Try This Exercise for Knee Pain

Does knee pain make it hard to walk, run, or go up and down stairs?

If so, we have a simple exercise to add to your routine.

It’ll provide lasting relief, plus long-term protection from knee pain and injury.

Knee Pain Relief: Side Step Up

In this video, Physical Therapists Kristina Hines PT DPT and Steve Gonser PT DPT show you the side step up. This simple exercise is perfect for people seeking lasting relief for their knee pain.

Start with one foot on a step and your other foot on the ground. Keep your feet in a slightly staggered stance so your knee doesn’t extend beyond your toe.

For this exercise, you’re going to rely on the leg that’s on the step. Driving with that leg, bring yourself up so you’re standing on one foot on the step. To activate your glute, assume a marching stance when you lift your leg up. If needed, make sure you have a railing or counter to grab onto for balance.

Slowly lower yourself back down and place your foot flat on the floor.

Make sure when you step up that you’re not launching yourself or pushing with the foot that’s on the ground. You want the leg that’s on the step to do the work.

Complete two to three sets of 10 reps on each leg.

If this exercise is too difficult, try using a lower step. You could also place both hands on a railing or counter for bilateral support.

If you’d like more of a challenge, try increasing the height of the step or holding weights while stepping.

You might be wondering why this exercise is having you step from the side instead of forward.

Typically, stepping up in a forward direction puts a lot of stress on the kneecaps. When we move sideways, we use some of our bigger movers in our hips – which is crucial to lasting knee pain relief.

Many people think that when their knee hurts, they need to exercise it more.

Believe it or not, knee pain isn’t usually the knees fault. Our knees tend to compensate for other weaknesses, like in the hips or ankles. Strengthening those areas will provide lasting protection and relief for your knees.

If you’d like more of a challenge, try increasing the height of the step or holding weights while stepping.

Want more help for your knee pain?

Sign up for the 2022 YMCA Wellness Series to recharge, refresh, and renew your health!

Registration is free, and all classes are held online with leading Western New York healthcare professionals.

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