10 exercises to strengthen your knees to do at home

Having healthy knees is essential, regardless of age. Feeling constant pain in this joint, not being able to run, go up or down stairs is really painful. But how do you stabilize and strengthen your knees?

By precisely doing exercises in a preventive and curative way with the weight of the body or by using some appropriate equipment . For this joint strengthening, the muscles related to the knee will also be solicited, in particular the glutes, the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The reinforcement of the knees can be done at home, with of course a knee brace, to be comfortable during the exercises.

Some equipment needed to strengthen your knees

Strengthen your knees
The knee is a complex joint

Depending on the condition of your knees, and your expectations in particular, the use of certain equipment is necessary. However, as its name suggests, the knee brace is the equipment par excellence to protect, stabilize and care for the knees. It is therefore essential to bring this accessory whatever the exercises to be performed.

Know that through exercises to strengthen the knees it is possible to refine them, make them strong, and heal them. The equipment or materials you will use generally depends on the condition of your knees and the reviews of the specialist treating you.

The most common ones used at home are: the knee brace, dumbbells, gym ball, and resistance bands . It should also be noted that the muscles of the lower body such as the glutes, the quadriceps and the hamstrings will be worked. Indeed, the strengthening of these parts reduces the excess pressure exerted on the knees and thus avoids pain.


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10 exercises to do at home for the knees

Here is a list of exercises to do at home for muscle building your knee by UltimateKnees .

Bring your knee pad to perform all these exercises. 

1. Strengthen your knees easily and quickly

Stand upright with your back straight and your feet together.

Lean your chest forward, bend your legs and put your hands on your knees.

Keeping your feet together, make circles with your knees 10 times in one direction and then 10 times in the other.

2. Leg raises to engage the quadriceps

Equipment: None in particular (just a gym mat to put on the ground)

The reinforced quadriceps absorbs shocks and therefore protects the knee joint.

On the floor, lie on your back (keep your back straight during the exercise) one leg straight on the floor, the other leg elevated.

Gently raise your leg (raised about 15cm from the floor keeping your knee straight). Hold this position for a few seconds. Do at least 10 repetitions for each leg.

3. The bridge to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes

Equipment: None in particular (just a gym mat to put on the ground)

On the floor, lie on your back with both legs bent and in line with your hips

Lift your butt up, contracting it, hold this position for a few seconds without bending your back. Then lower it slowly without touching the ground. Do at least 10 repetitions for this exercise.

To increase the difficulty, you can also do bridges with an extended leg

4. Knee raises on a chair to strengthen the quadriceps

Equipment used: A chair

On a chair, both feet on the ground, sit down with your back straight.

Raise one leg toward your chest, keeping your knee bent and your back straight. Place both hands on that raised knee, lower that leg, and repeat this movement 10 to 20 times. Then switch legs.

5. Deadlift to strengthen hamstrings and glutes

Equipment used: 2 more or less light dumbbells

In a standing position, with your back straight, feet shoulder-width apart and both hands holding two light dumbbells.

Slowly lean forward while still looking forward (don't squat), knees slightly bent, pushing your hips back, until your back is parallel to the floor.

Return to the initial position. Do 10 to 15 reps.

6. Wall squats to strengthen the thighs and glutes

Wall squat to strengthen the knees

Material used: None

Stand against a wall with your feet a few inches from the wall and shoulder-width apart.

Extend both arms horizontally.

Slowly slide your butt against the wall until your thigh is parallel to the floor (don't drop too low). Your knees should not go past your toes. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat this exercise 3 times.

7. Forward lunges to strengthen the lower body

Equipment used: A chair

This exercise strengthens the thighs and buttocks in order to have resistant knees.

Place the chair to your left.

Stand with your back straight, feet hip-width apart.

Look straight ahead. Place your right hand on your hip.

Take a big step forward with your right foot. While inhaling, bend your right leg, leaning on the chair (if necessary). Lower until the right leg forms a right angle. The knee should not go past the toes.

Straighten up by exhaling and pushing on the leg forward. Repeat this movement 5 times. (Do not lean your back forward during the descent, but keep it in a vertical position).

Switch sides by placing the left leg forward.

When you master the movement, you can increase the number of sets.

8. Leg extension with elastic band for thighs and calves

Materials used: A chair and an elastic band

Sit up straight in a chair. Tie the elastic band to one of the legs of the chair and cross the band over your foot so that it doesn't slide up.

The elastic band will be used to increase resistance and difficulty. Then alternate leg extensions and bends.

You have to do it slowly. This movement causes a strong tension in the thigh. Avoid rotating the knee during the exercise.

Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times and switch legs.

9. After a knee sprain for quadriceps and hamstrings

Equipment: A gym ball

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Variation 1: Squats and stretches by placing a gym ball between the backs of two people

Exercises performed by two people or one person against a wall

Equipment used: A gym ball

Stand back to back (2 people) or on a wall

Place the ball between your back and that of another person and lean on the ball. Flex your legs to simultaneously work the quadriceps and hamstrings by doing squats and extensions.

You can also perform this exercise against a wall

Variation 2: extension of the legs by leaning on the ball

Equipment to be used: 2 chairs and a gym ball

Everyone sits on a chair, everyone extends both legs on the ball (which is in the middle, and in the air) to hold it with their feet, hold this position for a few seconds then release.

Variation 3: exercise for the front of the thighs

Materials used: 2 chairs and a gym ball

Two people sit each on 2 chairs, the ball is placed in the middle of the 2 people, on the ground. Position the feet on the lower part of the ball. Simultaneously, straighten your legs to bring it back to a horizontal position (parallel to the ground), then come back down, bending your knees slightly. This exercise puts a lot of strain on the quadriceps.

Variation 4: exercise to work the back of the thighs

Equipment: A chair and a gym ball

Sit on a chair, put the ball below your legs. Bring your heels back, firmly crushing the ball with both legs. Release and then start again. This movement works the back of the thigh.

Variant 5: in case of tendonitis, osteoarthritis or sprain

Get on your knees (put something soft on the ground: a towel for example). 

A person maintains the ankle then the person who kneels will tilt very slightly forward while remaining straight. This exercise uses the hamstring

10. Fun exercises to strengthen your knees

This exercise is recommended if you still have strong (pain-free) knees .

Hopping forward with one leg to search for objects, then hopping backwards.

Practice balancing with one leg, then leaning over to pick up an object from the floor or a chair while balancing with one hand.

For those of you who also suffer from shoulder pain, read this article: Causes and Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Tendonitis


Do these exercises to take care of your knees, refine them, make them strong, cure them of several ailments. Most importantly, don't forget to wear your knee brace throughout the knee muscle strengthening exercises

Know that you can train despite the pain in this joint, because these exercises can reduce it. Exercises targeting the knees have an anti-inflammatory effect. Indeed, they strengthen the bones and promote the irrigation of ligaments, tendons and muscles with blood.

However, it should be noted that depending on the type of injury, certain exercises are contraindicated, especially in the event of severe pain.

In case of knee swelling or inflammation, consult a therapist or doctor immediately.


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Last updated on 2023-10-01 / Affiliate links / Some images come from Amazon Product Advertising API

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