Workout Tips

6 Exercises that Will Teach you How to Strengthen Knees

Follow these techniques to strengthen your knees for optimal weightlifting performance.

Knee Pain

4) Hamstring Flossing

The muscles in the hamstring group (semitendinous, bicep femoris and semi membranosus) all cross the knee joint. Issues in any of these muscles can cause knee pain in the posterior (rear) portion of the knee and leg.

How To Do It

Get a hold of a tennis or lacrosse ball and a sturdy box or ledge of about mid thigh height. Sit on the box and place the ball underneath the leg, firmly on the hamstrings. Extend and bend the knee while applying pressure to the muscle. Let the ball go up and down the back of the leg while you continue flexing and straightening the leg. One minute on each leg should have your hamstrings and knees feeling like gold.

5) Band TKE

A classic rehab exercise, the Terminal Knee Extension serves as a great low impact quad activator. It can get blood flowing to the knee and quad to prepare your lower body for training.

How To Do It

Take a exercise band and loop it around a sturdy base. Step into the band with one leg and place it just above the top of the knee. Walk out and get some tension in the band. From there bend and extend the knee, really focusing on straightening the knee completely and contracting the quad as hard as you can. Perform for 25 reps on each side and get ready to feel a ton of blood rush to that area.

Ice Pack on Knee

6) TFL Distraction

The TFL (Tensor Fasciae Latae) is a small muscle located at the side of your hip just below the crest of your pelvis. When tight and bound up this nasty little bugger can affect the knee by pulling through the IT band and causing pain on the outside of the knee.

How To Do It

Again, we will make use of the versatile exercise band. Loop one end to a stationary object and loop the other end right underneath your butt. Get into a kneeling position with the banded leg in the back and the other leg in front of you (envision a kneeling lunge). Keep your torso tall and turn the banded leg out (internally rotating the hip). When you rotate the leg out you are really able to appropriately address the TFL as it’s a difficult area to stretch.  Squeeze the glute on the banded leg side to really stretch the heck out of the TFL.

Knee pain is no laughing matter and can rob the fun out of rewarding physical activities. Getting a thorough examination from a doctor or physical therapist is always recommended. But, if time or financial issues are a consideration then hopefully these exercises and stretches can serve as a way to alleviate some of the pain and get you squatting and lunging like a pro.