Your knees are where the forces generated by your muscles, bones and tendons are focused. Running puts a lot of strain on your knees and they need to be strong and well-conditioned if you want to continue doing it for years to come. This guide will show you how your knees work during running so that you can better understand how to strengthen them for better performance and less risk of injury.
The knee is the largest joint in the human body.
The knee is the largest joint in your body. We rely on it so much when we run. It’s also one of the most important. And it’s not just for your running; it’s for walking, jumping and everything else you do. No matter how much training you put into strengthening the rest of your body, if you don’t strengthen your knees properly, those other muscles won’t be able to do their job as well as they should.
Exercise to try.
The following exercises will strengthen your knee muscles and improve the stability of your joints.
Wall sit – Stand facing a wall with your arms outstretched and back flat against it. Slowly slide down until you’re sitting on the floor, keeping your back straight and looking ahead of you at all times. Hold for as long as possible. Repeat 10 times with 30 seconds rest between sets. If this is too easy, use a chair or box to help support your weight instead of leaning on the wall; start at 30 seconds and work up to 1 minute before resting again for 2 minutes between sets.
Squat – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward or slightly turned out (slightly turning them in will make this exercise more challenging). Hinge at hips lowering into an imaginary chair sitting behind me while keeping my torso upright; keep my back straight by tucking in my stomach muscles so that there is no arching when I lower into position (if I can see my knees overtop of each other then I need to bend more). Pause briefly before returning up until we reach starting position; repeat 8-12 times depending on mobility level but no more than 15 reps per set since too many compression forces could be damaging to joints if performed incorrectly
Other ways to strength knees.
Warm up and cool down. Your body will be more likely to sustain an injury if it is not properly warmed up or cooled down. Before your run, spend about ten minutes warming up with light jogging and stretches for both the lower back and lower legs. Afterward, spend another five minutes stretching out all of the muscles you worked on during that run.
Work on your posture. If you have poor posture when sitting or standing, it can put extra stress on the muscles around your knees. Bad posture often happens when people spend too much time sitting at a desk or driving long distances, so it’s important to work on improving this part of your body as well as strengthening the muscles in your legs.
Wear knee sleeves. According to a study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, wearing knee brace for runners during exercise can help reduce pain associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), which is commonly referred to as runner’s knee or chondromalacia patella.
The great thing about strengthening your knees is that it can be done in a variety of ways. From the exercises listed above (which are all easy enough for anyone) to more intense exercises like squats, lunges and step-ups, there’s no shortage of options out there. But what we really want you to take away from this post is that if you want to run better, you need strong knees! So go try some new exercises and let us know how they work out for you!