Do you do specific exercises for your hips and knees? Do you work your hips through the entire range of motion and engage the abductors and adductor muscles? If not, maybe you should.

The abductors and adductors are critical for providing integrity of the hip joint and create a strong, balanced link between the lower body and the torso. They also need to be exercised through an entire range of motion.

If you work these muscles only in one direction (forward and back) by walking, running or using common cardio machines then you are not building structural integrity of the hip or the entire lower body.

These muscles, along with the quads and hamstrings, play an important role in allowing the patella (kneecap) to track properly as the knee joint bends. If the abductor and adductor muscles are not strong, flexible, and balanced, knee pain such as patello-femoral syndrome, and injury is more likely.

Strengthening and balancing the muscles that surround the knee can take the pressure off the joint and decrease the amount of total weight absorbed by the ligaments, meniscus, and cartilage in the knee. Because the knee is a hinge joint and only moves in one direction, it’s important to maintain both strength and stability.

The hip joint, on the other hand, is a ball and socket joint that works best when it has mobility as well as strength.

When it comes to preventing injury, using compound or “functional” exercises that use a variety of muscles and simulate real life movements are generally considered the ideal way  to exercise. Such movements include exercises like squats, lunges, and lateral movements.

The best way to maintain biomechanical integrity during movement is with the proper balance of strength and flexibility around the joint. Muscles work in pairs (extensors and flexors) and maintaining the proper balance of strength in these m

Consider using the core workout as a warm up before strength. This routine activates the core stabilizers as it warms up the larger muscles to prepare for more powerful strength training exercises.

Strengthen hip and core muscles

Attach one end of tubing to table leg or object that will not move. Place chair next to you to hold on to for balance.  Stand erect move leg in 4 different directions. Each time you move the leg against resistance breathe out and pull the belly

button to the spine, breathing out for 5 seconds and breathe in 5 seconds when relaxing taking the leg back to original position.

Repeat 12 reps each of the 4 directions.  As you get stronger replace the tubing with heavier resistance or move further away from the attachment for increased resistance.

To improve balance hold lightly to the chair or release hand occasionally

CLICK on KNEE EXERCISES & TREATMENT under PILATES PLUS EXERCISES PROGRAMS for addditional strengthening exercises