The amazing thing about pilates is that it does not necessarily directly address the problem. Pilates doesn’t look at knee or ankle issues but it treats the body as a whole. Because most knee problems including knee pain is a byproduct of imbalance in the kinetic chain in the ankle or the hip. Since the knee is coordinating in between these two big joints, it gets affected when either of these gets impaired. The ankle is supported by the foot and the hip is supported by the pelvis region. Knees, therefore, are very unsupportive and unstable. When we walk, run or climb up and down, knee problems get triggered. Pilates creates more balance in the body and strengthens the core, glutes which eventually helps in strengthening & realigning the knees.
Aligned leg extensions are best to resolve knee problems. Knee to the Chest leg extensions where you are supposed to go up and down with the leg. For better results, use an elastic band or theraband that provides support to the knees. This helps in strengthening the abdomen, thighs and quadriceps which are required to support the knees and work on the glutes. Using an elastic band is suggested for beginners and later on, you can progress by doing all these exercises with ankle weight.
#1 Knee to The Chest
- You take a theraband or an elastic band and wrap it around the foot.
- Now bring the knee to the chest and expand the leg.
- You can do this without an elastic band if your knees don’t hurt that way.
- You are just moving the leg up and down.
- Keep pulling the band to tighten the muscles
#3 Leg Circles
This exercise is great for the inner-outer thighs as well as to stabilise the abdomen.
- Lie down on the back and put an elastic band on your foot.
- Now, lift your one leg upward and rotate in circular motions.
- This is single-leg circles with theraband.
- Now, put the band on your feet and lift both the legs up and rotate.
- This is double leg circles.
#4 Leg Raises
- We are doing hip raises here.
- Lift your bottom and toes up.
- Just roll the bottom up and down.
- You can progress up by marching from this position.
- Hips remain up and you are bringing one knee to the chest at a time.
- So you are marching in this position.
- Now, line to the side lifting the leg sideways and toes flexed.
- This way, you are working the outer tyres as well as inner thighs.
NOTE: If you have access to a reformer, this is an amazing way to do the footwork. Exercising on the reformer is an amazing way of recovering from knee problems. This is because you are adding resistance to the workout by putting your leg down so you are not putting the same stress on the knee. Also, because you are pushing away in and out adding resistance, you can tone and strengthen your leg muscles to aid the knee without putting stress on the knee.
If you have severe knee problems, you must enrol in a pilates studio that has all the equipment necessary to support your knees and build their strength.
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