Hello my lovelies and welcome to another From The Top blog post! Today we are focusing on strengthening our bodies and self betterment. As you all know, here at From The Top, we like to cover all areas of improving our bodily health in our dance journey to help secure a long and advantageous career. That’s why in this blog post, we will be focusing on five exercises that will aid in strengthening your knees. Unlike the quads, hamstrings, calves and etc, the knees are a part of the body that is often overlooked. However, it is an extremely vital part of the body and it’s maintenance is an absolute must! Think about it. To take off on those skyscraper leaps and get around in your turns, we have to start in a nice, juicy plie, thus causing us to have to lower ourselves from our knees. And if our knees are a bit weak, we can’t get as deep in our plie as we should, which can result in not reaching our full potential in leaps and turns. So, if you are looking for ways to go those knees strong and durable, keep on reading!
Standing Hamstring Curl
Difficulty Level: Easy
We’re easing into things with our first exercise, the Standing Hamstring Curl. This move is wonderful as a warm up, or even as one of the main exercises in your routine! All you have to do is stand up straight, with your legs shoulder length apart. From there, bend one leg behind, hold it for three counts, and return your foot back to the floor. Bada bing, bada boom! Super simple. If you are having trouble keeping your supporting leg stable, feel free to hold on to a chair or wall until your balance improves. Do this movement for 10 reps to start, and then switch to the opposite leg.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate
Ahh, the old faithful! The lunge is an exercise that targets many different muscles and joints in the lower body, such as the quads and hamstrings. However, it is also an excellent knee strengthener! If you would like to keep it simple, you can stand in place, stepping out and bending one leg in front of you, while keeping the back leg straight. Return back to the standing position and repeat to the other side.
To up the difficulty level a bit, you can travel your lunges forward, walking in a straight line, alternating legs as you walk. Or you can keep them stable, pulsating your back leg up and down to create a move that will target both knees at once!
Difficulty Level: Beginner – Intermediate
Now you know these bad boys were going to show up somewhere, didnt you? As we all know, Releves are a ballet based exercise that is known for strengthening many muscles, the ankles being the main focus. However, when executing a releve, you must start with a plie, putting the primary source of leverage on your knees. This is where the practice advantage comes into play! The rise and fall of a releve will do the job of putting the mobility of your knees to work, all while strengthening them in the process. Who knew, a class staple could be used for so many different purposes?!
Wall Sits or Wall Squats
Difficulty Level: Intermediate – Advanced.
Winding down on this list we have Wall Sits or Wall Squats! Start by standing up against a wall. From there, slowly slide your body downward until you are in a seated position, making sure your knees do not come over your ankles. Hold this position anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute. This exercise is categorized under intermediate and advanced, because you really, really feel the burn on this one. However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out if you’re more on the beginner side! If this is your first time doing this exercise and you’re a bit skeptical, start only lowering yourself halfway and then work your way down lower with time. This way you can build up your tolerance and get the most out of this move!
Difficulty Level: Intermediate-Advanced
And last but not least, we have the exercise that everyone loves to hate! Hip bridges are an OG since, literally, the 1980s. Start by lying down on your back, with both arms by your sides and your legs about shoulder width apart. From there, you’re going to raise your hips off the floor, hold for about 2 seconds and then release. Repeat this sequence over 15-20 times. Want to up the ante even more? Pick a song, and literally do Hip Bridges from the beginning of the song to the end. Talk about a challenge! Though this exercise is best known for giving you a great tushy, they also work the knees magnificently as well! So if you’re up for a good challenge, this is DEFINITELY the move for you!
We hope these exercises will be the perfect add ons to your workout routine to strengthen and better your knees! Thank you so much for joining us today! We wish you love, peace and a wonderful weekend!