An injured knee can easily sideline your workout efforts. An injury of any kind can make it painful and difficult to maintain fit and toned muscles, especially in your abs and butt, which are problem areas in the first place. Fortunately, there are several low-impact ab and butt exercises that can be performed with an injured knee. Perform two to three sets of each exercise three nonconsecutive days a week.
Push-Up with Single-Leg Raise
The push-up with single-leg raise works your entire body, including your abs and butt. Begin in push-up position with your arms extended and your hands directly below your shoulders. You legs should be extended and slightly apart. Stabilize your abdomen, stiffen your torso and squeeze your glutes. Maintaining a rigid torso, bend your elbows to slowly lower your chest to the floor. Press yourself back up by extending your arms. As you press yourself upward, simultaneously lift your left leg off the floor, keeping it extended. Lift your leg as high as you can without twisting your hips. Keep your leg up until your arms are fully extended. Pause here briefly and then lower your leg to the floor. Repeat the push up while raising your right leg. Complete eight to 12 repetitions.
Bridges are an easy and effective exercise that engages your gluteus maximus, hamstrings and core muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet lat on the floor. Relax your arms along your sides. Contract your abdominal muscles and then push through your heels to lift your hips off the ground. Continue up until your hips are aligned with your shoulders and knees. Hold the position for five seconds, squeezing your glutes throughout the hold. Gently lower your hips back to the floor. Complete 10 to 15 reps.
Make this exercise more difficult by using only one leg at a time to bridge upward. Lie on the floor with your left knee bent and foot flat on the floor. Extend your right leg toward the ceiling and contract your abs. Maintain this position and lift your hips off the floor. Complete your desired number of reps and then switch legs.
The side plank is for your obliques and transverse abdominis, as well as your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. Lie on your right side with your right elbow directly under your shoulder, supporting your upper body. Extend your legs and position them so that your hips and feet are stacked. Pull your belly button into your spine, contract your abdominal muscles and straighten your back. Maintaining this position, lift your hips off the ground until they become aligned with your shoulders and heels. Hold here for five to 10 seconds and then lower to the floor. Repeat the exercise eight times and then complete the planks with your left side.
Side Crunch with Leg Lift
The side crunch with leg lift exercise works your abdominal obliques and your gluteus medius and minimus. Lie on your right side with your right arm extended overhead. Place your left hand behind your head and position your legs in an extended, stacked position. Stabilize your abdominal muscles and then simultaneously lift your torso and left leg to perform a side crunch. With control, lower to the floor. Repeat the exercise 10 times and then switch sides. You should feel the side of your torso and butt working during this exercise.
- American Council on Exercise: Push-up with Single-leg Raise
- "Strength Training Anatomy, Second Edition"; Frederic Delavier; 2006