Pilates has always been considered a great workout for those with joint pain or problems, not just because it is low impact but because it helps you to build joint strength and balance. Knee problems are a relatively common problem for many people across the globe and it can be difficult to build strength in these joints without causing pain.
However, Pilates can be the perfect way to build strength in your knees without causing straining or injury as you do so. When performing the moves below, designed to help you to build knee strength, the most important thing to remember is your alignment.
To prevent potential injury pay attention to the alignment of your hips, knees, and ankle joints – as this will ensure that you are not placing strain on one joint over another. It is also essential to stretch before as well as after a workout, performing a proper warm-up and cool down. All of these moves are easy to perform and the only equipment that you will need is a mat.
The squat is a movement that will help you to work on your alignment. Focus on keeping your hips equal distance apart, and keeping your knees above your ankles.
- From standing, feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and lower your pelvis to a seated position. Keep your back long and straight. Engage your thighs to hold yourself in the position for a few seconds before straightening back to standing.
This position is useful for building and strengthening the muscles around your knees, as well as other muscle groups throughout your body.
- Lying supine, your feet on the floor knees bent upwards, hip-width apart. Ensure that your knees are aligned over your ankles. Rest your arms at your sides and keep your head resting comfortably on the floor. Press down on your heels, engage your thighs, and lift your hips upwards to create a line from your knees to your hips. Keep your head as well as your shoulders on the floor. Slowly lower yourself back to the mat.
Straight Leg Raises
This helps to strengthen your leg muscles and those around your knees.
- Lie on your back, legs outstretched, and rest yourself on your elbows. Bend one leg up and place your foot flat on the floor. Flex the toes on your other foot and lift it slowly upward about 30 degrees, before returning it to the floor. Move slowly and deliberately, focusing on engaging the muscles in your legs. Repeat on the other leg.
This move is a dynamic way to strengthen your joints and work on alignment.
- Lying on your right side, stretch out your right arm and rest your head on it. Use your left hand to support your body by placing it firmly on the ground in front of you. Engage your core and bend both knees inwards. Paying attention to the alignment of your hips and knees slowly lift and lower the top knee. Repeat on the other side.
If you are experiencing pain when moving or working out, you should seek medical advice from your doctor prior to taking part in a new exercise regimen.
If you want to start practising Pilates for rehabilitative purposes, then why no bypass the class itself and become a Pilates Instructor? This will give you the tools that you require to perform Pilates safely. For more information about becoming a Pilates Instructor, please follow this link.