Relieve Achy Knees with These 3 Simple Moves

I can’t tell you HOW MANY TIMES Chris and I have heard complaints about achy knees stopping people from getting their workouts in, and even more so, stopping them from enjoying their quality of life! Hey, I’ve been there…Chris has been there…I think we’ve all been there. In fact, as I was typing up this blog yesterday, I got a similar complaint from a work associate! THIS IS A PROBLEM!!!!

This begs two questions: 1. WHY do we all seem to suffer from achy knees? 2. WHAT can we do about it?

Here’s the deal…you are not alone. A recent speech I heard by the world-renown Dr. Jimmy Chow (who Chris and I have the pleasure of working with) enlightened me that we—meaning ALL humans—have a 98% chance of suffering from achy joints cause by arthritis (ie. inflammation of the joints) and/or tendonitis (ie. inflammation of the tendons) at some point in our lives. It’s just part of the aging process, dang it!

As we age and our bodies experience the typical wear and tear, our knees seem to take a pretty good beating to the point where even the simple task of sitting in a chair and standing can seem daunting, with pain shooting through the knees. The mere thought of working out seems crippling.

We tend to think that the only way to alleviate the joint pain we are feeling is by taking ibuprofen or some other medication given by a doctor. Luckily, there are simple fixes for knee pain that most people don’t even know about!

What are they? Two parts: Strengthening your hamstrings and stretching your quads!

Because we sit all day—in the car, at a desk, on the couch—and are getting up and down multiple times from this seated position we find ourselves in for hours every day, our bodies adapt and adjust to accommodate this unnatural position…by developing strong quads. This creates an imbalance in our lower bodies called “Quad Dominance,” which leads to unnecessary pressure on the tendons surrounding our knees and creates pain.

To alleviate the pain, we’ve got to balance out the quads by strengthening their reciprocal muscle group—the hamstrings. Simultaneously, we must stretch and elongate those bound-up tight quadriceps to reduce tension in the bound-up muscles and tendons (tendonitis).

Here are three great therapeutic moves you can do daily to accomplish the task at hand.

Hamstring Strengthening Exercise: Ball Roll-Ins

Lying on your back, place your heels up on top of a stability ball.

Squeeze your glutes and bridge your body up from your shoulders.

Keeping your body rigid from your shoulders to your heels, flex at the knees and roll the ball in toward your body as far as it will go.

These are one of the greatest accessory movements for the hamstrings!

Quad Stretch: Couch Quad Stretch

Assuming a runner’s lunge position with your back knee on the ground and front foot planted firmly, place your back foot up on top of the couch cushions.

Try your best to maintain contact between your shin and the front of the couch.

Breathing deeply, relax your muscles as much as possible while allowing your body to sink into this stretch.

Hold this stretch for 2 minutes on each side. If you need to, feel free to keep your hands planted on your front knee for balance and move your knee FARTHER away from the couch.

IT Band Stretch: Foam Rolling

It’s nearly impossible to “stretch” the IT band (which runs down the outside of your quad and is responsible for much of the quad tightness and knee pain) with traditional stretches. By foam rolling daily, you can achieve the “stretch” necessary to help reduce pain in the knees. I live and die by this move. Aim for 1-2 minutes on each side for starters.

Perform the stretches daily on each side to keep those quads loose. Perform the Ball Roll-Ins 3x a week, as we recommend for any strengthening exercise. 

Looking for some gear to get you started? See below…

Andddddd….an outtake. Because Chris loves to mock me—haha!

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Total Body Toning
Fabulous Abs in Just 5 Minutes
Life Hacks: 5 Flat Belly Secrets Revealed!
Transformation Tip | 5 Minutes to Fight Fat and Get Fit


22 Comments

  1. Shalala Morell - October 15, 2017

    That’s great to know!!!

  2. Gwendolyn - October 14, 2017

    My knees hurt most of the time. Rather I walk or try to jog do any exercise at all.

  3. Mandy - October 13, 2017

    Thank you!! I needed to know good stretches after a long run? It never feels like I have stretched enough!!

  4. Katie Cummings - October 13, 2017

    Knee pain has always been a problem for me. After knee surgery and therapy, I realized that exercise is the answer. Love the bosu. Would love to try the roller. Always looking for something new. Thank you

  5. Maria Conde - October 13, 2017

    My foam roller is a life saver! Thanks for sharing this information. Not enough people know about the benefits of a foam roller and it is getting in the way of their progress!

  6. Katie Mills - October 13, 2017

    I love my foam roller. Even before I got into fitness I used it because my legs would cramp up and stay that way for days. Amazing. Thank you for the amazing stretch moves.

  7. Lauri B - October 12, 2017

    Thanks for the information and new stretches to try. I had knee surgery in May and I’m still having issues with tightness and soreness especially if I have been sitting for long periods of time.

  8. Lynn - October 12, 2017

    Favorite stretches ever

  9. Rozanna s - October 12, 2017

    I have to get a new ball so I can try this!

  10. Amy Novak - October 12, 2017

    Thanks for the tips! I would much rather do these than be dependent on medicine to alleviate the pain. Now I need to figure out how to get my wrists strong so I can do push ups again…

  11. Deborah Rumbaugh - October 12, 2017

    I think I’ll give these a try.

  12. Gina Adams - October 12, 2017

    Heidi thank you so much for these great ideas I’ve been putting an I need brace on but I will try these and I hope they work for me thank you so much

  13. Becky - October 12, 2017

    Thanks for the ideas. My knees are a huge issue for me. Seems the stronger my legs get the less difficulty/pain I have. I appreciate all the info. you share! Thank you!

  14. Sarah Nienaber - October 12, 2017

    Just got done with knee scope surgery 3 weeks ago so loving this write up! Going to start incorporating these moves into my daily routine to prevent having other knee done hopefully!!!

  15. Beth Nelson - October 12, 2017

    I’m so glad I just read this article. My knee is hurting today and I was worried I did something to it during this mornings workout and that I would have to take a few days off working out. I’m going to give these a try!

  16. Leslie Schilling Rosenberg - October 12, 2017

    I struggle with this daily. Definitely gonna give it a try!!

  17. Janelle Wareing - October 12, 2017

    I’m definitely adding this to my routine! I’m training for my first FULL marathon and currently wrapping up week 5 with double digit runs and now I’m starting to feel the aches when I squat down to play with my kiddo! Thanks for the tips!

  18. Carley Metoyer - October 12, 2017

    Love love love this post! I’m only 29 and sometimes can’t finish a workout because my knees start aching. I’m going to start going these so I can hopefully finish a workout without having to go grab my knee sleeves! Any tips for hip flexors?

  19. Melany Krazer - October 12, 2017

    Always need help with the knees!! Thanks!! As a larger person I can tell you if you push through the “pain” it actually does get better and easier! You have to keep working to build those muscles and it just takes time! I can’t wait to try these though to help alleviate the pain I feel sometimes because I won’t llet it become an excuse!

  20. Lisa Hogg - October 12, 2017

    I need more ideas like this. I know I need to be better at stretching and with your help I will get there.
    Thanks, LIsa H.

  21. BertieRose - October 11, 2017

    Going to try this Heidi. Thanks so much.
    Also, thanks for the humor by posting Chris. LOL

  22. Dana Massey - October 10, 2017

    Thanks for the tip, cause my knee kills me at times. FYI, Chris’s pose is down right hilarious with the look on his face!!

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