Workout 2

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.

Standing punches

Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Make two fists and hold your arms up at shoulder height with a slight bend in the elbows. Punch the right fist in an outward motion, twisting the body into the punch and pivoting on the back left foot. Switch to left fist and repeat. Continue for 30 seconds, alternating right and left until you are at a slower, rhythmic pace, always stopping as far as your arms will reach as if you are punching a target.

 

Wide leg inchworm

Stand tall with your legs straight and feet fairly far apart (a wide stance). Bend forward and touch the floor with both hands (if it hurts your lower back make sure you bend your knees generously on the way down and up). Walk your hands forward while keeping your legs straight so that you almost end up in a bent knee push up/plank position. Then walk your hands back toward your feet and slowly roll up to standing. Continue for 30 seconds.

 

Bird dogs

Begin on all fours in your table-top position. Hands are directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Suck your abs into your spine, keeping your lower back straight. Now you’re in your starting position you can start to lengthen your right leg behind you, imagining you are pressing your right heel into a wall behind you. If you would like to further challenge your abdominal muscles, while your right leg is stretched behind you, start to lengthen out the left (opposite) arm in front of you. Then bring the leg and arm back to your table-top position and alternate over to the opposite side. E.g straighten the left leg first, then the right arm, back to centre and continue to the other leg/arm. Continue alternating between sides for 30 seconds.

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 30 seconds. When you're finished, rise to a stand and gently push off of the wall with your hands.

 

Calf raises (chair hold)

Begin standing in front of a chair holding onto the back for support. Start the move by slowly lifting up onto your tiptoes, squeezing the glutes at the top and holding at the top for a few seconds. Then lower the heels back down to the floor and continue this move for 30 seconds.
 

Seated knee extension

Sitting in a chair either with back support or without. Begin by engaging 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 at the top 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.

Cool down

Level 2

Standing punches + weight

Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold onto a weight in each hand and pretend they are two fists. Keep your arms up at shoulder height with a slight bend in the elbows. Punch the right fist in an outward motion, twisting the body into the punch and pivoting on the back left foot. Switch to left fist and repeat. Continue to alternate right and left until you are at a slower, rhythmic pace, always stopping as far as your arms will reach, as if you are punching a target, continue for 45 seconds.
 

Narrow leg inchworm

Stand tall with your legs straight and feet fairly close together (a narrow stance). Bend forward and touch the floor with both hands (if it hurts your lower back make sure you bend your knees generously on the way down and up). Walk your hands forward while keeping your legs straight so that you almost end up in a push up/plank position. Then walk your hands back toward your feet and slowly roll up to standing. Continue for 45 seconds.

Dynamic bird dogs

Begin on all fours in your table-top position. Hands are directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Suck your abs into your spine, keeping your lower back straight. Now you’re in your starting position you can start to lengthen your right leg behind you, imagining you are pressing your right heel into a wall behind you, then while your right leg is stretched behind you, start to lengthen out the left (opposite) arm in front of you. Now bring the leg and arm back to your midline and draw the right knee to meet the left elbow. Meet back in your table-top position and alternate over to the opposite side. E.g. straighten the left leg first, then the right arm, knee to opposite elbow and continue to the other leg/arm. Continue alternating between sides for 45 seconds.

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 45 seconds. When you're finished, rise to a stand and gently push off of the wall with your hands.

 

Calf raises (no support)

Begin standing with your feet hip distance apart. Start by slowly lifting up onto your tip-toes, squeezing the glutes at the top and holding at the top for a few seconds. Then slowly lower the heels back down to the floor (don't let them drop) and continue this move for 45 seconds.

 

Seated knee extension (both legs)

Sitting in a chair either with back support or without. Begin by engaging 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 your core very tight. Continue lifting and lowering both legs for 45 seconds.

 

Cool down

Level 3

Standing punches + weight

Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold onto a weight in each hand and pretend they are two fists. Keep your arms up at shoulder height with a slight bend in the elbows. Punch the right fist in an outward motion, twisting the body into the punch and pivoting on the back left foot. Switch to left fist and repeat. Continue for 60 seconds, alternating right and left until you are at a slower, rhythmic pace, always stopping as far as your arms will reach as if you are punching a target.

Narrow leg inchworm + shoulder tap

Stand tall with your legs straight and feet fairly close together (a narrow stance). Bend forward and touch the floor with both hands (if it hurts your lower back make sure you bend your knees generously on the way down and up). Walk your hands forward while keeping your legs straight so that you almost end up in a push up/plank position, once in this planking position lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder, then place your right hand back down and repeat by lifting the left hand off the floor and tap your right shoulder, then place it back down and back to your plank position. Then walk your hands back toward your feet and slowly roll up to standing. Continue for 60 seconds.

Plank bird dogs

Begin in a plank position. Hands are directly under your shoulders and feet are hip distance apart. Suck your abs into your spine, keeping your lower back straight. Now you’re in your starting position you can start to lift your right leg up toward the ceiling behind you. While your right leg is lifted, start to lengthen out the left (opposite) arm in front of you. Continue alternating between sides for 60 seconds.

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 45 seconds.

Seated knee extension (both legs)

Sitting in a chair either with back support or without. Begin by engaging 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 your core very tight. Continue lifting and lowering both legs for 60 seconds.

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