Standing Terminal Knee Extensions
Improve the end range of motion in your knees with standing terminal knee extensions.
Exercise And Knee Pain
If your knee pain is due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and range of motion.
Exercising a knee thats injured or arthritic may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, exercise is better for your knee than keeping it still. Not moving your knee can cause it to stiffen, and this may worsen the pain and make it harder to go about your daily activities.
Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your knee joint. Having stronger muscles can reduce the impact and stress on your knee, and help your knee joint move more easily.
Before you start an exercise program for knee pain, be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist to make sure the exercises are safe for you. Depending on your situation, they may recommend some modifications.
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What Muscles Are Involved In Knee Extension
Being able to perform an extension of knee requires having adequate strength in several particular muscles. It’s these muscles that knee extension exercises aim to target, to help improve the overall strength and mobility of your knee.
The primary muscles need to perform a knee extension are as follows:
- Quadriceps femoris, which includes the muscles rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medius, and vastus intermedius.
- Hamstring muscles, including semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris.
- Hip muscles
Unweighted Exercises Leg Cycle Exercise
Start by lying on your back with both legs upward. Extend both your arms out at your sides for balance. Begin a cycling motion with your feet in the air. Try to increase the range of motion in the knee joint area, so the flexion in each leg goes from almost straight and extended to bent at a ninety degree angle.
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Best Exercises To Strengthen Knees
The following exercises will focus on strengthening these knee-supporting muscles so you can take pressure off your knee joints and make sure theyre aligning properly.
Try to perform these exercises every other day for the best results.
1. Straight Leg Raises
Straight leg raises help you work the front of your quadriceps, without having to bend your knees. They are especially great for when any type of bending or load on your knees is bothering you.
The reason you want to strengthen the quadriceps muscle is because it helps absorb shock before it reaches the knee joint. This will lessen the strain on your knees and help reduce pain and friction.
Progression: Once your knees feel stronger, you can try adding weight in the form of a shoe or ankle weight.
2. Glute Bridges
The glute bridge is an amazing exercise that works the entire lower half of the body, including the core. Strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core all help to relieve pressure off the knee joints, and improve knee stabilization during your workouts.
3. Knee Marches
Focus On Modifying The Fundamental Movements To Work Around Discomfort
Trying to push through discomfort when doing squats or the notorious knee extension machine, is a sure fire way to knee pain. If your knee pain has gotten to the point where something as simple as going up or down stairs is painful, then figuring out what the right prescription of exercises are can be a challenge.
However, what shouldnt be negotiated is still trying to implement the basic squat, hinge, or lunge pattern into your routine, albeit with some modifications. Here are some knee friendly variations to the fundamental movements we mentioned above, that will help build strength and capacity in the knee:
#8 Spanish Squat
The Spanish Squat is great as it provides a form of Reactive Neuromuscular Training that allows the body to optimize its positions and stability, while also helping to rewire some of the faulty movement patterns in the process.
#9 Reverse Lunge with Hip Dominance
The reverse lunge really separates itself from its forward counterpart due to its more posterior chain dominancy. This means that reverse lunging targets the glutes and hamstrings to a greater degree than the forward lunge, largely due to the tibial angle and relative torso angle over the front leg.
#10 Split Squat
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What Is Knee Extension
The term ‘knee extension’ is one that we’ll be using throughout this article. Really, it describes two separate things. It’s the name of the important exercise that we’ll be explaining in detail shortly, and it’s also the name that describes the specific movement performed by your knee when doing this exercise.
The easiest way to understand knee extension is to stand on one leg. While standing, move your raised leg behind you by extending your leg backward. This is what we call knee extension, or simply, the ability to extend your leg while keeping your knee straight.
How To Increase Knee Flexibility
Your knees are complex machines that contain many tendons, ligaments and cartilage. They work to connect the bones and muscles in your lower and upper legs. Your knees may get sore and sustain injuries if you use them a lot but don’t take steps to maintain them. Stretching and strengthening the structures and muscles that support your knees will help reduce your risk of developing long-term problems in those joints.
