Last Updated on January 17, 2021
The Knee is probably the most complex joint in the human body. It’s also one of the largest. It connects the femur to the tibia, and it is under enormous stress every single day. After all, the Knee is involved in most of our movements, so the probability of something going wrong is relatively high. Hence the importance of leg exercises!
Leg exercises are crucial to strengthen all the muscles and joints in the region and prevent potentially serious injuries and common knee problems like those scary popping sounds. Ever happen to be walking up a flight of stairs and suddenly hear a snap coming from your knee area? It happens to a lot of people quite often.
Today we are going to share a couple of effective exercises to prevent knee cracking and popping, as well as some other tips.
Why Does Your Knee Keep Popping And Cracking?
Several different things can cause these weird sounds. If you only hear the sound and don’t feel any knee pain or swelling, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, as you age, the cartilage that covers the bones in your knee area slowly wears out. Eventually, this wear will cause the bone ends to come in contact with each other and, when you make certain movements (like squats, for example), you might hear a crackling sound due to the friction of the surfaces of the joint. Muscle imbalance and tension in the ligaments are two other possible causes of weird knee sounds.
On the other hand, if you feel pain and swelling, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. You could be dealing with a serious injury that needs proper medical care. Meniscus tear and cartilage damage (that may lead to arthritis) are the two most common injuries that affect the knee area and cause crackles or snaps… and a lot of pain.
To prevent joint or cartilage damage, you need to maintain regular physical activity and incorporate some specific strengthening exercises and stretches. It is also important to combine that regular workout with a healthy and balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight. If you do so, you’re going to make sure your knees aren’t under excessive stress – being overweight makes you drastically more susceptible to developing knee problems.
Here are 4 exercises for Knee and leg strengthening
Table of Contents
1. Quadricep Stretch
The quadricep stretch is one of the simplest and most common stretching exercises. Regardless of whether you play any sport or not, you probably already have done it over and over again. It targets the quadriceps, the front muscles of your thighs. • Bend one Knee and bring your foot toward your glutes. • Grab your ankle and slowly pull it towards your glutes as much as you can. • Hold that position for about 20 to 30 seconds. • Change legs. Additional tip: if you always lose balance when trying to hold the position, use a chair or a wall to help you out.
2. IT Band Stretches
IT band stands for the iliotibial band, and it is a ligament located on the outer part of the thigh that is also connected to the Knee, helping to stabilize and bend it. There are many ways to stretch this ligament, but we will teach you an easy standing stretch so you can do it anywhere. • In a standing position, cross the left leg behind the right. • Lean-to your right side until you feel the outer part of your left leg stretching. • Stay in that position for about 30 seconds. • Change legs.
3. Leg Lifts
This is probably one of the best leg exercises there is. Leg lifts work your quadriceps and abdominal muscles and are very simple to do. There’s no reason not to have healthy legs. • Lie down on a fitness mat. • Keep the right leg straight and bend the left leg at the Knee. • Keep your arms stretched alongside your body. • Lift the right leg very slowly without bending the Knee. • Hold the right leg up high for a couple of seconds. • Lower the right leg very slowly. • Repeat. • Change legs.
4. Calf Raises
Any sport or exercise that requires running puts a lot of strain on the calves muscles. That’s why it is so important to strengthen these muscles. Besides, calf raises are so easy to do that you can do one or two sets while waiting for the bus or brushing your teeth. • In a standing position, place your feet shoulder-width apart. • Slowly lift your heels simultaneously until you are standing on the balls of your feet. • Slowly return to your initial position. • Repeat. _ In addition to everything we have already mentioned (regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and doing specific exercises to strengthen the legs and knees), there are other things you can do to stop your Knee from popping. Take notes: Warm-up: warming-up your muscles and joints before putting them under enormous stress is essential to prevent complicated injuries. They need to be ready when you call them for activity. Professional athletes do it before every training session, so why wouldn’t you? Comfortable shoes: when buying a new pair of shoes, comfort should be your top priority. This applies not only to sports shoes but to all footwear in general. Stretching: as you’ve seen from the exercises we’ve suggested, stretching is extremely important. It keeps the muscle flexible and strong, so don’t forget to do it before and after your main workout session! Don’t do the same exercises every day: it is important to alternate the type of workout to make sure you are not overloading your knees. This tip is also important for other body parts. All your muscles need time to rest and recover properly.