Intense workouts or movements aren’t always necessary to build strength; instead, focus on mindful and precise movements and muscular contractions. Each exercise in our workout is designed to engage and stabilize the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the knee joint to develop a strong system of support.
Stretching and strengthening is the key combo to reducing knee pain. This routine focuses on the strengthening exercises. Approach each move thoughtfully; do not rush.
Standing leg lifts
This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, the large muscle at the front of the thigh, and stabilizes the knee joint by keeping the patella, or kneecap, in place through the movement.
Standing with your feet as wide as your hips, place your hands on your hips for balance. Then point the right foot in front of you, keeping your legs straight, and squeeze the quad.
You should feel your kneecap being pulled up and stabilized.
Then lift the right foot off of the ground about one foot, and lower it down. Repeat this 10 times and then switch legs.
Standing hamstring curl
This hammer curl works the back of the legs, which helps to stabilize the back of the knee joint and also improve mobility in the front of the leg. It works the hamstring, which is the opposing muscle of the quad, engaged in the standing leg lift. Together, these two exercises improve muscular balance in the lower body and therefore improve knee strength and stability.
Start in the same position as above. Bend the right knee by using the back of the right leg to curl the foot up toward the glute.
Place it down. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
If you step away from the wall, you’ll perform a regular squat. However, the wall acts as support to take a bit of pressure off of the knees, but still requires the knee joint to perform a functional movement. Standing up and sitting down require proper alignment of the hips, knees and ankles, and this exercise prepares the body to do this.
Stand with your feet as wide as your shoulders. Step the feet a few feet away from the wall, and lean back against the wall with your upper back. Bend the knees and lower yourself down the wall so that your upper back, middle back and lower back are on the wall.
Then press down through the heels to come up to standing. Repeat this 10 times.