Posted on August 18 2017
A couple of years ago, I decided that roller skating was something I wanted to do after not doing it for a long time (as in since my childhood…and I wasn't that good at it then!). That was a big mistake when I fell on my knee and hurt it pretty bad. I remember the sound of it hitting the floor and thinking that was definitely going to hurt in the morning and it did.
I still have some knee pain and stiffness and this means that doing squats is often a challenge for me and not in a good way. I still wanted to work my quads and booty though, so I came across some moves that are good workouts for bad knees and they are very effective in building up the supporting muscles in the area so I can do squats again.
Calf raises are excellent for building up muscles in the leg area and glutes, too. You do them by simply placing your hands out in front of you and standing on the ball of your foot, almost on the tippy toes. To add to this, I like to contract my glutes as I come up onto my calves.
You can also make this more challenging over time by simply doing one leg at a time or finding something to balance on.
Start by laying on your stomach with your whole body flat. Bring up your calves as far up as you can go. Make sure you are using your quads, glutes and calves to do the work and not your knees. This will strengthen the muscles around your knee joints if you do it this way and will take the strain off your knees. To make it more challenging, use a resistance band.
I call these reverse squats because you are essentially doing the same workout just in reverse. Start by standing straight up and use your hips and back to lower your body to fold over as far down as you can go. Come back up and tighten your glutes, quads and lower back as you rise. You can make this more challenging by adding some barbells.
Ab Twists don’t seem like they would help your lower body, but they do. These moves can strengthen your abs, glutes, and quads. They are also effective at stretching and since you are seated for them, they put almost no strain on your knees. Simply sit on the floor and bring one leg up to form a triangle (think of it like half sitting cross-legged). Using your abs and glutes, twist your body and contract your muscles and hold it. Then, switch legs and sides. You should feel it in your inner thighs and abs as well as your hips and glutes. You can add more of a challenge to this by using a medicine ball or kettlebell.
One More Personal tip: I have found that wearing compression workout leggings really can be a great support for knee issues. I highly recommend the compression capris or leggings from Rainbeau Curves.
Read more by Christine here.