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The 7 Most Effective Exercises To Strengthen Weak Knees, Experts Say — Eat This Not That

Knee problems can be caused by injury or certain health problemsaccording Mayo Clinic. Weak knees can wreak a lot of havoc as they can leave you unable to perform tasks that are potentially required for both your job and daily life. Weak knees can also prevent you from doing activities that bring you a lot of joy. Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen weak knees, and we have the best exercises for you Exercise routine.

Let’s start by understanding more about this crucial part of your body. “The knee is a joint that is inherently highly mobile (lack of stability due to its congruence) allowing for wide ranges of motion that make walking, squatting, lunging, etc. capable,” Greg LeBlanc PT, DPT, SCO in Physical Therapy-Lake Baton RougeHe says Eat this, not that! LeBlanc goes on to explain, “We get some additional stability for the knee with our ligaments and muscles. Strong muscles act as shock absorbers for the knee joint during our normal function. [That’s why, if] we can keep the muscles that surround and support the knee [strong, it] means less stress on the joint and ligaments.” LeBlanc notes, “This can reduce pain and injury while improving function [and help you] avoid having weak knees.

LeBlanc suggests introductory moves “to help you strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and hip muscles that surround and support your knee joint.” He also points out that doing these exercises daily will make the muscles around your knee joint much stronger. This in turn will provide stability, improve function and decrease pain. So, he reads on to learn more about the most effective exercises to strengthen weak knees. And then he takes a look The 6 Best Exercises for Strong, Toned Arms in 2022, Says a Trainer.

Close-up woman doing quat set on yoga mat

Quad sets are integral to strengthening the knees. Your quads are very important and are involved in almost every movements in your legs. Quad sets will help make them flexible and also make them stronger.

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“This exercise is an isometric contraction of the quadriceps muscle, which is located in the front of the thigh,” according to LeBlanc. “Although this exercise seems very simple, it is very effective in strengthening the muscle and reestablishing the connection between the brain and the muscle’s ability to contract.”

He goes on to explain, “This exercise is completed while lying on your back with your leg straight (opposite leg is usually bent for comfort). While lying down, simply contract your quadriceps muscle as if you were fully straightening your leg or pushing up on it. back of the knee on the surface you’re lying on. Holding this contraction for a three to five second count and completing 3 to 4 sets of 10 is the goal.”

As for how often to do it, LeBlanc says you can do this exercise once a day if you’re not experiencing knee pain or injury.

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physical therapist helping patient to raise straight leg to strengthen weak kneesphysical therapist helping patient to raise straight leg to strengthen weak knees

The straight leg raise will be extremely helpful in strengthening your muscle control. “The straight leg raise is a progression from the quad set mentioned above,” notes LeBlanc while adding: “[It] It is also completed while lying on your back with one leg straight (opposite leg is bent for comfort).”

LeBlanc says you should “start this exercise with a set of quads and then lift your leg about 12 inches off the ground while keeping your knee as straight as possible. Your straight leg will move to about the height of the opposite knee, which should be bent.” .”

Another exercise that should be done in 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps, can be done once a day if you don’t feel pain.

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woman doing glute bridge on yoga mat during barbell workoutwoman doing glute bridge on yoga mat during barbell workout

LeBlanc also suggests bridges to strengthen weak knees. He explains, “This exercise is aimed at working the hamstrings and gluteal muscles (hip muscles).”

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You’ll lie on your back for this one, with both legs “bent at about 90 degrees,” says LeBlanc. “From this starting position, the exercise involves lifting your hips and lower back off the surface.”

LeBlanc notes: “[An] An important aspect of this exercise is to make sure your knees stay in good alignment with your feet, making sure they don’t roll toward each other (knees together) or too far out (bow legged).” Again , aim to do 3 to 4 sets of 10 once a day.

shell exercise to strengthen weak kneesshell exercise to strengthen weak knees

When it comes to strengthening weak knees, a great and common exercise to focus on is the shell, according to LeBlanc. “This exercise is great for working your gluteal muscles or the muscles on the outside of your hips.”

To perform clamshells, LeBlanc says, “The starting position for this exercise is lying on your side with your hips and knees bent at approximately 90 degrees. [From there, you’ll want to] spread your knees apart (while keeping your feet together) mimicking a shell fly.” Follow with 3 or 4 sets of 10 once a day for this exercise.

To make sure she doesn’t hurt herself, LeBlanc says, “[It] It’s important to be careful not to allow your hips to roll back while performing this exercise.”

Related: Top 5 exercises to build calf muscles without weights, says a trainer

woman doing a mini squat outside to strengthen weak kneeswoman doing a mini squat outside to strengthen weak knees

Mini squats are quite effective at getting many of the above muscles to work together, just as they would in everyday life, LeBlanc explains. He adds: “This exercise can be completed standing on a countertop.” A great tip from LeBlanc? If he places a chair behind you, it’s a perfect way to correct your performance and also keep yourself safe while doing this exercise.

physical therapist helping patient to do knee extension on table to strengthen weak kneesphysical therapist helping patient to do knee extension on table to strengthen weak knees

Jennifer Conroyd, founder of smooth operation, an ACE-certified trainer and US track and field trainer, also offers some strengthening exercises for weak knees. Conroyd, who is an Ironman and has completed 16 marathons, qualifying for the Boston Marathon 15 times, recounts Eat this, not that!, “This exercise strengthens the quads and gives the hamstrings a good stretch while allowing for knee motion.” An exercise to work into your day twice, if possible, should aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

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“Sit on a table or desk with your legs hanging over the edge,” Conroyd says, adding that you should then “place a thin pad or towel under your knee so your knee is slightly higher than your hip.” Next, “Slowly extend your knee with your foot flexed (toes toward you) until your leg is extended 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.

woman exercising in the gym to strengthen weak kneeswoman exercising in the gym to strengthen weak knees

Last but not least, step-ups are another one of Conroyd’s suggestions, including because they help strengthen the muscles that support your knees: your quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes.

“You’ll need a short platform, plyo box, or stepper for this exercise,” says Conroyd. “[To get started,] Step onto the platform or ladder with one foot, pressing through the heel, standing tall with your leg straight. [From there,] lightly touch the platform or ladder with the other foot, then slowly lower yourself down and repeat.” To help with balance, Conroyd suggests, “You can hold onto the back of a chair or place your hand on the wall.” “You can work just one alternate leg or legs”, this is an exercise that should involve 3 sets of 10 repetitions done twice a day.

To find out what might be causing your problems in the first place, be sure to read Walking Mistakes That Are Killing Your Knees, Experts Say. So don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more mind and body news!

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