The knee is the largest joint in the body, and is formed by the lower end of the femur, the upper end of the tibia and the patella. These bones are connected by the ligaments and cartilage, including the meniscus, which cushions the area where the femur and tibia meet.
These are held by the muscles of the legs, especially the quadriceps and hamstrings, so it is extremely important to keep these muscles strong to have healthy knees and thus avoid injury.
Pain in the knee joints is a very frequent problem and performing basic movements such as walking, climbing stairs, running or jumping can be an ordeal.
The main disorders that affect our knees are osteoarthritis or arthritis, meniscal lesions, ligaments or wear on the back of the kneecap.
TIPS FOR CARING FOR YOUR KNEES
1. Wear appropriate footwear. The way you step can be very harmful. The way your feet impact the ground can impact your knees. That is why it is important to wear an optimal footwear that dampens the footprint.
2. Strengthen lower body muscles. Training the leg muscles helps reduce the amount of force the knees must support. You can perform quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks to keep your knees stronger.
3. Heating. Before starting each workout, it is necessary to warm up progressively. For this, some simple dynamics are recommended.
4. Control the weight. The less weight, less load: in order to reduce the impacts to which the knees are subjected, it is very important to control the body weight. The lower the load to bear, the less stress they will be subjected to.
5. Perform stretching. At the end of the exercise, the worked muscles must be relaxed and return to the initial length to counteract the shortening produced by the exercise. How? With gentle and passive stretching.
6. Cycle. The bicycle strengthens the joints and improves their movement, and all this without any impact. Without injuries, the exercise to be performed may be of medium-high intensity, but if you have an injury it is better that you do it at a moderate intensity.
EXERCISES TO AVOID KNEE PAIN
- Hip flexion and knee extension with downward force:
The objective of this exercise is to perform a flexion of the hips (sitting in a chair) while stretching one of the legs and returning to the initial position gently. Alternate both legs
Duration: 3 sets of 20 seconds each
Muscles involved: Sartorius, quadriceps femoris, biceps femoris and semimembranous.
- Knee extension
Sitting on the floor, with your legs stretched and resting on your hands behind your back, place a rolled mat under your knee. Press hard towards the floor causing a knee extension for 20 seconds. Then perform the same exercise with the other leg.
Duration: 3 sets of 20 seconds with each leg
Musculature involved: Sartorius, femoral quadriceps.
- Proprioception in one leg
This exercise involves maintaining balance and the entire weight of the body on the same leg. You have to place one leg suspended in the air from behind and the other on the ground supporting all the weight and avoiding losing your balance. Hold this posture for 20 seconds.
Duration: perform 3 sets of 20 seconds with each leg
Musculature involved: semimembranous, semitendinous, Sartorius, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius.