All you ‘kneed to know’ about Pilates for knees (sorry!)
We use them to walk, sit, stand and run – they are a major weight-bearing joint – they have bones, cartilage and tendons that work together to flex and extend. No wonder our knees are under a lot of strain and are the joint most prone to injury and pain!
Taking care of our knees is one of the best things we can do to maintain mobility and stability in everyday life. As one of the largest and most complex joints, knees are trapped between our hips and ankles, just bending and flexing with little sideways movement. When a knee is out of alignment, it’s often because there is a problem with the hip or ankle.
Arthritis, bow legs, knock knees and ligament tears also cause knee pain. Carrying excess weight will also put strain on the knees, so maintaining a healthy weight is important to prevent injuries and ‘bad knees’.
Pilates can be the magic key to keep knees working at their best or to aid recovery from an injury or operation. Pilates can lessen knee pain and put off surgery, for instance, by strengthening the muscles around the knee, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be reduced.
The low-impact nature of Pilates allows us to strengthen muscles and increase our flexibility without worrying about aggravating an existing condition or injury. It’s important to start off small – you might not get the full range of movement or stretch at first so listen to your body and do what feels OK.
My favourite Pilates exercises for knees:
As part of the "Exercise for Bad Knee" online class bundle, I have put together a ‘Strengthen your Knees’ Pilates workout.
In the workout I introduce simple and effective moves that people with knee problems and those without, can build up to. There are five blocks of exercises with four or five moves in each that start easy and get harder so you can devise your own workout depending on how you feel.
Each block works the knees in a different way and if you can return to the workout a few times, you will really feel the benefit and be able to push on a little further each time. And because the fitness of the knees is so connected with other parts of the body, we work on the calves, thighs, glutes, ankles and all the muscles that can help to build strength around the knees.
Check out the ‘Strengthen your Knees’ workout as part of the 'Exercise for Bad Knees" online class bundle here - https://www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk/product-page/exercise-for-bad-knees-class-bundle