5 Great Exercises to Strengthen Your Knees

strengthen the knees

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Why is it important to strengthen the knees?

The knees are a very important area that gives us support and allows us to move!

Without properly working knees, we wouldn’t be able to stand, walk, climb stairs, squat, and more.

That’s why it’s so important to practice exercises to help strengthen the knees.

You can’t expect them to just naturally be strong on their own, and you have to work for it and train all of the muscles that surround and support the knees!

How Do I Start Exercising for Stronger Knees?

If you’re new to exercising and aren’t sure where to begin, that’s no problem!

The most important thing is to go slow and steady. 

Don’t jump into a bunch of new and extremely difficult exercises that your body isn’t ready for. Not only will you be very sore and find it difficult to move, you could also injure yourself.

With each exercise you practice, you can try the motion itself without resistance and then gradually add resistance to make it more challenging.

It’s also good to begin with fewer repetitions and sets of an exercise at first to test your tolerance, then you can slowly build up your numbers.

It’s okay to feel the challenge of an exercise, but always make sure that nothing feels like it’s causing a straining sensation.

How to Strengthen the Knees

Something important to understand when it comes to strengthening the knees is you have to look at the whole picture.

To best strengthen the knees, you also need to address the areas above and below the knees. This includes the core, hips, and ankles.

Doing exercises that only move the knees themselves won’t give you the best results.

By looking at the whole picture, you’ll give the knees the best support and stability so you can move smoothly and efficiently.

5 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises

We’re going to show you 5 of the best knee strengthening exercises.

Let’s go!

1. 3-Way Leg Kicks in Standing

3 way leg kicks in standing position is great exercises to strengthen your knees, step 1
3 way leg kicks in standing position is great exercises to strengthen your knees, step 2
3 way leg kicks in standing position is great exercises to strengthen your knees, step 3
  • You can use a 2-3# ankle weight or a resistance band (light, medium or heavy resistance) tied around the ankles.
  • Stand in front of a sturdy surface for balance support, such as the countertop.
  • You’ll be standing tall on one leg while the opposite leg kicks in 3 different directions.
  • The kicking leg, while remaining straight, will first kick to the front, then side, and finally back.
  • After you kick in each direction, before moving onto the next one, make sure you always come back to your starting point.
  • Practice 10 kicks each direction for 2 sets.

2. Mini Squat

mini squat help get stronger knees
mini squat help get stronger knees
  • Stand in front of a supportive surface, such as the countertop.
  • Position yourself standing tall with the feet about hip width apart.
  • Slowly bend the knees as the hips sit back towards the feet.
  • You should notice your torso slightly tilting forward, hinging at the hips.
  • Bend the knees to about a 45-degree angle.
  • Hold at the bottom of the squat for 2-5 seconds, then return to your starting point.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

3. Long Arc Quad

long arc quad step 1
long arc quad step 2
  • Position yourself nice and tall in a chair with the feet flat on the floor.
  • You can use a 2-3# ankle weight or tie a resistance band (light, medium or heavy) around the ankles.
  • Kick one foot off the floor, allowing the knee to straighten. The opposite foot should remain flat on the floor.
  • Hold at the top of the kick for 2 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

4. Standing Hamstring Curl

standing hamstring curl
  • Use either a 2-3# ankle weight or tie a resistance band (light, medium or heavy resistance) around the ankles.
  • Stand in front of something sturdy, like the countertop or a chair with the feet about hip width apart.
  • Bend one knee, allowing the foot to kick up towards your bottom.
  • Hold at the top of the motion for up to 2 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Make sure to keep the thighs side by side as you kick.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

5. Heel Raise

heel raise step 1
heel raise step 2
  • Stand tall with the feet about hip width apart in front of a sturdy surface.
  • While keeping the knees straight, lift both heels at the same time as high as you can off the floor.
  • Hold for 2 seconds at the top of the motion, then lower back down.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

Here are other exercises that you can do for stronger knees!

Remember, go slow and steady!

While it’s okay to give yourself a little push, don’t go too crazy. 

You’ll see the best results by beginning small and working your way up. 

Wondering What's Next?

Discover 11 Easy, At-Home “Stretch Exercises” for Stronger, Pain-Free Joints (click below)

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