If sore, achy knees are a problem for you, try these strength-training moves to work around your knee pain.
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Three Moves for Happy Knees Sore, aching knees may make you want to shy away from your workouts but a recent study from the Netherlands actually found that exercise is one of the best ways to treat knee pain. We have Chantal Donnelly, a physical therapist from Los Angeles and creator of the Strong Knees DVD to come up with three pain-free alternatives to typical exercises like squats and lunges. So, give this a try. If squats hurt your knees, you can actually solve that just by taking them up against the wall. To get started, lean against the wall and walk your feet about two feet in front of you. You’re going to have a towel, a small block or a yoga block. Just put that between your legs and squeeze in. This gives you a nice space to support. Slowly, lower down to a squat so that the thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position pressing down into the floor with the inner and outer—of the feet squeezing in on the block or ball between your knees. Then slide back up to stand. Again, you’re going to hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat this for a total of three times. If walking lunges put too much pressure on your knees. Try the kicking place. These are actually going to work all the same muscle groups but without the pressure. To get started, come on to your yoga mat and walk out into a forearm plank. You’re in a class pants, bring the shoulders over the elbows and then walk the feet back, so you’re on your toes, abs are drawing up. Lift the right toes off with the foot flex and then rotate the leg out and kick it to the side. Bring it back in and repeat to the left. Keep alternating sides. Work up to about 10 reps of this and try to go for three sets. If the leg press machine irritates your knees, here’s one quick fix you can try at home and it doesn’t use any weight. You’re just going to start out sitting down, bend that left knee in towards you and extend the right leg in front of you. Wrap your hands around the bent knee for support and then flex the extended leg and rotate it out towards the side. Draw your abdominals end and then lift the leg two to four inches and then lower. Just keep repeating that, lifting and lower. Aim to do about ten and then switch to the left side. Work your way up to three full sets.