At home exercises to help relieve knee pain

by Tia Patel on Dec 17, 2020

At home exercises to help relieve knee pain

At Home Exercises to Help Relieve Knee Pain

Posted by Tia Patel | Dec-17-2020

Knee pain is a common pain that affects over 18 million adults (healthline) each year.

If your knee pain is due to an injury, surgery, or arthritis, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help ease the pain while also improving your flexibility and range of motion.

Exercising a knee that’s injured or arthritic may seem odd, but in fact, exercise is better for your knee than keeping it still. Not moving your knee can cause it to stiffen, and this may worsen the pain and make it harder to go about your daily activities.

Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your knee joint, reducing the impact and stress on your knee, and helping your knee joint move more easily.

Keep reading for the best stretches for sore knees and knee strengthening exercises at home.


Best stretches for sore knees

Performing lower body stretching exercises can help improve the range of motion and flexibility in your knee joint, making it easier to move your knee.

Before you start stretching, it’s important to spend at least 5 to 10 minutes warming up. Low-impact activities like cycling on a stationary bike, walking, or using an elliptical machine are good warm-up options. Try to do these stretches and exercises at least four to five times a week and repeat after completing the strengthening exercises below.

Heel and calf stretch, this stretch targets the muscles in your lower leg, specifically your calf muscles.

To do this stretch:

  1. Stand facing a wall.
  2. Place your hands on the wall and move one foot back as far as you can comfortably. Toes on both feet should be facing forward, heels flat, with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Lean into the stretch and hold for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in your back leg.
  4. Change legs and repeat.
  5. Do this stretch twice for both legs.

Quadriceps stretch, performing this move can help improve the flexibility in your hip flexors and quadricep muscles.

To do this stretch:

  1. Stand next to a wall or use a chair for support. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend one knee so your foot goes up toward your glutes.
  3. Grab your ankle and gently pull it toward your glutes as far as you can comfortably.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Return to the starting position and change legs.
  6. Repeat 2 times on each side.

Hamstring stretch, You should feel this stretch in the back of your leg and up to the base of your glutes. If you flex your foot, you may also feel the stretch in your calves.

To do this stretch:

  1. For this stretch, you can use a mat to add cushioning under your back.
  2. Lie down on the floor or mat and straighten both legs. Or, if it’s more comfortable, you can bend both knees with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Lift one leg off the floor.
  4. Place your hands behind your thigh, but below the knee, and gently pull your knee toward your chest until you feel a slight stretch. This shouldn’t be painful.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds.
  6. Lower and change legs.
  7. Repeat 2 times on each side.

Best exercises to strengthen knees

Regularly working the muscles around your knee can help reduce the stress on your knee joint. To help strengthen your knees, focus on moves that work your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and hip muscles. Try these at home knee strengthening exercises:

Half squat, are an excellent way to strengthen your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings without straining your knees.To do this exercise:

  1. Get into a standing squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips or out in front of you for balance.

  2. Looking straight ahead, slowly squat down about 10 inches. This is the halfway point to a full squat.

  3. Pause for a few seconds, then stand up by pushing through your heels.

  4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Calf raises, strengthen the back of your lower legs, which includes your calf muscles.To do this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position yourself next to a wall or hold on to the back of a chair for support.
  2. Lift both your heels off the ground so that you’re standing on the balls of your feet.
  3. Slowly lower your heels to the starting position. Control is important with this exercise for strengthening your calf muscles.
  4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Hamstring curl , targets your hamstrings and glutes. It also requires good core strength to keep your upper body and hips steady.To do this exercise:

  1. Stand facing a wall or use a chair for support. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
  2. Lift one foot up, bend your knee, and raise your heel toward the ceiling. Go as far as you can, while keeping your upper body still and hips pointing forward.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Relax and lower to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

Leg extensions, Using your own body weight, rather than a weighted machine, to strengthen your quadriceps helps keep added pressure off your knees.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up tall in a chair.
  2. Put your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  3. Look straight ahead, contract your thigh muscles, and extend one leg as high as possible without raising your buttocks off the chair.
  4. Pause, then lower to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

Straight leg raises, strengthens your quadriceps as well as your hip flexor muscles. If you flex your foot at the end of the move, you should also feel your shins tighten.

As this exercise gets easier to do, you can add a 5-pound ankle weight and gradually work up to a heavier weight as you build strength in your legs.

To do this exercise:

  1. Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other. Cradle your head in your hand, and place your other hand on the floor in front of you.
  2. Raise your top leg as high as you comfortably can. You should feel this on the side of your hips.
  3. Pause briefly at the top, then lower your leg.
  4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

Other types of exercises to relieve knee pain

Once you’ve built up the strength in your knees, you may want to consider adding low-impact exercises to your routine. Low-impact exercises will put less stress on your joints than high-impact exercises, like running or jumping. Our favourites are:

  • Yoga

Click Here for our top yoga workouts...

  • Tai chi
  • treadmill/elliptical

Click Here for treadmill motivation...

  • Walking
  • Swimming

Click Here for everything you need to know about open water swimming...

Performing stretching and strengthening exercises that target the muscles that support your knees may help ease pain, improve range of motion and flexibility, and reduce the risk of future injuries.


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