Knee Strengthening Exercises

Knee Strengthening Exercises

Knee Strengthening Exercises

Knee strengthening exercise are a great way to strengthen your knees. Exercise relieves joint pain, maintains joint structure and improves joint function. Certain knee conditions bring about stiffness, pain and swelling, which, in turn, can severely limit joint range of motion. But knee pain, stiffness and swelling should never be used as an excuse to avoid exercising. The lack of exercise can lead to rapid muscle deterioration and weight gain. These outcomes, in turn, can trigger certain knee conditions or exacerbate existing ones. You do not have to go to the gym or buy expensive exercise equipment to be able to do knee strengthening exercises. In fact, knee strengthening exercises can be done right at home with minimal equipment. Hence, you cannot use “I don’t have the time to go to the gym” or “I can’t afford to buy exercise equipment” as an excuse not to do knee strengthening exercises.

Safety Precautions

Before engaging in any knee strengthening exercises, observe the following safety precautions:

  • Perform all knee strengthening exercises on both legs, even if one knee happens to be more painful or injured.
  • Always begin with simple exercises before performing more complex ones. Progress as comfort permits.
  • Exercise within your knees’ existing range of motion.
  • When stretching, see to it that you feel pulling instead of pain. As soon as you feel pain, stop immediately.
  • While knee strengthening exercises may cause a burning sensation in a fully-functioning muscle, they should not at any time increase knee pain.
  • Perform knee strengthening exercises daily until you come up with a program that works for you. Once you come up with an exercise program, do it 3 times a week.
  • Always consult with your doctor or physical therapist before engaging in any form of exercise. As soon as a particular exercise makes you feel pain, stop performing it immediately.

It is extremely important that you keep in mind these safety precautions. Improper exercise can either lead to new injuries or worsen existing ones. Remember, you exercise to make yourself feel better, not worse!

Warm-Up Knee Strengthening Exercises

When engaging in a program with various knee strengthening exercises , it is always best if you start out with warm-up exercises first. They help prepare your knees for intense physical activity, reducing your risk of injury in the process. Below are some examples of warm-up exercises:

March on the Spot

  • Start off marching on the spot and then march forwards and backwards.
  • Pump your arms up and down in rhythm with your steps, keeping the elbows bent and the fists soft.
  • Do this exercise for 2 minutes.

Heel Digs 

  • Place alternate heels to the front, keeping the front foot pointing up, and punch out with each heel dig.
  • Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg.
  • Aim for 60 heel digs in 60 seconds.

Knee Lifts

  • Stand tall and bring up alternate knees to touch the opposite hand. Keep your abs tight and back straight.
  • Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg.
  • Aim for 30 knee lifts in 30 seconds.

Shoulder Rolls

  • Keep marching on the spot.
  • Roll your shoulders forwards five times and backwards five times. Let your arms hang loose by your sides.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

Knee Bends

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands stretched out.
  • Lower yourself no more than 10 cm by bending your knees.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Perform 10 repetitions.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises help improve your flexibility by increasing joint range of motion. Improved flexibility, in turn, means better posture, reduced soreness after a workout and a decreased risk of injury due to muscular imbalances. Below are some examples of stretching exercises:

Gastrocnemius

  • Stand with one foot on a book or slant.
  • Keep your heel on the floor and your foot supported by the book or slant.
  • Step forward with your other foot until you feel a stretching sensation in the calf area.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each foot.

Hamstring

  • Lie on your back and bring one of your knees up towards your chest.
  • Put your hands behind your raised knee or calf and extend your leg towards the ceiling.
  • Pull your raised leg towards your chest by slightly bending the knee. Make sure that you feel a stretching sensation in the back of your thigh when you do so.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times on each leg.

Quadriceps

  • Lie flat on your stomach (either on a bed or on the floor).
  • Reach back and pull one of your feet towards your buttocks. Make sure that you feel a stretching sensation in the front of your thigh when you do so. You can use a rope if you are not flexible enough to reach for your foot from behind.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times on each leg.
  • You can also do this exercise while standing up (just be careful not to arch your back).

Iliotibial Band Stretch

  • Stand upright.
  • Cross your left leg behind your right leg.
  • Lean on your left leg until you feel a stretching sensation in the front of your thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times and then switch legs.

