Many runners will experience knee injury at some stage. The frequency for injury occurrence of this type is about one in five. Some will suffer from a condition known as ‘runners knee’. This condition involves a patellofemoral pain. The condition can be avoided through the employment of exercises aimed specifically at the knee.
Strain and knee joint
It is important that as little strain as possible is placed on the knee joint. This is particularly important during running. Avoiding strain on the knee joint will require one to develop the quadriceps and hamstrings. Building up these muscles can be difficult, as they tend to respond quite slowly to growth stimulus.
Types of exercises
Leg raises can be performed at home. In order to perform the exercise, lie on your back with both legs in front of you. Bend one knee, with the foot placed on the floor. Raise the opposite leg off the floor. Make sure to keep the knee of the raised leg locked as you do so. Hold the raised position for about five seconds. Add ankle weights for an enhanced workout. Try to perform about ten or fifteen reps on each leg.
The above exercise also comes in standing form. Hold onto a window pane or wall in order to support yourself. Lock the knee you plan to raise. Then, lift the leg off the ground. Flex the toes as you do so. Hold the raised position for about five seconds. Perform 10-15 reps on each leg.
Knee bends and wall squats
Knee bends are a useful stretch when it comes to runners knee. First, lie on your stomach with both legs stretched out behind you. Bend one leg up to the buttocks. The other leg should remain straight. This stretch should be performed at least five times on each leg. After finishing the individual leg stretches, try to stretch both legs simultaneously.
Wall squats are great for the development of the quad muscles. Stand with your back to a wall. Lean your butt against the wall, making sure to keep the feet about two feet away from the wall. Then, slide down the wall until you are in a ‘seated’ position. As you do so, make sure to tighten the ab muscles and squeeze the buttocks. Hold the position for around seven seconds. Perform about fifteen reps.
Single leg dips
Single leg dips can help strengthen ones knees and quads. Support your body on either side for this exercise. Chairs can be used as props for the leg dips. First, lift the right off the ground. Balance on the left side and lower yourself by pushing all your weight onto the heel of the left foot. Try not to let the knee go beyond the toes.