Why letting your body rest is important
Your body is a machine that works hard – especially when you lead an active lifestyle. But, it also needs to rest.
It’s important to schedule days in your exercise routine where your body and muscles can recover. Whether it’s a day full of rest or an active recovery of stretching and using a foam roller, don’t underestimate the importance of these days.
Hip and knee pain can be an irritating inconvenience that at times prevents you from working out, getting in a hike or even taking a walk. While some injuries and conditions merit taking a break from intense activity, exercising can actually help a sore or injured joint heal.
Remember to speak with your doctor prior to exercising to avoid worsening any potential injuries. For those that are able and once you have cleared exercising with your doctor, working through the following exercises can improve flexibility and strength among your hips and knees.
This move opens your hips while increasing mobility in the ankles. . When your ankles don’t have the 360-degree range of motion they’re supposed to, your knees pick up the slack. Knee pain is also a precursor to hip problems for many people, because our joints are all connected.
To do a rocking squat, lower yourself to the bottom of a squat position. Place your hands together in front of your chest, with elbows pressing against your inner knees. Lean your weight to one side and then rock back to the other side. Continue this rocking motion for 30 seconds.
Straight Leg Raises
Strengthening the quadriceps can be helpful for knee pain, and this particular move doesn’t strain the knees. Simply lie on your back and bend one knee, placing your foot flat on the floor. Keep the other leg straight and lift it to the height of the opposite knee. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each leg.
This type of plank is an awesome hip exercise, and there are a number of variations to choose from such as this side plank variations. To start, try holding a side plank for 10 to15 seconds. As you get stronger, increase the amount of time.
For an added challenge, you can also perform leg raises with whichever foot is on top, but don’t forget to do both sides.
Banded Lateral Walk
This lateral movement targets the glute and hip muscles, and you’ll definitely feel it. Place a looped resistance band just above your knees and lower yourself into a quarter-squat, keeping weight in your heels.
With your right foot, take a big step to the right, then follow with the left foot. Take 10 steps to the right or fewer if the space is small, and repeat in the opposite direction.
When to stop exercising with knee and hip pain
Exercise and stretching shouldn’t make pain worse. Muscle soreness after a tough workout is normal, but sharp, shooting, or sudden pain means you need to stop and get in touch with your doctor. It can be frustrating, but your knees and hips will thank you in the long run.