7 Knee-Strengthening Exercises to Add to Your Routine
February 21, 2022
Knee pain is a common issue that can affect people of all ages and activity levels. Weakness or imbalances in the muscles surrounding the knee joint can lead to pain and discomfort, and can even impact your ability to perform everyday activities. Fortunately, there are several exercises that can help strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, improving stability and reducing the risk of injury.
In this article, we will explore seven knee-strengthening exercises that you can add to your workout routine to help improve knee health and function. These exercises are suitable for beginners and can be done with little or no equipment, making them accessible to most people. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can improve your knee strength and reduce the risk of pain and injury.
What are the best knee-strengthening exercises?
Here are seven knee-strengthening exercises that you can even try these exercises at home:
1. Wall Sits.
Wall sits are a great exercise for beginners because they strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes with little strain on the lower back and hips.
To do a wall sit, find a clear space of wall and bring yourself to a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Next, lean against the wall and slide your body down until your thighs are at about a 90-degree angle with the floor. Remain in this position as long as you can, working up to two minutes.
2. Leg Presses.
Leg presses strengthen the quadriceps and improve knee stability by strengthening the tendons and ligaments that surround your knees.
To do a leg press, sit on a weight machine with the sled locked in at knee height, or rest your hips on an exercise ball if you prefer to work out at home.
Once you’re in position, bend your legs slightly and push the sled to straighten your legs.
Pause before bending your knees again.
3. Standing and Lying Leg Curls.
Lying and standing leg curls strengthen the hamstrings and improve thigh definition by toning the muscles that run along the backs of your thighs.
To do a standing leg curl, find an exercise machine with a hamstring curl bar and step up onto the platform directly in front of the weight stack. Hold on to the railing for support as you lift one foot off the platform and pull your heel toward your buttocks by contracting your hamstrings. Before lowering that foot back to the platform, lift it again to complete one rep.
To do a lying leg curl, lie face-up on an exercise bench with your calves pressed against the thigh adductor pad.
Hold onto the side of the bench for support as you bend your knees and raise your hips off the bench by contracting your hamstrings. Bend your knees as far as you comfortably can before lowering your hips and legs to complete one rep.
4. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts.
Stiff-legged deadlifts are effective because they help maintain mobility in your hips, lower back, and spine.
To do a stiff-legged deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Bend at the waist, keeping your back straight and lowering your torso until you can place one hand on either side of a light barbell or weight machine. If you opt for free weights, hold onto a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing inward toward each other.
Bend slightly at the knees as you contract your hamstrings to raise your torso back up into a standing position. Pause before repeating the movement to complete one rep.
5. Glute Bridges.
Glute bridges strengthen both the glutes and hamstrings while improving coordination and balance by working for several different muscle groups at once.
To do a glute bridge, lie face-up on the floor with palms flat next to your sides, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart.
Holding onto a light barbell or weight machine for support, engage your glutes to lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Pause at the top before lowering yourself back down.
6. Straight-Legged Deadlifts.
Straight-legged deadlifts help improve flexibility in your hamstrings while toning both the muscles along the backs of thighs and buttocks.
To do a straight-legged deadlift, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands on your hips while looking straight ahead. Bend at the waist until the torso is parallel to the ground, keeping the back flat throughout the movement. While legs are mostly straight, slowly lower the torso by bending at the knees and hips until you can place one hand on either side of a light barbell or weight machine.
Before returning to the standing position, contract your hamstrings to lift your torso back up into a straight-legged position. Pause before lowering yourself again to complete one rep.
7. Reverse Lunges.
Reverse lunges strengthen both the glutes and hamstrings as well as improve coordination and balance by working for several different muscle groups at once.
To do a reverse lunge, stand with feet together and hold onto a light barbell or weight machine for support. Step backward with one foot and slowly lower into a lunge position until the front knee forms a 90-degree angle.
Pause before returning back to the standing position by contracting your hamstrings and glutes to push yourself back up into starting position. Repeat on the opposite leg to complete one rep.
Knee-Strengthening Exercises – Bottom Line
Incorporating knee-strengthening exercises into your workout routine is crucial for improving knee health and reducing the risk of pain and injury.
The exercises mentioned in this article, such as hamstring curls, lying leg curls, stiff-legged deadlifts, glute bridges, and reverse lunges, are all effective ways to target the muscles that stabilize the knee joint. By regularly performing these exercises, you can strengthen your hamstrings and other surrounding muscles, which can provide more support for your knees during everyday activities and workouts. Ultimately, the stronger your hamstrings become, the less likely you are to suffer from knee pain or injury.
Don’t let weak knees hold you back from achieving your fitness goals – start incorporating these exercises into your routine today for stronger and healthier knees.