Here are 5 yoga poses you can practice to strengthen your knees. If you open this page on your mobile device and save this “quick guide” directly to your photo library, you can access it easily, whenever you need it.
WHY STRENGTHEN THE KNEES?
Your knees work incredibly hard for you as an athlete, so keeping them strong and supple is crucial for supporting your best performance and allowing you to stay pain and injury-free.
In classical yoga, we practice a plethora of poses that are great for strengthening the knee joints and surrounding muscles. And as we work with our own bodyweight and combine stability with mobility in the postures, we can maintain resilient and healthy knees, at the same time, training hard and shooting for better and better performances.
ANATOMY OF THE KNEE
The knee is a hinge joint that connects the femur and tibia. Its two functions are flexion and extension. The joint allows for a small degree of rotation.
- In the knee, you have ligaments, cartilage, the patella and menisci.
- The most important muscles that interact with the knee are the quads, hamstrings, calves and pes anserinus.
YOGA FOR STRONG KNEES
In order to protect your knees from pain and injury, you need to strengthen the muscles that stabilise the joint—the hamstrings, quads glutes and calves, to reduce wear and tear. The 5 poses that I am going to demonstrate in this quick guide are designed to:
- Alleviate knee pain.
- Strengthen and stabilise the knee joints.
- Reduce your risk of knee injury.
- Increase your strength, speed and agility.
If you experience pain in any of these poses, please consult your doctor or physical therapist for guidance on your rehabilitation.
YOUR 5 POSES TO STRENGTHEN THE KNEES
Good alignment in these poses is crucial, as the knees can only tolerate a small degree of rotation and are not designed to bend laterally. In all these postures, please make sure that your knees point straight ahead, being careful not to let your knees fall in towards each other or out to the sides.
- Bridge pose strengthens the glutes and hamstrings and opens up the hip flexors.
- Locust pose strengthens the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
- Chair pose strengthens the calves, knees, quads and glutes.
- High Lunge strengthens the knees, quads, glutes, opens up the hips and stretches the calves and hamstrings.
- Side Plank strengthens the core and glutes and improves balance.
You can hold the first three poses for 3-5 breaths and the last two for 3-5 breaths on each side. If you are a member of Yoga 15, you’ll find more poses to strengthen your knees here and videos designed to strengthen the surrounding musculature here.