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10 Exercises to strengthen your knee (that you can do at home)

Health

Knee strengthening exercises are a great option for improving muscular strength, endurance and knee stability, which are important for increasing shock absorption and preventing joint stress, protecting knee structures from wear and tear, such as the meniscus. , bone, ligaments and cartilage.

These exercises to strengthen the knees can be recommended for healthy people who wish to practice some physical activity, such as running, but they also serve to combat pain caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatism, for better muscle strengthening due to the wear and tear of the knee. cartilage.

Exercises to strengthen the knee must be guided by a physical educator or physiotherapist, depending on the needs and objectives of each person individually, as they can vary, especially when there is or is not a knee injury. See the main causes of knee injuries.

How to do exercises to strengthen your knee

To perform knee strengthening exercises, it is important to warm up before starting the exercises, to improve muscular performance, activate circulation and prevent injuries. A good warm-up option is to go for a brisk 2-minute walk, ride a stationary bike for 5 minutes, or do 15 to 20 calf raises.

Some exercise options to strengthen the knee are:

1. Ponte

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  • Lie on your back, with your arms aligned with your body;
  • Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor with your heels aligned with your knees;
  • Contract your abs and glutes and raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your head;
  • Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and slowly lower your hips. You can do 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each.

2. Leg extension in the air

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  • Lie on your back with your arms extended at your sides;
  • Bend one leg with the foot flat on the floor. The other leg must be straight;
  • Raise the straight leg, keeping the knee straight and the toe pointing upwards;
  • Lower your leg and repeat the movement 10 times. You can do 2 sets of 10 repetitions with each leg, giving a 30-second break between each set.

3. Leg extension in 3 supports

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  • Stay in a position on all fours, with knees hip-width apart and straight arms aligned with your shoulders;
  • Lift one foot toward the ceiling, keeping your knee bent. Care must be taken not to arch your back, which must always remain straight;
  • Return the leg to the starting position;
  • Repeat this movement 10 times for each leg, doing 2 sets. One option to make the exercise more difficult is to make short movements, keeping your leg always up, without returning to the starting position.

4. Free squat

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  • Standing, feet apart, shoulder-width apart. The back should always remain straight and the abdomen contracted;
  • Slowly descend by bending your knees, leaning your torso slightly forward and pushing your butt far back, as if you were going to sit on an invisible chair;
  • Go down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and do not extend beyond your toes;
  • Return to the starting position;
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 20 repetitions with 1 minute rest between sets.

5. Squeezing the ball between your knees

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  • Lie face up;
  • Bend your knees, keeping them bent and slightly apart. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your heels aligned with your knees;
  • Place a medium-sized ball between your knees;
  • Squeeze the ball between your knees 10 times in a row;
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times, totaling 100 grips, but with rests every 10 repetitions.

6. Isometric squats

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  • Support your back against a wall, spread your legs at a distance corresponding to shoulder width;
  • Bend your knees and lower yourself towards the floor, as if you were going to sit on a chair, forming a 90-degree angle;
  • Stay in this position for 45 to 60 seconds and return to the starting position;
  • Repeat this series 3 times, resting for 1 minute between each.

7. Lunge

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  • Standing, keep your feet in line with your shoulders. The back should always remain straight and the abdomen contracted;
  • With one leg, take a step forward;
  • Flex the knee of the front and back leg at the same time, slowly lowering yourself until the back knee touches the floor. It is important that the back knee forms a 90 degree angle with the torso;
  • Return to the starting position;
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions, for each leg, with 1 minute rest between sets. See other ways to lunge.

8. Stiff

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  • Standing, feet apart, hip-width apart;
  • Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing inward, shoulder-width apart;
  • Slightly bend your knees;
  • Tilt your torso slightly forward, slightly pushing your hips back and keeping your back straight and abdomen contracted;
  • The hands must go down in line with the legs, with the arms straight;
  • Return to the starting position;
  • Do 2 sets of 10 repetitions with 1 minute rest between sets.

9. Leg extensions

  • Sit in a chair, keeping your back and head straight;
  • With your feet on the floor, spread your legs hip-width apart;
  • Contract your thigh muscles and straighten one leg, raising it to hip height. The tip of the foot pointing upwards;
  • Return to the starting position;
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

10. Hamstring curl

  • Standing, feet apart, hip-width apart, keeping your back straight. You can rest your hand on a chair or a wall;
  • Stand on one leg and bend the other back, lifting the heel towards the ceiling;
  • Maintain this position for 5 to 10 seconds and return to the starting position;
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

In case of osteoarthritis in the knee, other more specific exercises may be recommended, check out what they are and other care needed to recover faster in this video:

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Graduated in Physiotherapy from UNESA in 2006 with professional registration at CREFITO- 2 nº. 170751 – F.

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