Calf Stretch

  • Sit upright with both of your feet in front of you.
  • Hold one end of a sheet or a towel in each hand, forming a loop.
  • Place the loop around one foot.
  • Use the loop to pull your toes towards you. Stop when you feel a stretching sensation in your calf muscle.
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

Chair Knee Extension

  • While sitting on a chair, rest one of your feet on another chair so that the knee is slightly raised.
  • Using only your leg muscles, gently push the raised knee towards the floor.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds and then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

Heel Slide Knee Extension

  • Lie down on your back with your left knee bent and your left foot flat on the floor.
  • Slowly slide your left heel away from your body so that your left leg will be parallel to your right leg.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

Knee Flexion

  • Sit down on a chair with both of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Loop a long towel around one of your feet.
  • Using both of your hands, gently pull the towel, bending your knee and raising your foot 4-5 inches off the floor.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

Runner’s Stretch

  • Stand facing a wall.
  • Put your right foot forward and bend your right knee into a lunging position. Keep your left heel stationary.
  • Using your right knee, lunge forward until you feel a stretching sensation in the back of your left leg. Make sure that your knee does not extend past your toes to avoid stressing your joints.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Bent-Leg Raises

  • While sitting on a chair, straighten one leg in the air (without locking the knee). Hold for about one minute.
  • Bend your knee to lower the leg about halfway to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position.
  • Repeat 4 times on each leg.

Straight-Leg Raises

  • While sitting on a chair, rest one leg on another chair.
  • Lift the foot a few inches off the chair while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Return to resting position.
  • Repeat 5-10 times. You can also steadily increase the amount of time you hold your foot up in the air (e.g., 2-3 minutes).

Knee Strengthening Exercises

Knee strengthening exercises strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint. Strong knee muscles help decrease stress on the knee joint. This outcome, in turn, will help prevent knee injuries. Below are some examples of knee strengthening exercises:

Knee Flexion (Heel Side)

  • Lie down on your back or sit upright with both of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Slowly bend one of your knees as you slide your heel towards your buttocks.
  • Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions on each leg.

Knee Extension

  • Lie down on your back and try to straighten one of your legs.
  • Keep on trying to straighten your leg until you feel a tightening sensation in the front of your thigh.
  • Once you get the hang of it, do the same exercise while standing up. Standing with your feet wide apart, bend your knees forward until you feel a tightening sensation in your thighs and buttocks. Then attempt to straighten your legs fully.
  • Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Straight Leg Raise and External Rotation

  • Lie down on your back with one leg straight and the other bent.
  • Rotate your straight leg outward by 20-30 degrees.
  • Squeeze and contract the muscles in your thigh and slowly lift your leg 6-8 inches.
  • Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Bridge

  • Lie down on your back with both knees bent. Keep your knees about a fist apart from each other.
  • Squeeze the muscles in your buttocks area and lift your hips off the floor.
  • Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions. To make this exercise more vigorous, extend one of your legs while lifting your hips off the floor.

Hip Abduction

  • Lie down on your side with your legs straight but bent forward from the hips at 30-40 degrees.
  • Lift and lower your top leg. Make sure to tighten your abdominal muscles while doing this in order to protect your back.
  • Try to stabilize your back and avoid excessive movements.
  • Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Mini Squat

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean against a wall for support if needed.
  • Slowly squat until your knees reach a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
  • Once you get the hang of it, do the same exercise without leaning on the wall. You can also increase the hold time up to 1 minute.

Single Leg Balance

  • Stand on one leg. Make sure that you maintain your balance while doing so.
  • Focus on tightening the muscles in your buttocks and in the front of your thighs.
  • Extend the standing leg fully.
  • Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
  • To make the exercise more vigorous, raise your arms while standing on one leg. You can also increase the hold time up to 1 minute.

