increase the mobility in your lower spine, which can indirectly help with knee pain. For this, sit up tall with your feet planted on the floor, and place your hands on your thighs. Inhale, pushing your stomach forward and drawing your shoulders back. Exhale, rounding your back and pulling your core in towards your belly button. This spinal movement is good for your overall posture and balance.
4. Side Lunge
This seated exercise allows you to stretch your hip flexors and quadriceps without putting strain on your knees. Turn to one side on your chair, extending one leg off the chair and keeping the other thigh on it. Engage your core, press your toes into the floor, and tighten the glute muscle of the extended leg. This should open your hips and give you a good stretch on your quadriceps and hip flexors. Hold this position for ten deep breaths, then switch to the other side.
5. Clam Shells
Clam shells are great for strengthening your gluteus medius, a muscle on the side of your hip. Sitting up tall, place a resistance band around your legs, just above your knees. Keeping your feet together, open your knees apart and then slowly bring them back together. You should feel a squeeze on the outer side of your hips. Aim to do ten of these.
6. Figure 4
This final stretch targets the hip muscles. Start with one leg extended out, keeping a slight bend at the knee if necessary. Cross the ankle of the other leg over the knee of the extended leg. Flex your toes back to engage your knee muscles. Sitting up tall, gently press down on the thigh of the bent leg to deepen the hip stretch. Repeat this stretch for ten breaths on each side.
In conclusion, incorporating these six seated exercises into your daily routine can help alleviate existing knee pain and prevent future discomfort. Remember to take your time with each exercise, and modify the movements if they cause any pain or discomfort. Over time, these exercises will not only help improve your knee health, but they will also contribute to your overall physical well-being. Always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.