8 MUST-DO Knee Strengthening Exercises You Can Easily Do At Home
The knee is one of the major joints in the body, used exhaustively for walking, running, jumping and various other activities. Hence it is also prone to injury.
Experts believe knee injuries can be prevented and rehabilitated by regular exercise. So here are some easy, at-home knee strengthening excersises that are also considered knee pain exercises that help alleviate knee pain due to arthritis, runner’s knee or other knee disabilities and maintain knee mobility.
8 Must-Do knee pain excersises
1. Leg lifts
Lie on your back on a yoga mat and keep both legs straight. Bend the left knee and bring the ankle close to the hip. Slowly lift the right leg straight upwards up to 75 degrees without bending the knee and hold the posture for 15 seconds. Do this exercise alternatingly for 8-reps.
Leg lift involves your quadriceps and core muscles. While doing it, you will feel a strong urge to bend your knee, but you should keep the leg straight as it will work the quadriceps and tone its muscles to become more flexible.
2. Standing hamstring stretch
Stand straight and hold a chair or wall for support. Keep knees one inch apart and bend one leg backwards from the knee joint, trying to touch the foot-tip with the hip. Keep your knees aligned, and do not lift your knees sideways. Repeat for the other leg.
This exercise strengthens the hamstring (back thighs) and gluteal muscles (buttocks muscles).
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3. Single-leg dip
Keep two sturdy high-backed chairs on either side. Lift the right leg straight off the ground. Holding the back of your chair, bend down from the hip as if you are sitting on an invisible chair. Do not bend below knee level.
You will feel the whole body weight is exerted on your knees and hips. Hold this posture for 3-5 seconds, and then stand slowly. Repeat the exercise with alternating legs for 8-reps. This exercise will involve the quadriceps, gluteal muscles and hamstrings and strengthen those muscles.
4. Wall squats
Keep your head, shoulder, back and hips straight against the wall (touching the wall). Stretch both legs 24 inches away from you (legs will look like slides). Bend your knee and slide your back down in a sitting position, not below the height of your knees. Hold the posture for 5-10 seconds and slowly slide back.
This exercise works your gluteal and quadriceps muscles, and you will feel the pressure on your knees.
5. Quadruped hydrant
On a yoga mat, get onto your hands and knees (like an animal). Push one knee straight backwards in the air (like a hydrant), hold it for 10 seconds and bring it back slowly. Repeat this exercise by alternating your legs for 8-reps.
This exercise will use your gluteal muscles and work your knees to stretch. Make sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on two hands and one knee to avoid excess pressure on the knee.
6. Step exercises
Take a study stool not more than 6 inches above the ground. Get on to it on one leg, another leg in the air. Keep your body weight on the leg with which you are standing on a stool. Then slowly bend your knees to touch the ground with the other leg. Do this exercise 5-times with the left leg and 5-times with the right leg.
Avoid bending knees past 90 degrees. This exercise will strengthen your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and gluteal muscles.
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Stretching and cool-down are very important for post-workout muscle conditioning. Hence the next two exercises focus on cooldown that involves the knee as well.
7. Quadricep stretch
Stand straight and bend one knee back to touch the ankle on your hip. Hold the ankle with your hands without pressing the ankle on the buttocks. This exercise will condition your quadricep muscles which contract while pulling your ankle towards the buttocks.
8. Toe touches
This is a simple but important post-workout cooldown. Stand straight with both arms stretched upwards. Then slowly bend down from the hips and try to touch your shoe tip with your fingers. Initially, it may be tough, but it involves your waist, hamstrings, hip flexors, and core to execute the steps.
Things to remember
- Must do warm-up
- Bending should be done slowly
- Do steps correctly as indicated by the physiotherapist (if you do them as knee pain exercises).
- Like warm up, you must cool down as well.
Things to avoid
- In specific exercises like wall squat, stepping-up, and single leg dip, avoid bending knees past 90 degrees.
- Push yourself to do steps better every day, but also mind not to do them forcefully.
- Follow each step religiously and avoid hurrying.
- While doing any exercise, if your knees hurt or you get cramping, discontinue the exercise immediately. Apply a cooling pad and reach out to an expert for help.
Exercises have immense benefit in keeping you fit and active. Also, If you suffer from arthritis which usually causes knee pain at night, knee pain exercises can alleviate pain and increase mobility for better functioning.
If you are obese, had a knee injury, suffer from runner’s knee or have any chronic knee disability, it is best to practise exercises for knee pain with the guidance of a physiotherapist, as exercises are proven to give ample relief from the knee pain while also increasing their mobility.
To know more about knee pain, injury and related treatments, consult Dr Rik Kundra, one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in Dubai who has almost two decades of experience in orthopaedics, joint preservation and knee surgeries.
All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.