While some things get better with age, our knees are, unfortunately, not one of them. The list of knee pain and injuries that coincide with aging is long. Fortunately, there are a few exercises that can help you improve your knee, leg and overall body strength and health. The following are the five best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees.
The Best Leg Exercises for Seniors With Bad Knees
The following leg exercises are perfect for senior citizens who wish to strengthen their knees. When performed consistently, you will notice significant differences in your knee strength.
Consider performing ten to twelve repetitions of these exercises at least three times every week, starting slowly and progressing over time.
Squats are a moderately difficult type of exercise that helps you strengthen your glutes, thighs, hips, calves, back, and abs. (Incidentally, if you also want to give your abs a good workout, you can try side to side bent knee-ups)
To do them, stand up and place your feet shoulder-width apart, then, while hinging at your hips and placing equal weight on both legs, go down as if you were about to sit on a chair. Ensure that you do not go deeper than 90 degrees and that your knees do not go past your toes.
To perform this exercise, sit up in your chair and place your feet shoulder- or hip-width apart. Shuffle to the front of your chair and bring your feet back so that your heels are behind your knees.
Placing your hands on your chair or your thighs, lean forward and stand up. Fully extend your legs at the hip and knees and then sit down, ensuring that your chest is facing up throughout the exercise.
3. Chair Deadlift
While this exercise is more challenging than the previous two, it is one of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees.
Get a resistance band, place it on the floor, and put your feet on it. Facing your toes slightly outwards and aligning your knees with your toes, reach down and grab the resistance band.
Hold on to the band, keeping your arms straight and your shoulders back and down. From this position, stand up like you would when doing the sit-to-stand exercise. Ensure that your knees and hips are straight as you complete the movement, and then slowly sit back down.
4. Reverse Lunge
The reverse lunge is perfect because it allows you to work out one leg at a time.
Stand up tall and place both your hands on the back of a chair. Take a large step back, bend your knees, and drop your left leg down. Without letting it touch the floor, come back up and do the same with the opposite leg.
Ensure that you keep your body upright during the exercise. You must also make sure that your front foot’s knee does not go beyond the line of your toes.
5. Seated Knee Extensions
Also referred to as knee straightens, seated knee extensions are an easy strengthening exercise to do.
While sitting up straight on your chair, with your shoulders back, lift one leg and extend it at the knee. You should ensure that your leg is entirely straight to achieve full knee extensions.
Hold the leg briefly at the top of this movement, squeezing your muscles at the front of your thigh. Lower your leg back down, ensuring that the motion is slow and controlled. Do the same for the alternate leg.
A note of caution: While doing this as a straight leg exercise with no weight is fairly safe, if you use a knee extension machine and feel soreness, refrain from doing the exercise in this way.
Achieve Better Knee Health
While the wear and tear our knees experience over time can leave them vulnerable to pain and injuries, you can achieve better knee health with continuous exercise. While all these exercises are provento be helpful for knees, if you want an whole body workout for 85% of your muscles, plus fat burning and other benefits, you might want to consider using a rowing machine. And here are some of the best rowing machines.