The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body. If you want to see just how complicated it is, have a look at my Knee Anatomy post, which I posted a while back. Whether you are walking, running or jumping, your knee joints are constantly under pressure which makes you susceptible to pain at some point in your life and possibly even injury if you aren’t careful. If you want to prolong the health of your knee joint and give it a fighting chance, you need to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the knee.
“Strengthening the muscles around the joint protects you from injury by decreasing stress on the knee,” says Willibald Nagler, MD, chairman of rehabilitation medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Campus in New York City.
Muscles Around The Knee
The important areas you need to work on are the quadriceps, the hamstrings, calves, and yes, your glutes:
If you want to reduce the stress placed on your knee joints and help them absorb some of the impact that they take on a daily basis, it is important that you work on all of them. If you don’t develop all four muscles, you may create an instability in your lower body which may cause more harm than good. Or at the very least, you won’t notice any difference.
Before You Start
Before I get into a few suggestions on how to strengthen your muscles, I want you to keep a few things in mind:
Always, always, always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Warm up before you get down to business, or you may end up making things worse. One good way to do this is to walk for about 5-10 minutes beforehand, to loosen things up.
Start slowly! Especially if you are experiencing some type of pain already.
Building The Muscles Around The Knee
There are so many articles and videos on the Web that talk about knee/muscle strengthening that it makes it hard to figure out where to start. The point of this article is to take some of the guess work out, with videos that I have personally tried and found helpful. The first is a video that explains exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles around the knee:
The 2nd video provides recommendations on how to stretch the muscles and a few more examples on how to strengthen them: