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Banishing hypermobility-related knee pain with pilates is achievable with hard work and dedication. It’s very common for people with hypermobility to have knee pain so you’re likely to be searching for effective ways to alleviate discomfort and improve your overall knee health.
One form of exercise that holds great promise in this regard is Pilates. Not only can Pilates help strengthen and stabilize your knees, but it can also provide relief from pain caused by hypermobility. In this article, we will explore the benefits of Pilates for knee pain and offer some useful tips for practicing Pilates with hypermobility.
Does hypermobility hurt your knees?
Hypermobility can indeed lead to knee pain. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic lists the knees as a part of the body most commonly affected by hypermobility. This is because when the ligaments surrounding the knee joint are overly lax, the joint becomes less stable, making it more prone to injuries and strain.
This instability results in chronic knee pain, discomfort, and a higher risk of developing conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome, ligament sprains, and meniscal injuries.
Will Pilates help with knee pain?
Yes, Pilates is an effective tool in managing knee pain associated with hypermobility.
Pilates exercises focus on improving strength, flexibility, and stability, which are essential components in supporting the knees. By targeting the muscles around the knee joint, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, Pilates helps to create better alignment and support for the knees, reducing the stress placed on the joint and alleviating pain.
Although there’s no research that specifically looks at individuals with hypermobility, Pilates, and improved knee pain, there are studies that show Pilates improves the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
The study published in 2020 concluded that Pilates had a significant impact in reducing back pain, neck pain, and pain related to knee osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The researchers added that “Pilates is a safe and effective exercise intervention for adults over 50 with a diverse range of musculoskeletal conditions which may otherwise put them at risk of becoming sedentary”.
Is Pilates good for weak knees?
Absolutely! Pilates is particularly beneficial for individuals with weak knees. The exercises in Pilates target the muscles responsible for knee stability, helping to build strength and improve overall knee function. By engaging the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, Pilates helps to support the knees, reducing the risk of injuries and providing a solid foundation for movement.
Is Pilates good for knee strength?
Yes, Pilates is excellent for improving knee strength. The controlled and precise movements in Pilates help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint. Exercises like leg presses, squats, lunges, and bridging movements specifically target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which are crucial for knee stability. Through consistent practice, Pilates can enhance knee strength and provide a solid foundation for everyday activities.
Is Pilates hard on your knees?
Pilates, when performed correctly and with proper form, is generally safe for the knees. However, it’s crucial to listen to your body and modify exercises if you experience discomfort or pain.
If you have hypermobile knees, it’s essential to approach Pilates with caution and focus on exercises that promote stability rather than an excessive range of motion. Working with a qualified Pilates instructor who has knowledge of hypermobility can help you adapt exercises to suit your needs and ensure your knees are protected.
Make sure you always use a suitable Pilates mat too. One that provides plenty of cushioning and support will help your knees while you complete your Pilates move.
Can I do Pilates if my knee hurts?
If you’re experiencing knee pain, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and severity of the pain. In many cases, Pilates can be incorporated into a rehabilitation program for knee injuries or chronic knee pain.
However, certain exercises may need to be modified or avoided initially to avoid exacerbating the pain. Your healthcare provider or a qualified Pilates instructor can guide you in selecting appropriate exercises and modifications that are suitable for your specific condition.
Best Pilates exercises for knee pain?
While the most suitable exercises may vary depending on the individual and the severity of knee pain, here are some common Pilates exercises that can be beneficial for strengthening the knees and alleviating pain associated with hypermobility:
- Clams – This exercise targets the gluteus medius, which helps stabilize the knees.
- Inner thigh lifts – Strengthening the inner thigh muscles can enhance knee stability.
- Squats – Properly executed squats can improve quadriceps strength and overall knee stability.
- Bridging – This exercise engages the glutes and hamstrings, providing support to the knees.
- Leg presses – By working the quadriceps, this exercise can help build strength in the knee joint.
If you want some more great Pilates exercises for knees, I recommend this video by Jessica Valant:
How to ease knee pain when doing Pilates?
To ensure a safe and pain-free Pilates practice, consider the following tips for easing knee pain:
- Focus on proper alignment – Maintaining correct form is crucial for protecting the knees during Pilates exercises. Pay attention to your instructor’s cues and make sure your knees are in proper alignment with the feet and hips.
- Avoid excessive range of motion – Hypermobility can make your joints prone to overextension. Be mindful of not pushing your knees beyond their natural range of motion, especially during exercises like leg extensions or knee flexion movements.
- Use knee pad cushions – Pilates knee pad cushions provide cushioning to the knees to ease pain while you’re working out.
- Use props for support – Incorporating props like a Pilates ring or resistance band can provide additional support and stability for your knees. There’s lots of different Pilates equipment to consider, many of which are great for hypermobility.
- Gradually increase intensity – If you’re new to Pilates or returning after a knee injury, start with gentle exercises and gradually increase the intensity as your strength and stability improve. If you’re using online Pilates videos, stick with Beginner lessons to start with. When you feel comfortable, progress to Intermediate.
- Seek guidance from a qualified instructor – Working with a certified Pilates instructor who has experience with hypermobility can ensure that your practice is safe and effective. They can offer modifications and adjustments tailored to your specific needs.
Pilates is a valuable tool for managing knee pain associated with hypermobility. By focusing on strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee joint and improving stability, Pilates exercises provide support and relief for individuals experiencing hypermobility-related knee pain.