10 Best Knee Pain Strengthening Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
going to show you the 10 best knee strengthening exercises. We’re gonna go
through all the muscles around the knee to get them stronger, so let’s get
started. So these top 10 exercises are my favorite exercises. They’re the ones that I found worked
best for me, they work best for my patients, there’s no scientific research
behind it, it’s just the ones that through all my years have found work the
best for people. So we’re gonna start off first with bridging, now bridging helps
strengthen a lot of things including the hip muscles, but those muscles that come
down and cross the knee especially the hamstring muscles, so a bridge really
works those hamstrings that helps get them stronger, and that’s really
important in the knee because it helps bend that knee or do that flexion, so
let’s take a look at that exercise. For bridging, bring both knees up and put
your feet flat on the ground, you can put your arms by your side, and then lift
your bottom up off the ground just to about level, so you don’t want to arch
your back, and you don’t want it sagging, just bring it up level and then slowly
come back down. Number two is a clamshell exercise.
Clamshells are one of my favorites because they really work the glutes here,
the glute med on the side, the IT band area, all these stabilizer muscles here
in the hip that help us walk properly, and so even though it’s up in the hip, it
really makes a difference down in the knee because if we’re not walking properly, it
can cause a lot of pain and weakness in the knee, so make sure you’re doing the
clamshells correctly because if you’re not in a good position, you’re not really
working the muscles that you want to, so let’s take a look at my exercise. For the
clamshell in side lying, lie on your side with the side you want to exercise
up on top, make sure your hips are perpendicular to the ground, so you don’t
want to roll back, stay up top then with your knees bent, bring that leg up just
like you’re opening up like a clamshell. Number three is a seated hip flexion
exercise. Hip flexion is really important because it works those hip flexors the
psoas muscles up in here, and again even though it really works the hip, that has
a lot to do with the knee as well, it helps strengthen the knee because if our
hips are working properly, our knees are working properly, and it some things
going on here and it’s weak, it can affect our knee as well, so those are
important to do knee strengthening and general type exercises even though it’s
called hip flexors, so let’s take a look at that exercise. For seated hip flexion,
make sure your back is nice and straight when you’re doing the exercise, just
bring your knees straight upwards. Number four is a seated long arc quad. We
call it LAQ sometimes. For the long arc quad, it’s working your quad muscle and
again the quad muscle is so important to the knee because it helps extend or
straighten out that knee, so a lot of times after an injury or a surgery this
quad muscle isn’t working at all, sometimes it won’t even activate, so it’s
really important to keep this muscle strong and work that to make the whole
knee stronger because it has so much to do with the strength of the knee and the
tracking of the kneecap, so let’s take a look at that exercise. For seated knee
extension, just bring one foot up and squeeze that quad muscle as tight as you
can, then slowly come back down. Number five, squats at a chair. So squats
are like the perfect exercise for the legs, the knees, the hips, all those
muscles there, your quads, your hamstrings, your glutes, any kind of squat
is great. I like to start off with a squat at a chair just because if you
can’t go all the way down, you can just sit down in the chair, but squats are
super important to do them correctly because if you don’t do them correctly,
you’re not working the muscles how you’re supposed to, and sometimes then
you’re putting too much pressure on your knees or other areas so make sure you’re
doing them correctly by watching this video. For squats with a chair, use the
chair as a target, step just a little bit away from the chair because you’re going
to stick your bottom back and bring your chest forward so your knees don’t go in
front of your toes, so squat back just touch the chair and come back up. Number six, lunges. So lunges are just
about as cool as the squats in the sense of working all the muscles in the knee
and the legs and the hips. It’s the same kind of thing, it works those quads, it
works those hamstrings, it’s a great way to strengthen those muscles, you can do
modified ones just like you can do modified squats and slowly work your way
down, so it’s a great exercise overall to help strengthen the knee, the hips, the
ankles, all the above, so let’s take a look at that exercise. For lunges, you’re
going to put one foot out in front of you, try and keep both feet pointed
forward, sometimes people will turn it out a little bit, but try and keep them
forward, you want your upper body to stay nice and straight, not leaning forward,
and just go straight down, keeping the knee behind your toes, and then coming
back up. Number seven, step ups. I really like step
ups especially when you slow down the step, when we’re going up and down stairs,
normally we usually go pretty fast, we use momentum. A lot of times, we can’t
tell something’s weak because we’re just going and help using gravity to go down,
using momentum to go up, when you really break down a step up and you go slow and
you go controlled, it works those muscles, again those hamstrings, those quads, those
calf muscles all the muscles have to work together to help get you up in a
smooth control motion, so when you slow it down it’s a really great exercise for
the knees. So let’s take a look at that. For step ups, make sure your step is nice
and sturdy and use a cane or railing for balance if you need it, make sure you
control your step up, and control it coming back down. Number eight a single leg stance. So I
think sometimes people forget about balance a little bit as a strengthening
exercise, but it’s really important because it works those smaller finer
muscles not only in our ankles, not only our hips, but in our knee as well, so if
we don’t have good balance, that’s usually a sign that our muscles are weak,
so strengthening those muscles by doing balance exercises are very important, so
let’s take a look at that one. For single leg balance, stand next to something
sturdy just in case you need a little assistance. Stand on one foot and then
just balance, if you can go down to one finger do that, and then if you can go
not holding on at all. Number nine is going to be a four-way
hip exercise. So I’m cheating a little bit because I’m I’m balling up four
exercises into one, so it’s going to be a hip flexion, hip extension, hip abduction,
and hip adduction. So see that’s a lot to say sometimes I even mess up, but again
that it’s hip exercises, but it’s really important for the knee as well, most of
those muscles that attach the hip come down and attach and sometimes even cross
the knee, so it’s equally important to do those exercises to help make the knee
strong as well, so let’s take a look at those. Here are you’re standing 4-way hip
exercises with a chair. For standing hip flexion, using a chair for assistance
keep your upper body nice and upright, pull up your toes to lock out your knee,
and keep your legs straight the whole time,
kick out just a little bit and then slowly come back in. For standing hip extension, use a chair
for balance, keep your upper body nice and upright, lock out your knee by
pulling up your toes to keep it straight, and kick back just a little bit, but try
not to arch your back, keep everything nice and straight. For standing hip abduction, hold on to a
chair for balance, keep your upper body upright,
pull up your toes to lock out your knee, and lead with your heel just kicking out
a little bit. For standing hip adduction, hold on to a
chair for balance, keep your upper body nice and upright, pull up your toes to
lock out your knee, and cross your leg over the other. Number 10 the last
exercise is going to be a heel raise. So just standing up and doing heel raises
where you’re bringing your heels off the ground really helps work those calf
muscles, and those calf muscles are very important in the knee and our ankles and
how we walk and just movement in general, so having those calf muscles nice and
strong really helps our knee be nice and strong as well, so let’s take a look at
that one. For heel raises, use something sturdy for balance and put your feet
about shoulder width apart, then bring your heels up as high as you can and
then slowly come back down. So those were your top 10 best knee
exercises. If you have any questions, leave in the comment section, if you’d like to
help support my channel click up here, and if you’d like to subscribe make sure
you do that by clicking down here, and remember be safe (strengthen those knees),
have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.