knee pain? try this home remedy
Runner’s knee, my bum knee, weak knees…call it what you want, but knee pain sucks. It can get in the way of training for a race or inhibit you from participating in exercise classes. Plyometrics? Not a fun activity for your knees. If you have bad knees, they need to be strengthened in order to become a healthier joint. But what do you do when strengthening exercises hurt those knees? It’s quite a catch-22…
This month’s issue of Women’s Health magazine mentioned an interesting report by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In research subjects with knee pain, the gluteus muscles didn’t activate properly when the subjects ran or walked up and down stairs. This is an important finding because without proper support from the butt muscles, more stress was placed on the knees.
If you suffer from mild knee pain you may want to incorporate some exercises to strengthen those gluteus muscles. Try out the hamstring bridge:
Step 1: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet close to your rear.
Step 2: Driving weight through your heels, bring your rear up towards the ceiling. Form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position for a few seconds.
Step 3: Bring rear back to ground.
Recommended number of reps: 10+, or continuously for 45+ seconds.
Challenge yourself even further by performing this exercise on one leg, with the other leg extended in the air. This will isolate each leg, allowing for more intense gains.
I’ve had some periods of slight knee pain, but I have to admit that I haven’t had any pain since I started focusing more on resistance training for my legs. I had really ignored my leg muscles, assuming that cardio days were doing enough strengthening. Boy, was I wrong! Incorporating “leg days” made me much stronger, more stable in squats/lunges/plyometrics, and actually gave shape to my chicken legs (booyah!). As much as I like to run, I’m really being careful to preserve my joints so as to avoid any future injuries, and I’m now a believer that strength training is the way to maintain that strength. Strong muscles help support joints!
To those of you with current or former knee pain, what do you do to work on it? Any secrets?