People from all ages can experience knee pain at different stages of their lives. According to a publication from the US National Library of Medicine, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (or Runner’s Knee) is the most prevalent orthopedic condition seen in sports medicine and is more common in adolescents and young adults. Knee pain is also prevalent in older adults with arthritis.

When knee pain occurs, most people avoid exercising even though it is not always the right call. Some types of exercise can help prevent future knee problems or injuries and even help alleviate existing knee pain. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that strong and flexible muscles can keep knees healthy and prevent injury.

While knee strengthening exercises do not affect the knee joint directly, they help strengthen the muscles surrounding it leading to better support for the knees. This provided support may help alleviate knee pressure and strain, which can also relieve pain.

The following 3 knee strengthening home exercises can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. However, If a person experiences pain while performing these exercises, it is highly recommended to stop and seek a professional consultation with a physician.

straight leg raises

Straight Leg Raises

This exercise strengthens the quadriceps (front of the thigh) and abdominal (stomach) muscles.

  • Lie on your back on the floor or mat.
  • Bend one knee and place your foot flat on the floor.
  • Keeping the other leg straight, lift it to the height of the opposite knee.
  • Repeat 10-15 times with the same leg
  • Switch sides and repeat.

hamstring curls

Hamstring Curls

This exercise involves the hamstrings (back of the thigh) and gluteal (buttock) muscles.

  • Stand straight with the knees slightly apart.
  • Hold on to a chair, table, desk or countertop for balance.
  • Bend your knees slowly.
  • Bring your heels as close to your butt as you can.
  • Hold that position for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times with the same leg
  • Switch sides and repeat.

wall squats

Wall Squats

This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, abdominal and gluteal muscles.

  • Stand with your back against a wall with your feet apart aligned with your shoulders.
  • Bend your knees slowly, and keep your back and pelvis against the wall.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and slide back up.
  • Avoid bending too deep.
  • Repeat the exercise a few more times.