Leg Exercises For Tender Knees

by | Jan 4, 2016 | Blog, Fitness

As trainers we are continually dealing with clients with an array of injuries. One of the big ones we see a lot is tender knees. This could be from a past injury, onset arthritis, weak surrounding muscles and a number of other reasons. In our online training forum one client asked for some modifications for lunges, squats and jumping moves. Below are some of the suggestions I gave to her to use while she builds the strength up to get back to doing these moves again.

These moves might break you into a sweat and they may not but the important thing is they are working those muscles you normally would by doing your lunges and squats. It is so important to listen to your body so that you don’t injure yourself. Taking a day’s worth of modifications or even a week or month will put you so much further ahead than trying to push through and injuring yourself more. If you’re out with an injury you’re not doing anything active, at least now you’re still getting your groove on!

Jumping: The modification for jumping with almost any move is to just take the jump out and force yourself to go deeper and faster (yes, yes, that’s what she said). The quickness of the move will keep your heart rate up and cardio going. You can also do the exact opposite and just move real slow through the move. Get that burn going nice and deep and really focus on the muscles you’re working.

Some other modifications for Squats and Lunges:
3 Way Calf Raises: You can do this with weight or not. Start with pointing your toes straight ahead and your feet under your hips. Come as high up on your toes as possible and as you lower down try not to let your heels touch the floor. You can also turn your toes all the way in, so you’re in a pigeon toe position. You can also do this with your toes turned all the way out, similar to a ballerina, and do them this way. When you incorporate all three directions you will target every part of the calf.

Standing Leg Extensions: Stand up tall and bring your one leg up and bend it 90 degrees at the hip. Point your toe and extend your leg out in front of you really squeezing through your quad (thigh). Slow and controlled is the name of the game here. Be sure to do both sides.
You can also do this from a laying down position. Lay flat on your back and bring your legs up so your knees are in line with your hips. Similar to the start of the inverted chair/dead bug position. Pointing through your toes and flexing your quads raise your legs up so you look like the letter “L”. lower back down still flexing through your quads.

Sitting Leg Extensions: Again, same idea but sit on your bum with your chest tall. You can place your hands behind you. With one knee bent in a tent position extend your other leg out in front of you. You can switch between pointing and flexing your foot here and raise your leg up and lower it back down. Try to raise it as high as your other knee if you can. Don’t bring your leg to rest on the floor. You can do this fast or slow. You can even do this sitting in a chair if you want, so great to do at work.

Hip raises: Lay on your back with your feet bent in a tent position. Dig your heels into the ground and raise your hips up so high that you are up on your shoulders and squeezing your bum like crazy. Lower down slowly and don’t let your bum touch the floor.

Back Leg Extensions: Standing tall lift one foot slightly off the floor and flex it. Kick it back behind you and bring it back to the starting position then kick it out on an angle so that it’s between your hip and your bum, so almost on a 45 degree angle between the two. Keep squeezing your bum the whole time.

Showing you the real girls approach to a badass body,
Nicole Maryse

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