You rely on your knees more than you might realize throughout your life. Unfortunately, they’re not the most stable joint in your body, so if you don’t take care of them, they could significantly affect your movement later in life. Thankfully, you can reduce the risk of such issues with the right exercises.
This exercise is simple to do, provided you have a small, sturdy platform to stand on. With this in front of you, simply step up onto it with one leg, followed by the other. Your feet should be hip-width apart during this, while your hands should remain at your side. Moreover, try to bring your second foot up by using the foot that’s already on the platform rather than pushing off the floor. Once you’ve done this, step back down to your starting position and repeat for your desired number of reps.
For this exercise, you start by standing with your feet together. It’s worth holding a dumbbell while doing this, although you might want to try by just using your body weight first. Put your weight on your left side as you slightly bend that knee and lower your torso, so it’s parallel to the floor. As you do this, you want to lift your right leg up behind you, trying your best to also make that parallel to the floor. Then, bring it back down, using your left heel to help you return to your starting position. Squeeze your glutes, then swap legs and repeat like this.
Banded glute bridges
Feel like you need to lie down after those other exercises? This is the perfect opportunity to try some banded glute bridges. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor – hip-width apart – and your knees bent. From here, you want to lift your hips off the floor. To do this effectively, you’ll need to squeeze your glutes and abs while also pushing through your heels. The exercise will be successful if you manage to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the position for a second, lower your hips to the ground, then repeat.
Squats and lunges are always good exercises to do, and this one is effectively a combination of both. You’ll want to stand like you’re doing a lunge, with your feet hip-width apart and one placed ahead of the other. With your core braced, bend your knees so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders back and your spine as straight as possible as you push through your heel to return to your starting position. Do this for so many reps, then swap legs and repeat. Again, you can do this with dumbbells or your own weight – whatever you’d prefer.
These exercises are quick and easy to do but can have a significant impact on your knee strength. Try to incorporate them into your routine a few times a week so that you can reap the benefits of them for many years to come.