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Watch Now: 5 Beginner Exercises To Strengthen Hips And Knees
In addition, consider these exercises for athletes of all levels to help keep the hips and knees properly aligned, strong, flexibleand more capable of withstanding the rigors of sports and even daily life. Depending on your level of fitness, you can try any combination of these moves for a well-rounded strength training routine.
How To Do It:
Loop one end of a band around a sturdy base and the other around your ankle. Drop into staggered stance, with the banded leg in front of the non banded leg. Inch out until you feel tension and then drive the knee forward as far as you comfortably can. Keep the banded foot firmly on the ground Feel free to rotate the ankle side to side as you drive the knee back and forth. Repeat on both sides for 45 seconds each.
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Seated Knee Extension With Resistance Band
Improve the strength of your knees by using a resistance band in your knee extension exercise.
Exercise : Heel And Calf Raises
Stand barefoot on a 2 inch board or aerobic step. Place the toes and balls of your feet on the board, with your heels on the floor. Make sure your body is balanced you can hold onto a support such as the wall or another stabilizing surface. Raise vertically up as high as possible onto your toes and slowly lower down. Do 10 repetitions and 2-3 sets, as needed.
A great variation of this exercise is to to turn your toes inward and raise up vertically. This isolates and strengthens the inner part of your calf muscles. Then try turning your toes out and bring your heels close together, and raise up vertically. This will isolate the outer portion of the calves.
This is a fantastic exercise that will benefit both your knees and your ankles at the same time.
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How Can I Strengthen Cartilage
Cartilage is the part of the knee that protects the joints from rubbing against each other. It is the flexible structure that cushions your joints.
Just like the other parts of your knee, it can become damaged in several ways, one of the most common being the meniscus tear.
This is the largest piece of cartilage and is attached to the ligaments. You can also wear away the cartilage in your knee which is one of the issues associated with osteoarthritis.
You can not directly strengthen the knee, however, there are some exercises that have been proven to help to improve your range of motion and strength.
In some cases, surgery may be needed but this should be seen as the last resort.
How Do I Start Exercising
Your doctor or physical therapist will tell you which exercises are right for you.
Start slowly. Building muscle strength takes time. As you get stronger, gradually increase the number of exercise repetitions or add weight to an exercise.
Do not ignore pain. You should not feel serious pain during an exercise. You might feel discomfort because you are challenging your muscles, but not pain. If an exercise hurts, stop the exercise.
Do not overdo it. You should not feel serious pain after exercise. It is typical to feel stiff or a bit sore the day after you exercise. If you feel so sore that it is difficult to move, then you have overdone your exercise. Rest is the best thing for your sore muscles.
Ask questions. Talk to your doctor or therapist if you have any pain or are unsure of how many exercises to do, or how often to do them.
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Exercise : Leg Extension
The first exercise I recommend is the leg extension. It a simple exercise that focuses on building strength in the quadriceps.
Its performed sitting down, either in a leg extension machine or in a high enough chair with bodyweight. You can also use ankle weights to add resistance at home.
The exercise is great for strengthening the quads alone in an isolated manner if you have trouble performing squats for example.
Its important to realize that the leg extension is great for building initial strength, but should not be done as the only exercise to strengthen the knee joint.
Two sets on a weight you can perform comfortably for 15 to 20 reps is a good start. Focus on a full range of motion and controlled steady movement.
Getting The Best Results
Knee strengthening exercises should be challenging, but not painful. The more you do them, the stronger your muscles become and the easier the exercises are. It is important to work at the right level to get the best results without damaging your knee.
If exercises are too easy, they wont make much difference, if you work muscles too hard, they may cause pain. See our Top tipson getting knee strengthening exercises right section for more info.
You will probably need to do knee strengthening exercises at least four times a week for a month before you notice much of an improvement in your knee pain so stick with it!
