Give these five effective knee strengthening exercises you can try at home. These knee-strengthening exercises will help you prevent knee pain and knee injuries. Give these exercises a go, and let us know how they helped you.
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I had Jenna demonstrate the exercises.
1. Rolling Out the Quads
Use a foam roller. Place it on the floor, and then lie down on it. Roll from above the knees and keep rolling through the quads to below the hips.
Rolling Out the Quads
Start with one set of 5 reps from the knee up to the thigh. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end. The intensity can be light to moderate, depending on how tight you are in the quads. Start with a self-massage exercise, which will help to target trigger points.
This exercise is not a typical exercise for knee strengthening. This exercise decreases the tension and any trigger points within the quads, which helps improve knee strength.
2. Standing Hamstring Curl
Stand on one leg and put one hand against the wall or something sturdy to help balance so you can focus on strengthening the hamstring. Bend the other knee in the back, then bring it back down. Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.
If you want to increase the intensity of this exercise and make it more challenging, you can add weights or resistive tubing and loop it around the ankles.
Standing Hamstring Curl
Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good contraction at the end. Start with one set of 10 reps on each side. The intensity is dependent on how much resistance you have. If you work only on range motion, the intensity will be light. The intensity will moderate if you add weight or resistive tubing on the ankles.
When it comes to knee pain, most people focus on the quads in front of the knee. This exercise focus on the back of the knee or hamstring area, which are important muscles in strengthening the knee.
3. Heel Raises
Begin in an upright standing position and put one hand against the wall. Stand up on your toes and raise your heels.
Using both legs at the same time makes this exercise easier. If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can do this exercise with a single leg and add an extra load like a dumbbell, barbell, or plate.
Heel Raises (Bilateral)
Heel Raises (Unilateral)
Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good contraction at the top. Start with one set of 10 reps on each side. The intensity is dependent on how much load you use in the exercise. Doing this exercise bilaterally or with two legs might not be bad, but doing this unilaterally or with a single leg and adding an external resistance will be more challenging.
4. Wall Slide With Ball
For this exercise, use a foam roller and a ball to assist you in separating the knees and provide guidance and resistance to the knees.
Lean on your back against the wall. Place the foam roller on your lower back and the ball between the knees. Slide down as your press your knees together against the ball. Get into a 90-degree angle of the ankle, knee, and hips, then slide up until your legs are straight. Repeat the movement.
Wall Slide With Ball
Start with one set of 10 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a bit of a stop at the bottom. This exercise utilizes the glutes, hamstring, and quads to get you out of the bottom position. The intensity depends on how strong you are within the knees and glutes.
If this exercise is light for you, you can move from bilateral to a single leg and add extra resistance, like dumbbells and plates, to make it more challenging.
For this exercise, when you move forward, it targets the glutes and hamstrings but not the muscles around the knees. But the glutes, hamstrings, and the muscles around the knees play a role in knee strengthening.
5. Clam Shell
Lie on your side with one arm overhead and your head resting on your arm. Straighten out your legs, and then bend your knees. Lift one knee, pause and squeeze at the top, and then bring it back down and repeat the movement.
This exercise works on the gluteus medius, a muscle within the hip. A strong muscle above and below the knee is important in knee strengthening.
Start with one set of 5 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end and a good contraction of the gluteus medius at the top. You can progress to 10 repetitions. The intensity is light, and this exercise focuses more on the gluteus medius muscle’s activation, endurance, and strength.
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If you are looking for a fast, simple, safe, and effective program to eliminate stubborn knee pain and patellofemoral syndrome, check out the Patellofemoral Syndrome Solution program here!
Rick Kaselj, MS