5 Effective Knee Strengthening Exercises

Give these five effective knee strengthening exercises that you can do at home a try. These knee strengthening exercises will help you prevent knee pain and knee injuries. Give these exercises a go and let us know how it helped you.

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

I had Jenna to 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 in a self-massage exercise, which will help to trigger points.

This exercise is not a typical exercise about knee strengthening. This exercise decreases the tension and any trigger points within the quads, and it will improve knee strength.


#2 – Standing Hamstring Curl

Stand on one leg and put one hand against the wall or something sturdy to help with balance so that you can focus on strengthening the hamstring. Bend the other knee in the back, and 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

Start with one set of 10 reps on each side. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good contraction at the end. The intensity is depending on how much resistance you have. If it’s range motion, the intensity will be light. If you add weight or resistive tubing on the ankles, the intensity will be moderate.

When it comes to knee pain, everyone focuses 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 your one hand against the wall. Stand on with your toes and raise your heels.

If you want to make this exercise more challenging, you can do the movement with double legs. You can also do this exercise with asingle leg and add an extra load like dumbbell, barbell or plate.

Heel Raises (Bilateral)

Heel Raises (Unilateral)

Start with one set of 10 reps on each side. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good contraction at the top. The intensity is depending on how much load you use in the exercise. Doing this exercise in bilateral or two legs might not be bad, but doing this with a unilateral or single leg and adding an external resistance would be more challenging.


#4 – Wall Slide With Ball

For this exercise, use a foam roller and a ball to assist you in the separation of the knees, provide guidance and resistance with the knees.

Lean on your back against the wall. Place the foam roller in your lower back and the ball between the knees. Slide down as your press your knees up 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 little bit of stop at the bottom position. This exercise works on utilizing the glutes, hamstring and quads to get you out of the bottom position. The intensity is depending on how strong you are within the knees and glutes.

If this exercise is light for you to do, you can move from bilateral to a single leg and add an 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 is resting on one arm. Straighten out your legs, and then bend your knees. Lift one knee up, bring it back down and repeat the movement.

This exercise works on gluteus medius, a muscle within the hip. A strong muscle above and below the knee is important in knee strengthening.

Clam Shell

Start with one set of 5 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end and in 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 activation, endurance and strength of the gluteus medius muscle.

If you are looking for a fast, simple, safe and effective program to eliminate your stubborn knee pain and patellofemoral syndrome, then check out the Patellofemoral Syndrome Solution program.

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS