Your knees undergo walking, running, and jumping everyday, and weak muscles or poor mobility can quickly lead to pain and injuries. To keep your knees healthy, try the six knee strengthening exercises and stretches below.
Healthy mobility is key to avoiding overcompensation injuries. Incorporate quadricep stretches into your mobility routine to target your lower body. Stand with one foot on the ground, and bend the opposite leg to pull your ankle backward. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Try a hip abduction exercise by standing on one leg near a wall. With the leg closest to the wall raised and bent 90 degrees, rest a ball between your bent knee and the wall. Gently push your knee against the ball for 20 seconds. Switch sides and repeat several times.
Foam rolling can also help relieve pain and improve mobility. Rolling out areas such as your calves, IT band, and hamstrings.
To strengthen the muscles protecting your knees, start with standing hamstring curls. With one foot on the ground, bend one leg behind you with your thighs aligned. Lift your heel up to target your hamstring, then lower it to the floor. Repeat several repetitions, then switch sides.
For step exercises, step one foot onto a platform and stand, following with the opposite foot. Slowly lower and repeat, focusing on keeping the knees bent. Switch sides after several repetitions.
To perform wall squats, stand with your feet in front of you and back rested flat against a wall. Lower your hips against the wall until your legs are bent at 90 degrees and hold for several seconds. Repeat several times.