We think it's a fine idea that our knees are located smack in the middle of our legs. Without knees, so many delightful things—walking, line dancing, the lotus position—would be a challenge. But when we recently noticed that our knees weren't looking as taut as they once did, their prominent placement began to seem unfortunate. Firming the quadriceps may improve things.
"Tightening the muscles above the knees helps lift them," says Johanna Subotovsky, a trainer at Equinox Fitness. To boost quadriceps strength, sit at the edge of a chair and extend each leg until it's parallel to the floor.
The only way to fully restore knees to their former glory involves surgery: No thanks. A less-invasive option could be coming soon. Doctors are investigating laser and radiofrequency treatments (brands include Titan and Thermage) as potential knee-lifters. These procedures heat collagen, causing it to contract and tighten skin over time; one treatment (about $3,000 for both knees) is supposed to yield results over six months, and the effects can last up to two years. "I'm not confident in these treatments yet, but as the technology evolves, the knees will be an area that could be treated successfully," says Ranella Hirsch, MD, president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology & Aesthetic Surgery.
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