Yoga is not just for enhancing flexibility or calming the nerves – one of the biggest perks of doing yoga is the increased muscle strength, hence it is a widely popular training method to either strengthen weak knees or even fight with chronic knee pain.
The knee itself is not really the problem but the muscles around them are. The problems causing the knee pain and other discomfort can vary from kneecaps’ misalignment to mechanical stress and injuries but yoga, as surprising as it may seem, can help to fight with those problems and ensure your knees are protected against future health issues.
Yoga’s main benefit is simple: it helps to increase blood flow in the joints and ligaments around the knee as well as increase knee flexibility and strengthen muscles overall. As a result, your knees will not suffer due to pressure anymore.
As helpful as it might be, there is a tricky downside you must be aware of: choosing the right poses. There are several yoga poses that can help to deal with your knee issues but at the same time there are those that can actually do more harm than good. Researches have shown that various standing poses might cause some extra stress on the knee, hence lunging and squatting poses are more often recommended for treating knee pain. Not all standing poses are bad though – the main aspect is alignment. Misalignment and imbalance are the reasons why any pose can be bad for you so it is worth to pay extra attention while learning poses. Fortunately, right alignment is not hard to achieve even as a beginner.
There are 3 commonly known yoga poses that are great for relieving knee pain and strengthening your muscles. Those 3 are:
- The supported warrior – the pose, where you will lunge one leg and keep the other one straight, is a great way to enhance your posture. At the same time it activates the main muscles in the leg – hamstrings, quads and glutes.
- The bridge – this is the classic pose we have all seen: laying face up, you will lift your body off the ground while the shoulders and heels are supporting the body. Though the pose doesn’t seem as it’s meant for strengtheing knees in particular, it affects the hamstring and glutes which play the most important role in keeping your knees healthy.
- The chair – the common squatting technique, which looks as if you are sitting on a chair, is a great pose for the whole body but especially your hips which help to relax the knees.
Keep in mind that if you have never practiced yoga poses before and this is a completely new training territory for you, it would be wise to train side by side with a trained professional. With every asana pose, you should treat your knees with care and cautiousness to avoid any further injuries and exerting. With that being said, yoga can be the perfect solution for those crackling knees and constant knee pain as long as you train carefully and don’t hurt yourself.