Knee OA Exercises – Part 1
Stretching keeps you flexible and improves your range of motion, or how far you can move your joints in certain directions. It also helps you lower your odds of pain and injuries.
Always warm up with a 5-minute walk first. Lie down when you’re ready to stretch your hamstring. Loop a bed sheet around your right foot. Use the sheet to help pull the straight leg up. Hold for 20 seconds, then lower the leg. Repeat twice. Then, switch legs.
Hold onto a chair for balance. Bend your right leg. Step back with your left leg, and slowly straighten it behind you. Press your left heel toward the floor. You should feel the stretch in the calf of your back leg. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat twice, then switch legs.
For more of a stretch, lean forward and bend the right knee deeper — but don’t let it go past your toes.
Straight Leg Raise
Build muscle strength to help support weak joints.
Lie on the floor, upper body supported by your elbows. Bend your left knee, foot on the floor. Keep the right leg straight, toes pointed up. Tighten your thigh muscles and raise your right leg.
Pause, as shown, for 3 seconds. Keep your thigh muscles tight and slowly lower your leg to the ground. Touch and raise again. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Switch legs after each set.
Is the straight leg raise too tough? Do quad sets instead. With these you don’t raise your leg. Simply tighten the thigh muscles, also called the quadriceps, of one leg at a time.
Start by lying on the floor. Keep both legs on ground, relaxed (left photo). Flex and hold left leg tense for 5 seconds . Relax. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Switch legs after each set.
Seated Hip March
Strengthen your hips and thigh muscles. It can help with daily activities like walking or standing up.
Sit up straight in a chair. Kick your left foot back slightly, but keep your toes on the floor. Lift your right foot off the floor, knee bent. Hold the right leg in the air 3 seconds. Slowly lower your foot to the ground. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Switch legs after each set.
Too hard? Use your hands to help lift your leg.