Knee pain caused by an injury or weak muscles can often be relieved by performing knee strengthening exercises. By starting with a few basic exercises, you will quickly begin building some much needed knee strength. This will allow you to eventually progress to more advanced moves. The basics should be performed two to three times per week. As your knees gain strength, you can eventually increase your repetitions. Below you will find some of the basic knee strengthening exercises you can perform to start strengthening your knees.
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Basic Knee Strengthening Exercises
Straight Leg Raises
Begin by lying flat on your back. Bend your left knee and straighten your right leg. Flex your foot and lift your leg, toes toward your head, and hold for five seconds. Make sure that your leg stays straight and that you tighten your quadriceps muscles during the raise. You will only need to raise your leg six inches from the ground for the exercise to be effective. If you need a greater challenge, try wearing an ankle weight. Repeat fifteen times per leg.
Single Leg Bridge
Start out on your back. Your knees should be bent and your feet should be flat on the floor. Slowly begin raising your bottom up until you have created a straight line running from your knees up to your shoulders. Now, slowly straighten your right leg so that it is parallel to your left. Hold for five seconds and then lower the right leg. Switch sides. Repeat three times per leg.
Hamstring Curl with a Resistance Band
Begin by securing one end of a resistance band around your ankle and another end around the leg of a chair or other heavy object. Lay down flat on your stomach. Bend your right knee slowly, ensuring that your hamstrings tighten during the movement. Do three sets of ten per leg.
Sit down in a chair with feet flat on the ground. Lift your left foot up and straighten your leg as much as you can without feeling any pain. Hold this position for five seconds and slowly lower down to the starting position. For a greater challenge, use ankle weights. Repeat fifteen times per leg, twice per day.
The lunge is a popular exercise to strengthen the knees, quads and glutes. Begin by standing up straight. Take a big step forward with your right leg, bending your right knee until it is at a ninety degree angle. Ideally, your left knee should be facing downward, bent at a ninety degree angle. For beginners, this may be something to work up to. Hold this position for twelve seconds. Slowly raise yourself back up and bring your right leg back to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat ten times per leg.
Begin by standing with your back up against a wall. Next, position your feet so that they are approximately 16 inches from the wall. Lower yourself down into a squat. Don’t push yourself too far. You want to stop when you begin to feel your muscles working. Make sure that your feet stay forward and take care not to bow your knees inward. Also, make sure that your knees are at a ninety degree angle. You don’t want to go any further than this as it can cause excessive strain on your knees. Hold the position for twenty seconds and repeat the exercise five times. You may also place a stability ball behind your back for a greater challenge.
Knee Extension with a Resistance Band
Secure one end of the resistance band to your right ankle and the other to your left ankle. Start out by sitting on a tall chair with your back straight. Slowly begin straightening your leg as far as you can while tightening your quad muscles. Take care not to lift your leg off of the chair. Repeat ten times on each side.
Precautions for Knee Strengthening Exercises
Remember to discuss any new workout regimen with your doctor before starting. The goal of these knee strengthening exercises is to build strength and help relieve knee pain. If you are feeling any pain during these exercises, take a step back and work your way up to the full exercise. For example, do not straighten your leg completely if it is painful to do so. Work your way up to it.