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5 Modifications For Great Injured Knee Exercises

If you're on the bench with a knee injury, try these 5 exercises to keep moving.

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What Are Injured Knee Exercises?

Knee injuries are a pain, but there’s no reason to go backwards as your healing is in progress.With some basic modifications, you can continue to train—with your doctor’s approval of course—and minimize the fitness loss from not running. Don’t lose hope on that race you’ve wanted to run all year!

RELATED: Is Running Bad For Your Knees?

According to fitness expert and founder of Power Train Sports Institute, Steve Saunders, here are some basic exercise modifications you can make to keep your workouts moving forward without adding stress to the injured knee while it heals. Before you know it, you’ll be back running strong in no time.

Cardio Modification

Need some cardio work but high-impact running is out of the question? Consider adopting a low squat punch until your injury heals. The exercise is simple: Go into a mid-squat (higher if it puts too much pressure on your joint) and do controlled cross-body punches. Add small hand weights for additional difficulty. This modification allows you to increase your heart rate without stressing your joints and gives your triceps a workout in the process.

Side Step-Ups

Stand next to a box that’s just below knee height. Place one foot (the foot closest to the box) on top of it. Use that leg only to step up, fully extending the hips at the top. The key is to completely unload the foot on the ground,  while also resisting the inclination to jump up. Once you’ve mastered the body-weight version, add dumbbells hanging at your sides.

Single-Leg Bridges

Lie down on your back. Place your arms out like a T, and bend your knees up. Keep your heels flat on the floor close to your butt. Extend one leg up so your thighs are parallel, and then lift your hips up so thighs are in line with the torso, using your glutes and hamstrings to power the movement. Hold for three counts, then lower down and repeat. Do 10 reps on this side before switching to the other leg. To make it harder, move the arms down by the sides, then across the chest.

Supine Knee Flexion

Lie on your back with a loop band anchored in front of your body at your feet. Place one foot in the band’s loop and bend your knee in toward your chest (pulling the band to tension). Hold at the top for 30 seconds, and then slowly release the leg. Repeat on the other side.

Unilateral Pendulum Romanian Deadlift

Stand tall, shoulders relaxed and feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight onto one foot. Slowly hinge your hips forward while extending the non-supporting leg back behind you, keeping your torso and leg in line with each other. Keep the knee of the standing leg locked at 10 degrees and work up to holding the pendulum position for 30 to 40 seconds.

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