If these exercises feel too difficult at the moment, try some beginners strengthening exercisesfor a few weeks and once your knee is a bit stronger, revisit this section to help you. You may want to mix and match basic and intermediate knee strengthening exercises. Be creative and keep exercising if you want to beat your knee pain!
Once you have mastered these strengthening exercises, CONGRATULATIONS! You are ready to move on to advanced knee strengtheningexercises.
Page Last Updated: 11/04/21
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How Exercises Can Benefit Your Knee Joints
Leading health organizations, such as the Arthritis Foundation, have found that exercise is one of the most effective ways to treat osteoarthritis.
This can sometimes even eliminate the need for surgery on your joints. Keeping your muscles in good condition, strong and flexible, you can avoid injury altogether.
These knee strengthening exercises are not tailored to attend to the joint directly. They are used to strengthen the muscles that surround them to provide good support for your joints.
The support given by these surrounding muscles will help to withstand the everyday pressure and strain on your knees. It can help with pain and keep you active.
The strengthening exercises for knee below will help to strengthen the muscles that surround the joint. If you experience pain during these exercises then you should stop immediately and consult with your doctor.
If you have severe knee pain then you should, of course, speak with your doctor or physical therapist for medical advice before trying these exercises.
You will need to stretch and warm-up before attempting any exercise to strengthen knees. These gentle exercises include walking, cycling, and the use of the elliptical machine. These put minimal stress on the knee.
They will increase blood flow to the muscles and help them to become more flexible.
How Much Should I Do
As your muscles get stronger, you will be able to increase the number of repetitions of each of these knee strengthening exercises.
You will probably need to do knee strengthening exercises at least four times a week for about a month before you notice much change in your knee pain at which point you may also want to add in some knee stretches – it’s important to have enough strength before you start stretching else you can make things worse.
View of all these exercises
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Knee Strengthening Exercises That Prevent Injury
According to the results of a 2011 Gallup poll, more than 25 percent of Americans deal with chronic knee or leg pain. Common causes of pain include previous injury, muscle imbalance, overuse, underuse or limited mobility. Individual cases vary, but strengthening exercises can often alleviate or even cure knee pain.
General knee strengthening exercises build surrounding muscles like quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus and calves to improve joint stability and support. See a physician for recommendations on knee exercises specific to your condition, and if you find that a particular exercise hurts, stop and try another. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.
Squats strengthen your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. If your knees are unstable, stand in front of a chair while you do squats so that you can sit if you lose your balance.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping your back straight, sit back and down as far as you can comfortably go without letting your knees extend past your toes. Pause briefly and stand back up. Start with quarter or half squats and build up to full squats as you grow stronger.
2. Sit to Stand
This functional exercise is just what it sounds like: sit down slowly in a chair, then slowly rise to a standing position again.
Forward lunges is also a great addition to these existing knee strengthening exercises. This exercise will strengthen your thighs and hips and also improve balance.
Hamstring Curls On A Weight Bench
Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
This exercise is a variation of the standing hamstring curl. A person can try this version if they have access to a weight bench that is purpose-built for this exercise. It may be more challenging than the standing hamstring curl, depending on how much weight a person uses.
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Prone Straight Leg Raises
Lie on your stomach with your legs straight. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and the hamstring of one leg, and lift toward the ceiling. Hold 3-5 seconds, lower, and repeat. Do 10-15 lifts and switch sides. You can add ankle weights as you gain strength. You shouldnt feel back pain. If you do, limit how high you lift up. If it still hurts, stop and talk to your doctor.
Hamstring & Glutes Strengthening
The hamstrings and glutes are the muscles on the back of the thigh and the buttock muscles and they often work together. Most people with knee pain have weak glutes, but they are often ignored.
Having weak glutes and hamstrings increases the forces going through the knee. Along with the quads, knee strengthening exercises for the glutes and hamstrings are one of the best ways to reduce pain.
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