Having strong muscles can help keep knees healthy and prevent injury. So exercise and stretching are very important parts of your knee-care routine. Before exercising, warm up by performing 5-10 minutes of light activity (e.g., walking).
You will feel these exercises on the sides of your thighs, your hips, and buttocks.
How to: Hold onto a bar or the back of a chair to maintain balance. Plant the leg closest to the chair; slightly lift the opposite leg, keeping your weight on your supporting leg. Tighten your thigh muscles in your lifted leg. Slowly move your lifted leg across your planted leg, and then out. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Slowly turn around to plant the opposite leg and repeat. Perform two to four sets of 8-12 repetitions for each leg.
Do: Focus on your supporting leg because it is working just as hard as the moving leg. Perform the exercise slowly, under control, and through the full range of motion. Breathe out during exertion.
Do not: Lock the knee of your supporting leg. Arch your back or lean to either side during these exercises. Hold your breath.
Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. If you have any pain or discomfort with these movements, please stop. Do not force yourself through pain. If pain or discomfort continues, please call your doctor.
You may also want to read Why Exercise is Important at Every Age.