When you’re trying to get active, knee pain and stiffness can feel so de-motivating. Your mind wants to do it but the body pulls you off track. Worse yet, the pain may stop you from beginning fitness in the first place.
Never fear! A solution is here! Not only is there an alternative leg workout that strengthens the entire leg, without causing knee pain during the workout, but it can reduce knee pain and enhance mobility after your workout too.
Even if you don’t have knee pain, if you’re over the age of 50, this workout is an essential MUST DO! Because it challenges your balance, your ankle mobility and it indirectly works your tummy muscles too. Give it a try:
Why This Fitness Plan Works:
How This Workout Reduces knee pain caused by arthritis:
Osteo-Arthritis is the most common cause of knee pain in both men and women over 50.
Years of walking, taking the stairs and yes, even standing from a seated position begin to breakdown the cartilage.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which is just as painful but less common, is caused by an autoimmune response. Your body sees its own tissue as an invader and begins to attack it, damaging the joint.
The exercises in this workout target the the small muscles surrounding your joints including the small stabilizer muscles that keep your knee joint stable, reduce joint tension and provide relief. These exercises are also linked to reducing pain.
This workout also increases the production of synovial fluid in the joint, the oily liquid which lubricates joints when they’re moved. Much like a squeaky door that needs oil to track properly, your knee also needs synovial fluid to allow proper tracking and an extra bit of cushiony support.
How This Workout Prevents Loss of Balance:
Your inner ear, your sight, your strength, muscle mass, coordination and your ability to understand where you are in your environment (known as proprioception) all contribute to your ability to balance.
Your body is an extraordinarily adaptable vessel. With age, naturally the cells in your inner ear and your sight begin to decline, but the body can compensate by relying on your strength, your muscles and proprioception.
In other words, If you strengthen the areas of balance you have more control over, not only can you maintain balance, but you may actually improve balance too. Since falls are a huge risk factor that reduces quality of life, it’s so valuable to exercise this system while you get a great leg workout too.
This workout is done in your barefoot. This wakes up the sensory receptors in your feet that tell your brain where you are in your environment (you’re working your proprioception).
It focuses on one-leg movements which strengthen the muscles associated with balance and challenge your muscles to stay strong.
Once you’ve done this workout successfully, try closing your eyes and workout again. This takes sight completely out of the balance equation and focuses more deeply on your body’s ability to use proprioception. That way, even if sight declines with age, your balance will always feel strong!