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6 Moves To Strengthen Your Knees

JORDAN METZL
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Dr. Jordan Metzl’s plan for pain-free knees: strength training. Your feet, lower legs, knees, thighs, hips, lower back, core, and arms are all part of your running kinetic chain, and when one link isn’t working, the repercussions can be felt all the way up or down the chain. Strong quads will help stabilize your knee, and strong hips, glutes, and core muscles prevent your hip from dropping and your knee from caving in. Doing these exercises twice a week (or more if you are injury-prone) will keep your knees—and the rest of your body—in proper working order. 

Jump Squat
Extend your arms in front of you. Squat down, pushing your butt back. Explode up as high as you can and land softly. Maintain good anatomical position and keep the motion controlled, landing softly. Do 4 sets of 15

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Walking Lunge
Step forward and lunge down. Then bring your back foot forward and swing it in front, lunging with that leg. Continue lunging forward, alternating legs. Do 3 sets of 15 reps, counting right and left together as 1 rep.

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Low Side-To-Side Lunge
Clasp your hands and shift your weight to your left leg and lower your body, bending your left knee and pushing your butt back. Without raising yourself all the way to standing, shift to the right. Alternate back and forth for 15 reps on each side. Do 3 sets.

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Mountain Climbers
Get into a push-up position. Bring your right knee in, then extend it back. Bring your left knee in, then back. Alternate legs and move as fast as you can while maintaining good form. Do 3 sets of 15 reps, counting right and left together as 1 rep.

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Lateral Band Walks
Place a resistance band around your thighs. Keeping your feet apart so there’s tension on the band, take 20 steps to the left. Then sidestep back. Do 3 sets.

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Reverse Hip Raise
Lie facedown on a stability ball (or bench). Keeping your legs nearly straight, lift your hips and legs until they are in line with your torso. Squeeze your glutes and pause. Lower to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

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Published: MARCH 20, 2015. By JORDAN METZL
Copyright © 2015 Rodale Inc

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