Workout 1

We have designed a workout that will help strengthen your entire body as well as the muscles that are crucial for supporting your knee joints. Depending on the reason for your existing pain, you may experience some level of pain during these exercises. Before completing them, please ensure you have sought guidance from a healthcare professional in how to best manage your pain. These exercises are only to be used as a guide and any of the lower body exercises must be performed with perfect technique to ensure that any knee pain is not exacerbated.

Warm Up

Your aim here is to get your body ready for exercise. You should spend around 5-10 minutes warming up before every exercise session, to ensure your muscles are ready for movement and your heart rate has risen slightly. Start all movements slowly and read the instructions on how to carry out each movement/exercise before you start.

The warm-up is suitable for all levels and includes mobility and a pulse raiser section.

Main Exercise Programme

Perform all the exercises in the main exercise programme (your strength circuit) at least once but if you feel good, and want to carry on, rest then repeat the whole circuit again. We recommend you start with Level 1 and work your way up to the more challenging levels. Once you have completed the main exercise programme move on to the cool down and stretch section.

Level 1

The equipment you will need for level 1 this week is a chair and a large towel or mat. The table below is an overview of the exercises you will perform this week.

Seated knee extension

Sitting in a chair either with back support or without. Begin by tensing your abdominal muscles to protect your lower back. Slowly lift your right leg so that your leg is straight out in front of you, hold in this position for a few seconds, then lower back down slowly. Continue onto the left leg and keep switching between the right leg and left leg for 30 seconds.

Wall angles

Standing with your back against a wall and your feet hip distance apart. Begin by raising your arms up to a 90-degree angle, so your elbows are in line with your shoulders and your hands are up beside your head and your palms facing away from the wall. Start the move by straightening your elbows so that your arms come up straight above your head and then bend your elbows back to your starting position. Continue this movement for 30 seconds.

Wall push up

Stand facing a wall, with your feet hip distance apart. Your feet should be as far away from the wall as the length of your arm. To challenge yourself more you can move further away from the wall. Place your hands flat against the wall, in line with your shoulders and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Now you’re in your starting position, bend at your elbows and lower your body towards the wall and back to standing. Continue for 30 seconds.

Tricep chair hold

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your bottom off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you and knees slightly bent. Hold yourself in this position for 30 seconds, when you're finished, step back slowly and return to a seated position on the bench.

Hip Thrust

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet planted firmly on the floor. Brace core and press your heels into the floor, driving your hips upwards. Pause at the top, squeezing your buttocks (glutes) together. Then return back to starting position in a controlled motion. Make sure your back stays straight and chin tucked into the chest. Be sure not to overextend the hips up to the ceiling and overarch the lower back. Continue hip thrusting for 30 seconds.

Cool down

Level 2

Seated knee extension (both legs)

Sitting in a chair either with back support or without. Begin by tensing your abdominal muscles to protect your lower back. Slowly lift both legs so that your legs are straight out in front of you, hold at the top for a few seconds, then lower back down slowly. Try not to tip too far backward with your torso as you lift your legs - this will require you to keep tensing to stabilise your core. Continue lifting and lowering both legs for 45 seconds.

Overhead press + weight

Start standing upright with your feet hip distance apart. Begin by holding onto a weight in each hand and start raising your arms up to a 90 degree angle, so your elbows are in line with your shoulders and your hands are up beside your head and your palms facing away from your face. Start the move by straightening your elbows so that your arms come up straight above your head and then bend your elbows back to your starting position. Continue this movement for 45 seconds.

Padded knee push up

Starting on the floor, placing a pillow under your knees and your hands directly below your shoulders, slightly further apart than shoulder-width apart. From the top of your back to your knees should be one straight line and your legs should be crossed at the shins. Be sure to contract your abdominal and glute muscles so that your back doesn’t overarch or sag when you lower yourself. To begin, slowly start to bend your elbows and lower your chest until your chin reaches the floor (or just before if it's too much of a challenge), then slowly return to the starting position. Continue for 45 seconds.

Tricep dips (bent knees)

Slide your bottom off the seat and hold yourself up with arms straight, keeping your body close to the chair and knees bent. Slowly lower your body for two counts as you bend your elbows (they should point directly behind you, not out to the sides); straighten your arms for a count of two, back to your starting position. Repeat this dipping motion for 45 seconds. When you're finished, step back slowly and return to a seated position on the bench.

Hip thrust + heels in

Lie face up on the floor with knees bent, feet planted firmly on the floor. Brace core and press your heels into the floor however this time you will peel your toes off the floor and firmly dig your heels into the floor. Now you can begin to drive your hips upwards. Pause at the top, making sure to squeeze your buttocks together. Then return back to starting position in a controlled motion. Make sure your back stays straight and chin tucked into the chest. Be sure not to overextend the hips up to the ceiling and overarch the lower back. Continue for 45 seconds.

Cool down

Level 3

Partial wall squat

Using a wall to support your back, begin standing with your feet slightly further than hip distance apart and toes slightly turned out so your feet aren’t parallel. Your heels should be far enough away from the wall behind you so that when you bend your knees, you can still see your toes. Make sure your pelvis is tucked under so your glutes aren’t sticking out too much and your back is flat against the wall. Now you’re all set up in your starting position, bend at the knees to slide down the wall to a 90-degree angle (or slightly above if you’re too challenged). keep your weight distributed in your heels and then stand back up into your starting position. Continue for 60 seconds. When you're finished, gently rise up to a stand and gently push off of the wall with your hands to release.

Overhead press + weight

Start standing upright with your feet hip distance apart. Begin by holding onto a weight in each hand and start raising your arms up to a 90-degree angle, so your elbows are in line with your shoulders and your hands are up beside your head and your palms facing away from your face. Start the move by straightening your elbows so that your arms come up straight above your head and then bend your elbows back to your starting position. Continue this movement for 60 seconds.

Full push up

Starting on the floor, place your hands directly below your shoulders and slightly further apart than shoulder width. From the top of your back to your knees should be one straight line and your legs should be crossed at the shins. Be sure to contract your abdominal and glute muscles so that your back doesn’t overarch or sag when you lower yourself. To begin, slowly start to bend your elbows and lower your chest until your chin reaches the floor (or just before if it's too much of a challenge), then slowly return to the starting position. Continue for 60 seconds.

Tricep dips (straight legs)

Slide your bottom off the seat and hold yourself up with arms straight, keeping your body close to the chair and knees bent. Slowly lower your body for two counts as you bend your elbows (they should point directly behind you, not out to the sides); straighten your arms for a count of two, back to your starting position. Repeat this dipping motion for 60 seconds. When you're finished, step back slowly and return to a seated position on the bench.

Hip thrust + heels in

Lie face up on the floor with knees bent, feet planted firmly on the floor. Then lift off one foot from the floor so that the leg floats up and all the weight is in the leg with the foot on the floor. Brace core and press your heel into the floor, driving your hips upwards. Pause at the top, making sure to squeeze glutes. Then return back to starting position in a controlled motion. Repeat on the same leg for 30 seconds, then move over to the other leg and repeat for 30 seconds. Make sure your back stays straight and chin tucked into the chest. Be sure not to overextend the hips up to the ceiling and overarch the lower back.

Cool down and stretch

Your aim here is to get your heart rate and central nervous system back to normal. You should spend around 5 minutes cooling down at the end of every exercise session. This will ensure you recover well and maintain flexibility.

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