Senior Fitness Pro Tip: How to Protect Your Knees

Senior_Fitness_Pro_Tip_How_to_Protect_Your_Knees.jpgIs knee pain preventing your senior fitness goals from taking off? Not to worry. Knee pain is often a symptom of another issue, but if not addressed, can cause further knee damage over time. See how you can find the root of pain to prevent and relieve the symptoms from continuing.


The Best Stretches to Relieve Knee Pain

The bridge is a yoga pose that benefits practicing yogis as well as the beginner senior fitness exerciser. Begin lying flat on the floor with arms close by your side, feet should be planted on the floor hip-width apart with knees bent up. Raise hips, trying to create a straight line and squeezing the butt as hips are lowered to the starting position. The bridge strengthens glute muscles to help keep knees aligned. Repeat for 15 reps before resting to complete 4 sets. 

Side Leg Lift.
Lie on a mat on your side with feet stacked over one another, resting head on your lower arm. Slowly lift top leg up as high as possible, keeping it parallel to the floor with your foot pointed forward. Be sure to squeeze butt muscles and keep abs tight when raising. Slowly lower the leg to the starting position. Complete 15 reps for one set before switching legs.

Leg Stretch.
From the hips, to the hamstrings, to the knee, to the calves, increasing flexibility of one will prevent pain for the other muscles and joints. The leg stretch can help stretch both the hamstrings and the calves to increase flexibility and range of motion, taking some of the pressure off the knees and hips. Begin by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using a resistance band or towel, loop around the bottom of your left foot, holding towel end and extending leg up. Use your band to pull leg toward chest, your goal being to bring the leg directly over the hips. Be sure not to lock your knee. Create more resistance against your foot with the band by pulling straight down while flexing your foot will further stretch your calf muscle. Aim to hold stretch for 30 seconds.

Each of these exercises help stretch and strengthen some of the main areas that can contribute to knee pain while also taking the pressure off the knees. For a wide variety of group classes fit for all fitness levels, visit Work Out World, one of the top gyms in NJ!