“Strengthen my knees”, is a common request at our yoga studio. While every joint in our body is important and has special uses. The knees are unique because they’re a hinge joint that bears a lot of weight as well as additional loads that are occasionally put on it. The secret to healthy knees would be to build strength around the muscles of the knees.
Here’s my secret to yoga for healthy knees.
The game plan is to strengthen everything above and below the knees. The stronger the muscles around the knees, the more support the knee joint can have. But first, let’s look at why the knee joint gets impacted.
Reasons for knee injury
- Weak muscles around the knee
- Wrong alignment of the knee
- Knee trauma
- Lack of proper rehabilitation after an injury
- Overuse of the knee joint
- Repetitive strain injury
The yoga poses below are simple, effective and easy for people of all abilities to practice. You can do these anytime of the day but remember that consistency is key. For this to work, you’ve got to do them often.
Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2)
Easily one of the easiest and most effective yoga poses to do. The front leg with the bent knee helps firm up the quadriceps muscle. This helps to support the load on the knee protecting the knee joint from injury. Practice holding for 30 seconds on each side twice or thrice depending on your personal ability.
Similar to warrior 2, high lunges continue to work on the strength of the quadriceps on the front leg. But this pose has another benefit. It stretches out the hip flexor and quadriceps of the back or extended leg. Giving us the double benefit of strength and stretch to strengthen the knees.
Fierce pose (Utkatasana)
This pose works the quadriceps and hamstrings. When we bend the knees, and push the hips back, we fire up the quadriceps and hamstrings. Building strength and stability of the knee joints. Add a yoga block between the inner thighs for an added bonus. In one round, opt for 8 to 10 rounds to build strength around your knees.
Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana 3)
This pose works both legs. The standing leg as well as the extended leg. The standing leg will fire up the muscles of the leg to supporting the knee. While the back leg doesn’t work as hard as the standing leg. This helps to work the alignment of the knees and quadriceps.
Try these today and let us know how your knees feel! If you’ve got questions or comments about any of the above poses, just let us know in the comment box below and we’ll have your answers ready.