Our knees are doing a great job to keep us moving. Due to these joints, we can walk, run, sit, stand, squat, lunge, jump, step. However, if we don’t train the muscles that surround this joint, we will move like an old man who is about to say farewell to this world. Fortunately, there are exercises that train your quads, glutes, hamstrings and adductors (inner thighs) and reduce knee pain, because your knees are subjected to a lot of pressure during the day.
1) Supine Straight Leg Lifts
- Lay down on back, keeping your legs straight and the toes directed upwards.
- Squeeze right quad and lift your right leg several inches over the ground. Hold it for ten seconds then put it down on the ground. Repeat the exercise 10 times for each leg.
2) Banded Leg Extension
- Sitting on a chair or on ground, put a small loop band around your ankles.
- Step on the band with your right foot to fix it.
- Raise your left foot and press all the way out, squeezing the quad as higher as possible. Hold it for a while and then return the foot down slowly. Repeat the exercise 10 times for each leg.
3) Inner Thigh Squeeze
This exercise is very easy, but it’s very effective in toning your inner thighs.
- Basically, you have to sit on the floor, on your couch or a chair and place between your knees a ball, a rolled up towel or a pillow.
- Now, squeeze your knees as hard as you can and keep the pressure for a moment, then relax.
- Repeat this exercise 10 times and feel the difference.
4) Body Bar Inner Thigh Lift
Another amazing exercise that will tone your inner thigh is inner thigh lift with body bar or weighted bar.
- Lay on your right side on a mat, towel or carpet.
- Bend the upper leg and place the foot flat in front of the bottom leg, which lays straight on the ground. Also, you can place the foot of the bent leg behind the bottom leg.
- You can either put the end of the bar or up to the middle of the bar onto the inner part of the bottom leg. If you don’t have a bar, grab a dumbbell and fix it to your leg.
- Now, raise your bottom leg up and down and feel the pressure on the inner tights.
- Execute 10-12 reps and switch the legs. Use a weight that is comfortable for you.
5) Leg Press-Ups
- Stand behind a bench, step, low chair or even your bed. Grab the dumbbells for an extra pressure.
- Place one foot on that surface and lean slightly forward, as you would climb the stairs.
- Perform the stepping motion, by raising up, straightening the bent leg and raising the other leg from the ground.
- Keep your balance and pressure in the leg that’s on the bench.
- Go down slowly and change legs.
- Perform 10 reps per leg.
6) Side Step-Ups
*Note: This particular exercise is perfect for strengthening your knee joint. By stepping up and down, the muscles and connective tissue that surround your knees strengthen, thus, knee pain disappears.
- Stand sideways to a step and place your leg next to the step in it. You can grab some dumbbells for an extra weight.
- Now pump up onto the step, landing with the other foot next to the first one.
- Step down and pump up on the step again.
- After 10 reps switch sides.
7) Kneeling Dumbbell Glute Lift
- Begin in quadruple position. Make sure your back is straight and the core is tight. Keeping your knee bent, place a light dumbbell behind it and fix it by tightening your leg.
- Using your glutes, push the leg up.
- Bring the leg back down, but don’t put it on the floor. Keep the tension in your muscles. After 10 reps switch legs.
8) Stiff-Legged Deadlift
- Keep your feet hip-distance apart and hold some heavy dumbbells or a barbell in your hands.
- Slightly bend the knees and lower your torso while keeping the back straight, booty up and head looking up.
- Reach with the hand up to your shins.
- Contract your glutes, hamstrings, abs and lower back to raise you up in a standing position.
- Execute 10 reps.
9) Single Leg Hamstring Bridge Lifts
- Rest on your back and put your feet on a bench, step, chair, or your bed.
- Extend one leg up in the air, toes heading towards you and contract your abs and glutes.
- Now, using the leg that’s on the surface, push up and raise your hips off the floor.
- Keep the pressure for a moment and slowly go down.
- Repeat 10 times per leg.
10) Stability Ball Hamstring Roll-In
- Rest on your back, with your arms by your side and the feet on the stability ball.
- Contract your glutes, abs and lift your body up in a straight line, as you would be in a bridge position.
- Keep your head and shoulders relaxed on the floor.
- Pull the legs towards you, bending the knees and rolling the ball in. Keep the pressure for a moment and push the ball back out.
- Repeat for as many times as you can.
For avoiding knee pain, first of all, maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds provide extra pressure on your knees when you move. Doing quads and hamstrings can cause even more pain to your knees. Instead, reduce the pressure on knees by using regularly a foam rolling or a massage stick. If you recover from surgery or injury, be sure to check with your doctor the exercises which you intend to do.