Knee injuries and the pain suffered from them are extremely common, but this does not make them any less troublesome. Most injuries cause a lack in range of movement and muscle wasting. Therefore, most knee exercises will focus on building muscle strength. This takes time, but as your muscles get stronger, you will be able to increase the amount of reps or even add extra weight during an exercise. You may be suffering from pain from your injury, but during your exercises, you should not be feeling any serious pain. If you do, then you must stop immediately. You should challenge your muscles, but don’t overdo it. Rest is also beneficial to your muscles. Your physiotherapist will recommend appropriate exercises for your injury, but many of these can be done at home or even at the office. They don’t require any special equipment and are easy and effective.
Whilst lying on your back, keep one leg straight and the other leg bent. Then tighten your muscles in your straight leg and slowly raise it from the floor. Stop at about 1 foot above the floor and hold it for about 5 seconds. Then lower your leg slowly. Repeat this and then switch to the other leg.
These exercises are also known as “closed chain” exercises. Stand with your back and hips against the wall and your feet about a foot away from the wall, shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees and slide your back down the wall so you are in a sort of sitting position. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, and then slowly slide back up the wall. You should mainly feel the pain in the front of your thighs, but if you feel pressure or discomfort in your knees, then try to adjust your position. Repeat this exercise and each time, try to hold the sitting position for a few seconds longer.
You can choose to do Hamstring Curls standing up or lying down.
Standing: You should hold on to the back of a chair in order to maintain your balance. Lift one foot off the floor and raise it towards your buttocks. Make sure that your heel does not go past a 90-degree angle. Once at the desired angle, hold for about 5 seconds and then slowly lower the leg. Repeat and switch legs. You should feel the stretch towards the back of your thigh.
Lying: Whilst lying flat on your stomach, slowly raise your heel as close to your buttocks as you can and hold that position for a couple of seconds. Do three sets of 15 with each leg. If these exercises become too easy for you, you can add ankle weights.
These can be done anywhere – you can hold onto the back of a chair or sofa, or even on the stairs whilst holding onto the bannister. Make sure you are supported and then simply raise your heels as high as you can, hold for a second and then lower them. Do three sets of 15 of these. If this becomes too easy, then try lifting one foot slightly off the floor, ensuring all the weight is on the leg doing the calf raises.