Knee Proprioception Exercises

Proprioception simply means your ability to sense your body’s position and movements at any given moment. It helps you get certain activities done without the help of your vision. Examples of tasks that require proprioception include:

  • Getting keys out of your pocket.
  • Scratching that hard-to-reach spot on your back.
  • Pushing down on the gas or brake pedal in your car.
  • Walking to the bathroom in the middle of night without falling

But how does your body exactly demonstrate proprioception? The nerves in your body parts (e.g., muscles, tendons and joints) send information to brain regarding your body parts’ position and movement in a split second. By doing so, you are able to maintain your balance and posture, respond to stimuli and/or avoid injuries. Certain conditions and injuries can reduce the body’s proprioception. Below are examples of knee conditions that can lead to reduced proprioception:

  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain behind the knee or around the knee)
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Dislocated kneecap
  • Torn medial meniscus

People over sixty years of age likewise have reduced knee proprioception. How do you know if your knees have reduced proprioception? Below are the symptoms of reduced knee proprioception:

  • Knee weakness
  • Knee instability
  • Limited range of motion
  • Constant slipping, falling and crashing
  • Inability to accomplish specific tasks (e.g., getting your wallet out of the back pocket of your jeans)

The good news is that you do not have to suffer from reduced knee proprioception for life. There are exercises that can improve the proprioception of your knees. Below are some examples:

Eyes Open 

  • Stand on one leg. The other leg should be bent.
  • If you are really unable to stand on one leg (e.g., you might lose your balance and fall), then lightly hold on to something (e.g., a table, chair or doorway) for support.
  • Try to stand on one leg unaided for 30 seconds. Repeat exercise on your other leg.

Eyes Closed

  • Stand on one leg with your eyes closed. The other leg should be bent.
  • If you are really unable to stand on one leg (e.g., you might lose your balance and fall), then lightly hold on to something (e.g., a table, chair or doorway) for support.
  • Try to stand on one leg unaided for 30 seconds. Your eyes should remain closed. Repeat exercise on your other leg.

Toe Walking 

  • Raise yourself on your toes. Walk 30 steps with your toes pointing straight forward.
  • Walk another 30 steps with your toes pointing outward and 30 steps with your toes pointing inward.
  • When doing this exercise, make sure that you rotate your legs in your hips, not in your ankles. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by walking fast.

Heel Walking

  • Lift your toes off the ground. Walk 30 steps only on your heels, with your toes pointing straight forward.
  • Walk another 30 steps with your toes pointing out and 30 steps with your toes pointing in.
  • When doing this exercise, make sure that you rotate your legs in your hips, not in your ankles. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by walking fast.

Forward Leg Swings

  • Stand on your left leg and keep your right knee slightly bent.
  • Swing your right leg forward and then backward. Make sure that you maintain your balance and an erect posture while doing these.
  • Perform 30 swings, then switch sides. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by swinging faster or closing your eyes.

Sideways Leg Swings

  • Stand on your left leg and lean on your body slightly forward.
  • If you are really unable to stand on one leg (e.g., you might lose your balance and fall), then lightly hold on to something (e.g., a table, chair or doorway) for support.
  • Swing your right leg across your body to the left, and then to the right. Point your toes up at the furthest point of movement on both sides. Gradually increase the range of motion.
  • Perform 30 swings, then switch sides. Make sure to swing smoothly and maintain your balance.
  • Increase the difficulty of this exercise by swinging without holding on to anything, closing your eyes, or both.

One-Leg Heel Raises

  • Stand on your left leg and keep your right knee slightly bent.
  • If you are really unable to stand on one leg (e.g., you might lose your balance and fall), then lightly hold on to something (e.g., a table, chair or doorway) for support.
  • Contract the muscles of your left calf and raise yourself on your left toes as high as possible. Slowly return to starting position.
  • Perform 20 repetitions on each leg. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by not holding on to anything, holding weights in your hands or closing your eyes.

One-Leg Squat

  • Stand on your left leg. Raise your right leg forward and keep it straight.
  • If you are really unable to stand on one leg (e.g., you might lose your balance and fall), then lightly hold on to something (e.g., a table, chair or doorway) for support.
  • Slowly perform a squat. Once you have reached the bottom position, squeeze your glutes and return to starting position as fast as you can. If you are unable to do so, then just gently pull yourself up by holding on to something for support.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

Knee Up and Open Hip

  • Stand on one leg. The other leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tuck your lower leg under your thigh and point your toes up.
  • Make sure that you stand tall on your balancing leg (it should not be bent) and hold the back of your raised thigh.
  • Once you find your balance, open your hips so your raised leg is now out at the side. Make sure that your raised leg is still bent at a 90-degree angle, your lower leg is still tucked under your thigh and your toes are still pointed.
  • Hold your leg at the “open-hip” position for 2 seconds, then return to starting position.
  • Perform 20 repetitions on each leg.

