Wrong posture, twisting or other accidents can cause weakening of knees and ankles. Also, with age one experiences that knees and ankles have become weaker. For rehab and strengthening of knees and ankle there are many exercises which can help. So, how to strengthen knees and ankles? Here are some cardio, strength training and stretching exercises that will help. Follow the exercises regularly, but do them slowly and with right posture. Soon you will find the knee and ankles have become stronger, and the pain related to injury has become less.
⇒ Two of the best cardio workout that people with weak or injured knees or ankles can perform are swimming and cross-trainer workout. Swimming is a great exercise to burn off excess fat and tones up your body. It is a total body workout. Also, it a low impact workout in which there is no stress on ankles or knees. So, it is ideal for those with injuries. It is also good for those who have weak ankles and knees like children and seniors.
⇒ Other good cardio workout which is low impact and doesn’t put much stress on the ankles and knees is the cross trainer workout or elliptical machine workout. This is also a total body workout which helps to work out on both the lower and upper body.
⇒ Calf raises are great exercises to strengthen knees and ankles. To do them stand straight. If you want, you can take support of a bar or a sturdy chair. Slowly raise your body up, till you are on your tiptoes. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds and release. This is one rep.
⇒ Lunges and squats are also good knee strengthening exercises. To do lunges, stand straight with shoulder width distance between your feet, now step up with your right foot. Keep your hands in front of you. Now, lower yourself down till the back leg’s knee is almost touching the floor. Hold for 2 seconds and come back to starting position. This was one rep.
⇒ Squats are great leg and butt exercises. For performing squats strand straight in such a way that there is shoulder width distance between your feet. Keep your hands in front of you and then slowly start to lower yourself down till in a squatting position.
⇒ You can also do leg raises to strengthen knee and ankles. Sit on a chair, and rest your right foot on a stool which is sturdy. Then lift your foot a few inches off the stool and hold for few seconds. Then switch sides and repeat.
⇒ Another great exercise to strengthen ankle is resistance band exercise. To do this tie a resistance band to a fixed object, so that you will be able to move your foot outwards. Tie the band to the inside of your ankles and pull up and outwards as much as possible. Do all exercises in two sets and in each set do 10 repetitions.
⇒ To strengthen knees try doing abductor raise, lie on your right side and keep one leg straight and one leg bent. Now, slowly lift the top leg and hold if for few seconds and lower it down. This was one repetition.
⇒ To stretch ankle and calf, stand at an arm’s length from a wall surface. Keep your palms on the surface of the wall and then step forward with your right leg. Keep the feet straight and now slowly bend your knees and lean forward. Hold for few seconds and then release.
⇒ Hamstring stretch is a good exercise to relieve tension from the leg muscles. To do this lie down on your back and extend your legs. Then lift your leg gradually in the air at 6-12 inches, and fold your leg at the knees carefully and hold it for few seconds.
⇒ Another easy to do knee and ankle stretch is to stand straight against a wall, and hold it for support. Then slowly raise one leg, bend it and bring the ankle of leg near the back and hold the ankle with your free hand. Hold for few seconds and release.
⇒ Here is a stretching exercise that is one of the best ankle strengthening exercises. To do ankle stretch stand at the edge of an object which is around 4 inches high, like a wooden plank. Hold something for support and balance, now start pushing yours ankle down for few seconds. Hold every stretch for a slow count of 10 seconds and then slowly release.
⇒ Here is a knee stretch exercise. Stand straight and then cross the injured knee behind the opposite leg and slowly start leaning to the non-injured side till you feel a stretching sensation. Hold for few seconds and then relax.
Make sure you go slow and steady and listen to the body. If a stretch or exercise is hurting too much then immediately stop it or reduce the intensity of the exercise. Also, follow a right posture while performing exercises, and break down the exercise in small comfortable sets.