Creaky, achy knees can be a real pain in the neck. Stay nimble with these four simple movements.
Here at SilverSneakers, we believe that aches and pains don’t have to be a given as we age. That’s why we created the 7-Day Move Better, Feel Better Challenge. This week, we’re sharing simple things you can do every day to soothe stiff joints, loosen tight muscles, and enjoy the activities you love for years to come.
The knee is an all-important joint. It helps us walk, lift, and kneel. And it bears the brunt of stress from every day activities, acting as a shock absorber when we jump, jog, and jig.
For being such a key joint, though, it sure is vulnerable to mishaps. Extra strains like sudden movements can cause injuries and pain, while general wear and tear overtime can cause discomfort and even up the risk for osteoarthritis.
“Knee pain and stiffness can really put the brakes on activities that you love the most,” says SilverSneakers LIVE instructor Shannon Thigpen. But coming to a halt altogether can make matters worse. Staying mobile and active is one of the keys to managing osteoarthritis.
The good news: “Stretching and strengthening the muscles around the knees can help to improve your mobility so that you can move more freely — without pain,” says Shannon.
In this video, Shannon shares four exercises you can do to help keep your knees healthy for the long haul.
How to Use These Healthy Knee Exercises
To join us, clear some floor space and press play on the video above. For standing support, feel free to situate yourself near a sturdy chair, countertop, or wall.
Shannon will take you through four exercises: leg extensions, side leg lifts, hamstring curls, and squats. These moves work the muscles in your thighs, hips, and glutes. The stronger those muscle groups, the less stress you’ll put on your knees during everyday movements.
Aim to do 8 to 12 repetitions of each move (don’t forget to switch sides). Be mindful of your form, too. Make sure you’re standing nice and tall, and keeping your core engaged.
As always, safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than your regular SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
Bonus Challenge: Try a SilverSneakers Classic Class
There’s a reason why SilverSneakers Classic is one of our most popular classes. It’s a low-impact workout that’s fun and accessible for all fitness levels. It’s offered both in-person at participating SilverSneakers fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times), or online with SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest SilverSneakers LIVE schedule and RSVP for classes here.
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SilverSneakers members can go to thousands of gyms and fitness locations across the nation, plus take SilverSneakers LIVE online classes that are designed for seniors of all levels. If you have a Medicare plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.
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