Right Leg and Right Hand Touch

  • Place 3 plastic cones 3-4 feet in front of you.
  • Stand on your right leg. Your left leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tuck your lower leg under your thigh and point your toes up.
  • Make sure that you stand tall on your balancing leg (it should not be bent) and hold the back of your raised thigh.
  • Once you find your balance, bend your right knee slightly and lower your body forward while reaching for one of the 3 plastic cones with your right hand. At the same time, raise your left leg up behind your body for balance.
  • Using your right hand, touch one of the 3 cones in front of you. Return to starting position.
  • Remain in the starting position for 2 seconds and then repeat the movement reaching down for another cone.
  • Repeat the required number of repetitions on each leg.

Right Leg and Left Hand Touch 

  • Perform this exercise in the same manner as the Right Leg and Right Hand Touch, only reach and touch each cone with your left hand instead of your right hand.

Left Leg and Right Hand Touch

  • Place 3 plastic cones 3-4 feet in front of you.
  • Stand on your left leg. Your right leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tuck your lower leg under your thigh and point your toes up.
  • Make sure that you stand tall on your balancing leg (it should not be bent) and hold the back of your raised thigh.
  • Once you find your balance, bend your left knee slightly and lower your body forward while reaching for one of the 3 plastic cones with your right hand. At the same time, raise your right leg up behind your body for balance.
  • Using your right hand, touch one of the 3 cones in front of you. Return to starting position.
  • Remain in the starting position for 2 seconds and then repeat the movement reaching down for another cone.
  • Repeat the required number of repetitions on each leg.

Left Leg and Left Hand Touch

  • Perform this exercise in the same manner as the Left Leg and Right Hand Touch, only reach and touch each cone with your left hand instead of your right hand.

Lateral Leg Reach

  • Place a plastic cone 3-4 feet from your left side.
  • Stand on your right leg. Your left leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tuck your lower leg under your thigh and point your toes up.
  • Make sure that you stand tall on your balancing leg (it should not be bent) and hold the back of your raised thigh.
  • Once you find your balance, bend your right knee slightly and reach out towards the plastic cone with your left leg.
  • Keep your body as upright as possible and touch the plastic cone with your left leg. Return to starting position.
  • Remain in the starting position for 2 seconds and then repeat the required number of repetitions on each leg.

Rear Leg Reach

  • Place a plastic cone 3-4 feet behind you.
  • Stand on your left leg. Your right leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tuck your lower leg under your thigh and point your toes up.
  • Make sure that you stand tall on your balancing leg (it should not be bent) and hold the back of your raised thigh.
  • Once you find your balance, bend your left knee slightly and reach backwards towards the plastic cone with your right leg.
  • Keep your body as upright as possible and touch the plastic cone with your left leg. Return to starting position.
  • Remain in the starting position for 2 seconds and then repeat the required number of repetitions on each leg.

Knee Endurance Exercises

The human body is an amazing thing. Based on the Guinness Book of World Records, it is capable of performing extreme feats. Such feats include the following:

  • Tap dancing a distance of 32 miles in 7 hours and 35 minutes.
  • Balancing on one foot for 76 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Running on a treadmill for 24 hours straight while covering a distance of 93.5 miles.
  • Blowing up and tying 599 balloons in one hour.
  • Swimming 122 miles in the ocean in 38 hours and 33 minutes/
  • Jumping on a pogo stick for 23.22 miles in 12 hours and 27 minutes.
  • Kissing for 30 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Clapping continuously for 58 hours and 9 minutes, while maintaining an average of 160 claps per minute.

If looked upon closely, these feats would not be possible without endurance. Endurance simply means the body’s ability to remain active for a long period of time, as well as withstand stress, trauma and fatigue. The body needs endurance to be able to carry out even the simplest tasks. Without endurance, the body gets tired easily and is more prone to injuries. So, how do you know if your knees have poor endurance? Your knees have poor endurance if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Your lower leg sags forwards, backwards or sidewards.
  • You feel that your knees are about to “give out” every time you move.
  • Pain during sudden movements.
  • Restricted range of motion.

Poor knee endurance is usually the result of knee injuries and disorders, which include the following:

  • A fracture of the kneecap, the femur, or the bones of the lower leg.
  • A kneecap dislocation.
  • An injury to the ligaments and tendons that support the kneecap.
  • A meniscus tear.
  • An old knee injury that did not heal properly.

