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What Are Good Exercises To Strengthen Knees

Hamstring Curls On A Weight Bench

Stop Knee Pain Now! 5 Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees

Evidently, this exercise uses the hamstrings but also the gluteal muscles.

It is a variation of the hamstring curl. If you have access to a weight bench but it must be purpose-built for this exercise.

It is more challenging than the standing hamstring curl, dependant on the weights being used.

Lie face down on the bench and have your knees close together. Grip onto the handles for stability.

Tuck your feet under the weight which should sit just up above the heels. Slowly bend both knees, using the force of your legs to raise the weight up.

Lift the weight in a smooth motion until the knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold the weight up for 5 seconds before releasing, slowly lowering it back down to the starting position.

Perform 15 reps in total.

When you first attempt this exercise, do not use a heavy weight. Try with the lowest weight and work your way up to the heavier weights to build up your strength.

What Causes Knee Pain When I Havent Had An Injury

Most typically people develop knee pain. Now you can have a traumatic injury where you step in a hole, or jump and land awkwardly and twist the knee. Contact sport injuries such as in football can be very traumatic and usually result in a torn ligament such as an ACL, MCL, and/ or PCL. And these types of injuries typically require surgery, especially if you are an athlete.

But for most of us- knee pain starts off as a ache or throb, and gets worse over time. There is no event or traumatic injury to really pin it on. But gradually developing pains are more of the cumulative type.

The knee joint will be influenced by the muscles and joints both above and below . The alignment of your hip directly impacts the alignment of your knee. And if you have a weakness in your hip muscles, your knee will tend to move more towards your midline .

Your hip alignment is also why knee pain is so much more common in females: since women tend to have wider hips, theyre more knock-kneed on average to begin with. They also tend to have less muscle development in their quads, which is another factor.

Benefits Of Knee Exercises

It is natural for pain to develop in our knees as we mature. Exercises will strengthen the muscles around your knees, so there will be less strain on your knees. They also allow the joint to keep moving, which adds to managing the pain.

It is best to be advised by a medical professional when you begin exercising, so that your programme of exercise is tailored to suit you and your knees. Generally, you should aim to exercise at least 30 minutes on five days a week. You can split your 30 minutes up during the day, to perhaps two sets of 15 minutes, or even three sets of 10 minutes.


Before beginning any new exercises, it is best to consult your doctor.

For each of the exercises described below, you should do a number of repetitions. Begin with 10 on each side and add to this as you get fitter.

If you feel any pain in your knee, stop the exercise and consult a medical professional.

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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.

Prone Straight Leg Raises

Pin on Knee Strengthening Exercises

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.

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Benefits Of Knee Strengthening Exercises

The Arthritis Foundation state that exercise may be the most effective way to treat osteoarthritis without surgery, while the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons note that strong and flexible muscles can keep knees healthy and prevent injury.

Knee strengthening exercises do not affect the knee joint directly, but they strengthen the muscles surrounding it. Strong muscles in the legs can help provide support for the knees. This support may alleviate pressure and strain on these joints, which can relieve pain and help a person be more active.

The following exercises can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. If a person experiences pain during these exercises, they should stop doing them and speak to a doctor. Anyone with severe knee pain should consult a doctor before trying to exercise.

It is best to warm up with light exercise before starting any knee strengthening exercises. Examples of gentle exercise include walking, cycling, and using an elliptical machine, all of which put minimal stress on the knees. This activity will help increase blood flow to the muscles and allow them to be more flexible.

Muscles involved: Quadriceps and abdominal muscles.

  • Lie down on the floor with the back flat. Use a yoga mat, folded blanket, or exercise mat for comfort on a hard floor.
  • Keep the left leg straight and bend the right leg slightly at the knee, bringing the foot closer to the body.
  • Hold the left leg up for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat two more times with the same leg.
  • One Leg Standing: Stage 1

    Balance and stability are often affect by knee pain so it is really important to work on regaining both to ensure good control at the knee and help preventing further knee injuries.

    A quick way to tell whether you should be doing balance exercises as part of your knee strengthening exercises program is to try standing on one leg with your eyes closed. If you cant do it for one minute, you should do some balance exercises.

