Knee pain? Alleviate aching knees with these strengthening exercises

Joint Health

by Baylor Scott & White Health

Feb 27, 2017

Knee pain is aggravating and restrictive. It can keep you from participating in activities that you enjoy and halt your daily exercise routine. Yet, whether it’s from a previous or recent injury, knee pain can be alleviated.

While the initial reaction to pain is to rest and stay off of the injury, the best form of recovery is motion. Moving around may help decrease your pain, and if your knee pain has lingered for an extended period of time, strength training could be the right treatment for you.

Here are five strengthening exercises that can help alleviate aching knee pain and that should be practiced five days a week, for four weeks:

Download the treatment guide for hip and knee pain.

5 Strength-Training Exercises for Knee Pain

For each exercise below, perform three sets of 8-15 repetitions, and rest for 15-30 seconds between each set. 

Seated Knee Extension

  • While seated, with legs uncrossed, sitting up tall, straighten your right knee all the way and squeeze your thigh muscles.
  • Hold for 3 seconds, and then bring your leg down.
  • Repeat and perform on both legs.

Sit to Stand Squats

  • With your butt bones on the edge of a seat and knees bent at 90 degrees, push your body weight through your heels and stand up.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down to the seat.
  • Repeat.

Standing Hamstring Curls 

  • While standing with feet shoulder width apart, lean your body weight towards the left side and curl your right lower leg up towards your buttock.
  • Slowly lower back down towards the ground.
  • Repeat and perform on both legs.

Single Leg Balance 

  • With feet shoulder-width apart, lean your body weight towards the left side.
  • Lift your right lower leg off of the ground with a bend in the knee at ninety degrees.
  • Stand on your left leg for fifteen to sixty seconds.
  • Switch sides and perform three sets on each leg. 

Heel Touches 

  • Balancing on the right leg with the left leg lifted slightly off the floor in front of you, squat on your right leg by pushing your right buttock behind you and bending at your knee.
  • At the same time, your left leg is lowering towards the floor in front of you.
  • Touch your left heel on the floor in front of you.
  • Once your heel touches, immediately rise up to the start position by pushing through the right heel, straightening the right knee and hip.
  • Lowering and raising is controlled by the right leg.
  • Repeat and perform on both legs.

If after four weeks of trying these exercises knee pain still persists, you may need to see an orthopedist to move better.    

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