The good news is that you do not have to allow weak knees to control your life. There are knee strengthening exercises that can improve the endurance of your knees. Below are some examples:

Step-Ups 

  • Standing in front of a staircase, place one of your feet flat on the bottom step. You can also use a stepladder if you do not have stairs at home.
  • Make sure that your entire foot is on the step and your knee is directly above your ankle.
  • Putting your weight on the heel of your elevated foot, step onto the foot, lift the opposite foot and tap the step and the floor.
  • Perform 10 repetitions on each foot.
  • To make this exercise more effective, do curls with light weights each time you step up.

Calf Raises (also known as Toe Raises)

  • Stand up straight on a flat surface.
  • See to it that your ankles, hips and shoulders are in perfect alignment and your toes are pointed forward.
  • Lift your heels very slowly, then lower them at the same speed.
  • Perform 25 repetitions. The slower you raise and lower your body, the more effective the exercise.

Scissor Kick

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs together and arms by your sides.
  • With your forearms on the ground, lift your legs six inches and your shoulders one inch.
  • Holding that position, spread your legs apart, bring them back towards each other and then cross one leg over the other.
  • Perform 50 repetitions. Do not let your legs or shoulders rest on the floor throughout the set.

Stationary High Knees or Knee-Ups

  • In a stationary position; stand up on your toes; eyes straight ahead, body posture is upright, tall and relaxed; tuck elbows against the sides of your body; arms bent at 90 degrees; extend the hands out, palms facing down.
  • Raise one knee up to make contact with the hand directly above; alternate raising knees to make contact with the hand directly above.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds. Note: There is no forward movement here. You are working on the spot, with the knees raising up and making contact with the palms of your hands.
  • Initially, do the above exercise once for 3 workout sessions. After 3 workout sessions, do this exercise twice (20 second repeats), with a short recovery, gently shaking the legs out between sets. After 3 sessions with two 20-second repeats, do this three times for 20 seconds, with a short recovery, gently shaking the legs out between sets.

Walking High Knees or Knee-Ups

  • Stand up on your toes; eyes straight ahead, body posture is upright, tall and relaxed; tuck elbows against the sides of your body.
  • Take tiny steps marching forward, on the toes, while raising the knees to 90 degrees to slightly higher than waist level.
  • While taking tiny steps, make sure that your palms now face each other, thumbs on top, pinky fingers pointing down.
  • Utilize a wide running arm action, swinging the arms freely forward and back, elbows reaching behind, thumbs up to shoulder height in front.
  • Slowly march forward alternating opposite arms with opposite legs.
  • Repeat this action for about 20 seconds, then return to starting position.

Skipping High Knees or Knee-Ups

  • Stand up on your toes; eyes straight ahead, body posture is upright, tall and relaxed; tuck elbows against the sides of your body; arms bent at 90 degrees; extend the hands out, palms facing down.
  • Perform Walking High Knees. In this exercise, however, simply add a skip in your step as you raise the knee in conjunction with the swing of the opposite arm.
  • Do this for 20 seconds, then slowly walk back to your starting position.

Walking in a Swimming Pool

  • Use the same guidelines for pool walking as you do for walking on land. Walk at a comfortable pace, try to keep moving continuously, do two to three sessions a week and eventually work up to twenty or thirty minutes total per session. Do this by progressively adding a minute or two at each session.
  • You can adjust the amount of resistance you experience by changing your depth in the water. Keep in mind these simple guidelines:
    • With the water up to your neck, you’re at approximately 10% of your true body weight.
    • With the water up your chest, you’re at approximately 25% of your true body weight.
    • With the water up your waist, you’re at approximately 50% of your true body weight.

Never exercise alone in the water. You can wear aquatic shoes to protect and cushion your feet.

Standing Jump and Reach

  • Squat slightly with feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Jump upwards, lifting both of your arms overhead.
  • Land softly on your feet, then repeat.
  • Do 8-10 repetitions.

Hip Twist and Ankle Hop

  • With feet shoulder-width apart, jump and twist your hips 180 degrees.
  • Make sure that you keep your upper body still while you do this.
  • As you land, jump and twist in the other direction.
  • Do 8-10 repetitions.

Front Cone Hop

  • Set 6-10 small cones in a straight line. Make sure that they are 2 feet apart from each other.
  • Hop over the first cone, swinging your arms for momentum.
  • Immediately repeat with the next cone.
  • Complete the row 5 times.

