5 Knee Strengthening Exercises to Beat Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. According to a study, 25% of American adults and adolescents suffer from knee pain. The causes of knee pains may root from bone issues to joint problems.

While knee strengthening exercises do not directly affect the kneecap or joints, they strengthen and build the muscles around the knees. Knee strengthening exercises may also alleviate strain and pressure on the joints and reduce pain.

Strong muscles in the legs can help support the knees when performing movements such as standing, walking, running, and jumping.

These muscles include:

  • Hamstrings, the muscle group at the back of your upper leg
  • Quadriceps or quads, the muscles in front of the thigh
  • Calf muscles, the back portion of the lower legs.

You can include these knee strengthening exercises when making your workout calendar. These are the exercises that can help strengthen and tone the muscles surrounding the knee:


Five Knee Strengthening Exercises for Pain Relief

Straight Leg Raises

This workout is perfect because it puts no to little strain on the knees and works to strengthen the upper thighs and quadriceps,

How to do straight leg raises:

  1. For this workout, you need to lie flat on your back on the floor.
  2. Bend your right knee (about 90 degrees) with your foot flat on the ground.
  3. Keep the other leg straight and gradually raise it about six inches off the floor.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times for three sets.

Calf Raises

This simple leg exercise strengthens your calf muscles and other muscles at the back of your lower legs.

How to do calf raises:

  1. Stand on your feet parallel to the shoulders.
  2. Lift both your heels off the ground. Stand on the balls of your feet as if you are reaching up.
  3. Slowly drop your heels back to the original position. Remember to engage your calf. If you need support for balance, position yourself near a chair or wall and lightly hold for control.
  4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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Lunges help tone and strengthen the buttocks and large muscle groups of your legs.

How to lunge:

  1. Stand with your right foot forward and the left leg back with your feet about 2 to 3 feet apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees as you lower your body down until the back knee is a few inches from the floor.
  3. As you lower your body, the front thigh should be straight. Balance is necessary- so make sure you are using the muscles and avoid engaging your joints to carry your weight.
  4. Stand back up, keeping the weight in the heel of the front foot.
  5. Repeat for all reps before switching sides.
  6. Repeat 10 to 12 repetitions on one leg, and then switch to the other leg.

Standing Hamstring Curls

Standing hamstring curls is an easy workout that targets your hamstrings (the group of muscles at the back of your upper leg) and calf.

To do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet parallel to your hips. Relax your shoulders and place your hand on a chair or your hips for balance.
  2. Bend your knee as you bring your heel toward your glutes. If you’re feeling your hamstrings and calf muscles, you are doing this workout right.
  3. Gradually drop your foot.
  4. Finish 12 to 15 repetitions and do the same with the other leg.

Half Squats

Half squats work the quad muscles, glutes, and the core while putting less strain on the knees. Half squats are also a good starting position for weight lifting.

To do this exercise:

  1. Stand in your squat position, with your feet parallel to your shoulders.
  2. Look straight ahead and place your hands on your hips for balance.
  3. Slowly squat down about halfway through a full squat position.
  4. Pause for a few seconds, then push your heels to stand up, avoiding putting pressure on your knees.
  5. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Before performing any of these knee strengthening exercises, it is more efficient to do a knee-friendly warm-up such as walking or using an elliptical machine to help with the blood flow. As a precaution, consult your doctor before performing intense workouts. If pain occurs, stop doing them and speak to a health care provider.


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