The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (2023)

Knee problems can be caused by an injury or certain causeshealth problems, accordinglyMayo Clinic. Weak knees can wreak havoc as they can prevent you from performing the tasks that your job and daily life may require. Weak knees can also keep you from engaging in activities you enjoy. Luckily, there are ways to strengthen weak knees, and we've got the absolute bestexercisesfor yourtraining program.

Let's start by learning more about this crucial part of your body. "The knee is a joint that is inherently mobile (it has no stability due to its congruence) which allows for wide ranges of motion, making walking, squatting, lunging, etc. possible," says Greg LeBlanc, PT, DPT, OCSBaton Rouge Physiotherapie-See, toldEat this, not that!LeBlanc further explains, “We gain extra stability for the knee with our ligaments and muscles. Strong muscles act as shock absorbers for the knee joint during our normal function. [Therefore, if] we can keep the muscles surrounding and supporting the knee [strong, it] means less stress on the joint and ligaments." LeBlanc notes, "This can ultimately reduce pain and injury while improving function [and help you] avoid weak knees."

LeBlanc suggests introductory moves "to help you strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles that surround and support your knee joint." He also points out that doing these exercises every day makes the muscles around your knee joint much stronger. This in turn provides stability, improves function and reduces pain. So read on to learn more about the most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees. And next, check outThe 6 best exercises for strong and toned arms in 2022, says the trainer.



The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (1)

Quad sets are an essential part of strengthening your knees. Your quads are so important and involved in almost everythingmovements in your legs. Quad sets help make them flexible and also strengthen them.

"This exercise is an isometric contraction of your quadriceps muscle, which is located at the front of your thigh," says LeBlanc. "Although this exercise seems very simple, it is very effective for strengthening the muscle and restoring the connection between your brain and your muscle's ability to contract."

He further explains, “This exercise is performed while lying on your back with your leg straight (the opposite leg is usually bent for comfort). While lying down, simply contract your quadriceps muscle as if fully extending your leg or pushing the back of your knee into the surface you are lying on. The goal is to hold this contraction for three to five seconds and complete 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps.”

As for how often it should be done, LeBlanc says you can tackle this exercise once a day if you don't have knee pain or injury.

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The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (2)

Straight leg raises are extremely helpful in strengthening yourMuscle control. "The straight leg raise is an evolution of the aforementioned quad set," notes LeBlanc, adding, "[It] is also performed while lying on your back with one straight leg (opposite leg bent for comfort) .”

LeBlanc says to start this exercise with a quad set and then raise your leg about 12 inches off the floor while keeping your knee as straight as possible. Your straight leg moves to about the level of your opposite knee, which should be bent."

Another exercise that should be done in 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps. It can be done once a day if you are not in pain.

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The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (3)

LeBlanc also suggests bridges to strengthen weak knees. He explains, "This exercise aims to target your hamstrings and glutes (hip muscles)."

You'll lie on your back for this one, with both legs "bent about 90 degrees," LeBlanc says. "From this starting position, the exercise consists of lifting your hips and lower back off the surface."

LeBlanc notes, "[One] important aspect of this exercise is making sure your knees stay in good alignment with your feet to make sure they aren't leaning toward each other (knock-knee position) or too far out (o-leg position). leg position) drifting )." Again, try to do 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps once a day.


conch shell

The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (4)

When it comes to strengthening weak knees, LeBlanc's clamshell exercise is an excellent and common exercise to focus on. "This exercise is great for targeting your glutes or the muscles on the outside of your hips."

To perform clamshells, LeBlanc says, "The starting position for this exercise is on your side with your hips and knees bent about 90 degrees each. [From there you should] open your knees apart (while keeping your feet together). mimics a clamshell opening." Stick to this exercise for 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps once a day.

To make sure you don't injure yourself, LeBlanc says, "[It] is important to make sure your hips don't roll backwards during this exercise."

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mini squat

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The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (5)

Mini-squats are very effective for getting many of the above muscles to work together, just as they would work in everyday life, LeBlanc explains. He adds, "This exercise can be done standing at a countertop." A great tip from LeBlanc? Putting a chair behind you is a perfect way to correct your performance and also stay safe with this exercise.


knee extensions

The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (6)

Jennifer Conroyd, Founder ofFluid running, a certified A.C.E. Coach and U.S.A. Track and Field Coach also offers some strengthening exercises for weak knees. Conroyd, an Ironman who has run 16 marathons and qualified 15 times for the Boston Marathon, recountsEat this, not that!, "This exercise strengthens the quadriceps and gives the hamstrings a nice stretch while allowing movement of the knee." An exercise to incorporate twice into your day, if possible, aim to shoot for 3 sets of 10-12 reps .

"Sit on a table or desk with your legs hanging over the edge," says Conroyd, adding that you then "need to place a thin pad or towel under your knee so the knee is slightly higher than the hip “. Then, "with your foot bent (toes toward you), slowly straighten the knee until the leg is straight in front of you. Hold for three to five seconds, then slowly lower." Add a light ankle weight if you want to increase the difficulty of this exercise.


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The 7 most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees, experts say (7)

Finally, step-ups are another Conroyd suggestion she takes up because they help strengthen the muscles that support your knees — your quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and glutes.

"You'll need a short platform, plyo box, or stair step for this exercise," says Conroyd. “[To begin] step one foot onto the platform or stair, push through the heel, stand upright with one leg straight. [From there] tap the other foot lightly on the platform or stair, then lower yourself back down slowly and repeat." To maintain balance, Conroyd suggests, "You can hold the back of a chair or your hand lay against a wall.” Note that “you can train just one leg or alternate legs” this is an exercise that should be 3 sets of 10 repetitions performed twice a day.

To find out what might be causing your problems in the first place, be sure to readGait defects killing your knees, experts say. Then don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to find out more about the latest mind and body news!

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