    • Stand near a wall or chair for support
    • Lift up your good leg and stand on one leg for as long as you can. It is normal to wobble a bit
    • Spend 5 minutes doing this 2x daily e.g. when brushing your teeth
    • To work harder, close your eyes and perform the exercise as above – you’ll be surprised how much harder it is. Or try Stage 2.

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    Resistance Band Squat Steps

    Working up to more intermediate movements, the resistance band side squat is similar to the side steps mentioned above. Squats will require more balance and lower leg strength, with the resistance band helping gain mobility and knee stability. Its best to perform this exercise with a fitness trainer or guide.

    1. Place a resistance band below your knees. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.

    2. Slightly bend your knees as if youre about to squat.

    3. Step your right leg out, keeping your knees bent. Youll feel your knees, outer legs, and glutes working.

    4. Maintaining the position level, bring your left leg in next to your right.

    5. Repeat these side step quats along the room as far as you can, about 10 steps.

    6. Now reverse it. In the semi-squat position, step your left leg out and bring your right leg in to match it. Repeat until you get back to where you started, side-stepping about 10 times.

    7. Rest after the full set. Repeat up to 3 times if desired.

    What Are The Best Knee

    5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Knees

    The best knee-strengthening exercises target the supporting muscles of the knee, including the quads and glutes. Its especially important to hit all the muscles of the glutes, including the gluteus medius, a smaller butt muscle that helps your legs move out to the side . Its a really important muscle when it comes to knee health because thats the muscle that prevents your knee from caving in when youre doing single-leg activities, says Bochnewetch. Yes, that means running, walking, and stair climbing.

    Unfortunately, the glute medius tends to be fairly weak in the general population, says Bochnewetch, which is why you should definitely incorporate moves that specifically target this muscle when designing a knee-strengthening routine.

    Another tip, especially if youre strapped for time? Pick compound exercises, like squats and lunges, that hit several different muscle groups at once instead of isolation moves that focus on just one muscle group. The reason: Compound exercises provide more bang for your buck, says Bochnewetch, so you can incorporate more knee-strength work into your routine without adding tons of extra time.

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    The Best Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees

    Whether youre a runner, a cyclist, or a weight lifter, strong knees are important for performing at your best. But how can you strengthen your knees to avoid knee pain, and how often should you be adding these exercises to your training routine? Below, weve rounded up some of the best exercises to build strength in your knees.

    The knee is the largest joint in the body, and we use our knees every day for simple activities like walking or climbing stairs. As a result, knee injuries are common, and according to one study, runners knee is one of the most common sporting injuries out there. While it might be tempting to sit on the couch and put your feet up when you experience knee pain, this isnt always the best solution. Instead, doing exercises that strengthen and support the knee can help alleviate knee pain, and prevent further injuries from occurring.

    Of course, it goes without saying that if you are experiencing severe pain in your knee, its worth checking with your doctor or physical therapist. If at any point you find one of the exercises on this list hurts your knee, stop immediately and try something else, or seek medical attention.

    What Exercises To Avoid When You Have Hurt/ Bad Knees

    There are certain exercises that will place more stress on your knees. Now the knee joint is quite a complicated joint. You have the femur and tibia, and you also have the kneecap in the front. Different exercises will add stress to either one of these areas of the knee.

    For instance- the kneecap will have a lot of pressure on the joint when you are doing a knee extension machine at the gym, but this exercise is typically fine for the rest of the knee joint.

    If you have osteo-arthritis of the knee joint – then you will want to avoid deep squatting, lunging, and jumping type exercises. These exercises are not necessarily bad, but they will add stress to your knee joint, especially if performed incorrectly. Here is a great reference article to check out if you would like to explore incorporating some of these exercises correctly into your recovery plan

    Does your knee pop or click during exercise, or even daily activities? Not sure if you should be concerned or not? Then be sure to read our other knee blog: Should I be Worried My Knee Pops or Clicks

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    Strengthening Exercises For Your Knees

    Expert reviewer, Lucy Rath, Bupa Senior PhysiotherapistNext review due January 2023

    Doing regular exercise of any type will always bring about benefit. Keeping your knees and surrounding muscles strong can help reduce stiffness, prevent injury in the first place and aid recovery of a current injury.

    Below is a series of exercises you can try at the gym or in the comfort of your own home, to help keep your knees strong.

