5 Knee-Strengthening Exercises to Do at Home

Although it may seem to us that by doing certain exercises, such as squats, we are damaging the joints, the truth is that these are knee-strengthening exercises that develop other areas of the body at the same time.
5 Knee-Strengthening Exercises to Do at Home
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Because of their complex structure, knees are joints that tend to develop ailments and injuries, especially during adulthood. Although they are protected by ligaments, tendons, and fluids, continuous movement and age can cause the knees to deteriorate, increasing inflammation levels.

The problem is that these ailments affect the ability to move. And, as time goes on, they lead to inability or difficulty performing many everyday tasks.

There are medical treatments that can help minimize knee damage, but it’s best to prevent it altogether with healthy habits and knee-strengthening exercises. 

Fortunately, in addition to gym routines, there are simple low impact activities that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Try the following exercises:

1. Step Aerobics

A woman performing step aerobics.

Normally, step aerobics require the use of a platform at the gym. However, you can also use a bench or other firm surface at home.

This exercises involves making natural movements with your legs, with a focus on strengthening and lubricating your knees.

How to perform the exercise

  • Stand on a box or other firm surface, like a bench or step, and step up and down on it as if it were a staircase.
  • Bring one of your knees up to your chest, hold it for 2 seconds, and then descend until you touch the floor with both feet.
  • Repeat the exercise with the other knee.
  • Perform 15 repetitions of 3 sets.

2. Lunges

Lunges are normally included in leg and buttock workouts, since they help tone muscles in these areas of the body. However, due to the movements involved, they are also ideal for relaxing and strengthening your knees. 

How to perform the exercise

  • Stand straight, keeping your back straight,  your neck stretched and your arms at the sides of your body.
  • Step forward with one leg and lower your hips, making sure your knee doesn’t go any further than your toes.
  • The other leg should be stretched behind you, so that your knee nearly touches the floor.
  • Return to your original position and perform 15 repetitions for each side.
  • Complete three sets.

3. Knees to chest

Bringing your knees to the chest stretches important muscles for daily hip and spinal mobility.

This knees to chest exercise not only help strengthen knees, but also helps tone your abdomen and reduce lumbar pain. There are various ways to perform knee to chest exercises, but we suggest this simple version:

How to perform the exercise

  • Spread a mat or exercise rug on the floor and lie with your back to the floor, keeping your back straight and your hands next to your body.
  • Next, bend your knees and bring them to your chest, as close to your body as you can.
  • If you wish, you can flex both knees at the same time.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds, then return to the initial position and do 15 repetitions.
  • Perform 3 or 4 sets.

4. Quadricep stretches

Quadricep stretches help strengthen the muscles in the lower body, as well as the knee joint.

How to perform the exercise

  • Stand up straight, keeping your back straight, and look ahead.
  • Elevate your heel to your buttocks by holding your ankle with your hand, keeping your knees together.
  • Keep your other hand next to your body, or against a wall in order to make it easier to keep your balance.
  • Hold for 10 seconds. Rest and repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

5. Squats

A woman performing squats as knee-strengthening exercises.

Although squats are known as one of the best exercises for the legs and buttocks, you may not know that they’re also beneficial for your knees.

How to perform the exercise

  • Stand up straight with your legs apart at shoulder’s width, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Stretch your arms out in front of you, and lower your buttocks as if to sit in a chair.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the initial position gently.
  • As you lower your buttocks, be sure to keep your knees at a right angle; they shouldn’t stretch further than the tip of your feet.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Are you suffering from knee pain? Are you worried that they have deteriorated or that they have suffered damage? Put these exercises into practice and strengthen your knees without using any gym equipment

Keep in mind that as you improve the mobility and strength of your knees, you’ll also work out other muscle groups in the body. Be sure to perform these exercises correctly, since mistakes can result in undesirable effects. And don’t forget to put on your favorite music playlist!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.