Lateral Cone Hop

  • Stand next to a 1-foot tall cone or box, your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Jump sideways over the cone, then immediately jump back to the other side.
  • Do 8-10 repetitions.

Alternating Box Push-Off

  • Stand with your left foot on a 1-foot tall box.
  • Push off, switch legs mid-air and land on the other side with your right foot on the box.
  • Reverse again.
  • Perform 4-6 repetitions.

Squat Depth Jump

  • Stand on a box with your toes close to the edge.
  • Perform a half-squat. Hop off and dip into a quarter squat.
  • As soon as you land into a quarter squat, jump upwards, lifting both of your arms overhead.
  • Do 8-10 repetitions.

Cool-Down Exercises

After performing knee strengthening exercises do not forget to perform cool-down exercises! Cool-down exercises are extremely important. They facilitate the body’s transition from exercise to a steady stat of rest. In the process, the following benefits are achieved:

  • Reduced heart and breathing rates.
  • Body temperature is gradually cooled.
  • Muscles are returned to their optimal length-tension relationships.
  • Venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities is prevented.
  • Physiologic systems are restored close to baseline levels.

Not performing cool-down exercises is not without their negative effects on your health. When you don’t perform cool-down exercises, blood will accumulate in your lower extremities. This outcome, in turn, can leave you feeling dizzy and faint. Hence, you should never forget to do cool-down exercises.

Below are some examples of cool-down exercises:

Calf Raise Down

  • Stand on a raised platform on the balls of your feet. Hold on to a secure object for balance.
  • Exhale, then slowly drop your heels down towards the floor and allow your toes to rise naturally.
  • This exercise can be performed using either one or both feet.

Lying Straight, Leg to Chest

  • Lie comfortably on your back. Make sure that both your head and buttocks are in contact with the floor.
  • Slowly extend one of your legs upward. Grasp at it with both of your hands, either around the calf, the hamstrings, or both.
  • Pull your elevated leg towards your chest. Make sure that it remains straight. When the tension builds up in your hamstrings, relax the stretch a little by contracting your quadriceps on the same leg.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, then return to starting position.
  • If necessary, raise your leg using a towel around your foot. In doing so, you can elevate your leg while keeping your head on the floor.

 Stretch Lying

  • Lie down on your side. Keep both your knees and the inside of your thighs together.
  • Bend your top leg, with one hand holding on to the foot. Make sure that your lower leg remains straight.
  • Exhale, then pull your foot towards your buttocks while you slowly push your pelvis forward.
  • Use a towel wrapped around your foot if you cannot reach your foot comfortably.

One Leg Over

  • Sit down on the floor, with one of your legs straight and your toes pointing upward.
  • Cross your other foot over the knee of your straight leg, aiming to place that foot flat on the floor.
  • Place the elbow and forearm of your opposite arm of your bent leg on the outside of your bent knee.
  • Exhale, slowly pulling your bent knee across your body.

Looking at Ceiling

  • Kneel on the floor and hold your heels with both hands.
  • Slowly exhale, then arch your back by lifting your buttocks up and forward while tilting your head backwards.

References for Knee Strengthening Exercises

Proprioception Drills. Retrieved August 24, 2013, from http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/ole/graphics/exercises/proprioception.pdf

Beineke, S., & Sofia, V. (2011). The Best Cardio Exercises for Bad Knees. Gaiam, Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2013, from http://life.gaiam.com/article/best-cardio-exercises-bad-knees

Beta Klinik GmbH. (2012). Knee Instability/Unstable Knee. Beta Klinik. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://www.betaklinik.de/en/ihr-problem/knie/knieinstabilitaet

Inverarity, L. (2013). Stretches for the Knee. About.com. Retrieved August 26, 2013, from http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/flexibilityexercises/qt/kneestretch.htm

Kanuka, L. (2013). Introduction to Strength Endurance Exercises. SportMedBC. Retrieved September 5, 2013, from http://www.sportmedbc.com/article/introduction-strength-endurance-exercises

McGee, S. (2010, June 1). Knee Proprioception Exercises. LiveStrong.com. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/136666-knee-proprioception-exercises/

Men’s Health. (2013). 15-Minute Endurance-Boosting Workout. Retrieved September 6, 2013, from http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/bodyweight-exercises/boost-your-endurance

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