    Remember, start slowly and only do as much as you can manage without feeling any pain. These exercises aren’t a replacement for expert advice, so please speak to your doctor or physiotherapist if you arent sure.

    What Exercises Not To Do With Bad Knees

    Knee strengthening exercises

    It is normal for muscles to be sore after exercise, however, any exercise you take part in shouldnt worsen your knee pain.

    If you experience sudden, sharp or shooting pain during or after exercise, stop and see a doctor to check your knee.

    Try to avoid high-impact activities, such as running, jumping and intense aerobics, as they put greater strain on your knees.

    You may need to try several different low-impact exercises until you find one that works for you and that you enjoy.

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    What Does A Knee Injury Feel Like

    Obviously, it hurts! But the type of pain and where you feel it can vary, depending on what the problem is. You may have:

    • Pain, usually when you bend or straighten the knee
    • Swelling
    • Trouble putting weight on the knee
    • Problems moving your knee
    • Knee buckling or âlockingâ

    If you have these symptoms, see your doctor. They will check your knee. You may also need X-rays or an MRI to see more detail of the joint.

    Strengthening Exercises For Your Knee

    Knee strengthening exercises will reduce the strain placed on your knees by strengthening your calf muscles, gluteal muscles , hamstrings, hip muscles and quadriceps.

    Calf raises

    These will strengthen your calf muscles.

    To start, stand facing the back of a chair, sofa or wall bar. Then raise your heels up and lower them back down. Do this three times, rest for a few seconds, and then repeat the whole process 1015 times.

    If this becomes too easy, try doing this with one foot raised slightly off the floor, so all of your weight is placed on your other foot. Then switch legs and repeat the process.

    Half squats

    These will strengthen your hamstrings, gluteal muscles and quadriceps.

    To start, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place your hands on your hips. If you find it difficult to squat like this, hold your hands out in front of you for extra balance. Then look straight ahead and slowly bend your knees. Try to bend your knees far enough so that your body lowers by about 25 cm this is a half squat. If you find this difficult, go as far as you can. Hold your squat for several seconds and then push off through your heels until youre standing straight again. Do this 10 times, rest, and repeat the whole process two to three times.

    Straight leg raises

    These will strengthen your quadriceps.

    Hamstring curls

    These will strengthen your hamstrings.

    Leg extensions

    These will strengthen your quadriceps.

    Leg presses

    These will strengthen your quadriceps.

    Side leg raises

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    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.

    Lateral Walk With Resistance Band

    Best Stretching Exercises To Strengthen Knees (Stop Knee Pain NOW)

    Resistance bands are like long, thick rubber bands. They come in different levels of resistance based on your strength and your needs. This is a great exercise for strengthening the glutes, which then stabilize your pelvis and hips as you walk or run. When everything works together like this, theres more stability in the knee joint.

    To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place the resistance band around your ankles. Get into a slight squat position and slowly walk sideways for 10 steps and back the other way for 10 steps. Repeat this two or three times.

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    Why Do Knee Strengthening Exercises

    Knee strengthening exercises help to improve both the strength and control around the knee which is really important:

    • For knee stability & control
    • To ensure correct biomechanics in the feet, knee, hips and back
    • To reduce the risk of injury
    • To allow full, pain-free movement
    • To ensure full function

    There are so many different knee strengthening exercises out there, it can be hard to know where to start. You will find a whole range of exercises here that will work all of the different muscle groups. Pick and choose three or four exercises that feel right for you – they should be challenging but not painful.

    Related Article: Benefits of Resistance Bands >

    Exercises For Arthritis In The Knee

    As you mature, arthritis may creep into your joints and make your knees ache. This may be exacerbated if you have played sport for a long time.

    There are some exercises that will help to strengthen your muscles, so that your knee does not take as much strain and you will be able to manage the pain just a bit better.

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    Best Exercises For Stronger Knees

    For stronger knees now and in the future, consider these exercises (recommended by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Van Thiel.

    Football season is here, and that means soon, the sports news will be full of stories of athletes with blown knees. Its true, football puts a lot of stress and strain on the knees, mostly from running and pivoting. But you dont need to be a pro athlete to have pain and stiffness in your knees. In fact, even sedentary people can wind up with knee pain. Like a lot of joint pain, sometimes all it takes is getting older to trigger discomfort when you bend or straighten your knees.


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