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10 Exercises to Help Relieve Knee Pain

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Gentle Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Dealing with knee pain can be a real hurdle, whether you’re an athlete, a weekend warrior, or just someone who loves to walk.

Knee pain can stem from various issues such as overuse, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, meniscus tears, or sprained ligaments.

However, keeping your knee still can actually make things worse. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate pain and improve flexibility and range of motion.

Note: Always consult a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine, and stop if you experience severe pain or unusual symptoms.

Lower-body Stretches for Knee Pain

Stretching exercises can enhance the range of motion and flexibility in your knee joint, making movement easier.

Before stretching, warm up for 5 to 10 minutes with low-impact activities like cycling on a stationary bike, walking, or using an elliptical machine.

1. Heel and Calf Stretch

This stretch targets your calf muscles.

Stand facing a wall.

- Place your hands on the wall and move one foot back as far as comfortable, keeping your toes forward and heels flat.

- Lean into the stretch and hold for 30 seconds. You should feel it in your back leg.

Switch legs and repeat.

- Do this stretch twice on each leg.

2. Quadriceps Stretch

This stretch focuses on your quadriceps, the muscles at the front of your thighs.

- Stand next to a wall or use a chair for support.

- Bend one knee, bringing your foot towards your glutes.

- Grab your ankle and gently pull it towards your glutes.

- Hold for 30 seconds.

- Switch legs and repeat twice on each side.

3. Hamstring Stretch

Feel this stretch in the back of your leg up to your glutes.

- Lie on the floor or a mat with both legs straight or knees bent.

- Lift one leg off the floor.

- Place your hands behind your thigh, below the knee, and gently pull your knee towards your chest.

- Hold for 30 seconds.

- Lower and switch legs.

- Repeat twice on each side.

Strengthening Exercises for Knee Pain

Strengthening the muscles around your knee can reduce joint stress.

Focus on exercises that work your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and hip muscles.

4. Half Squat

Strengthen your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings without straining your knees.

- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips or in front for balance.

- Slowly squat down about 10 inches.

- Pause, then stand up by pushing through your heels.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

5. Calf Raises

Strengthen your lower legs and calf muscles.

- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, using a wall or chair for support.

- Lift your heels off the ground, standing on the balls of your feet.

- Slowly lower your heels back down.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

6. Hamstring Curl

Targets your hamstrings and glutes.

- Stand facing a wall or use a chair for support.

- Lift one foot, bend your knee, and raise your heel towards the ceiling.

- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.

- Lower and repeat 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

7. Leg Extensions

- Lower and repeat 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

- Extend one leg as high as possible without raising your buttocks off the chair.

- Pause, then lower back down.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

8. Straight Leg Raises

Work your quadriceps and hip flexors.

- Lie on the floor with one leg bent and the other straight.

- Contract the quadricep of your straight leg and raise it to the height of your bent knee.

- Pause for 5 seconds, then lower back down.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

9. Side Leg Raises

Strengthen your hip abductor muscles.

- Lie on your side with legs stacked.

- Raise your top leg as high as comfortably possible.

- Pause briefly, then lower your leg.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

10. Prone Leg Raises

Work your hamstrings and glutes.

- Lie on your stomach with legs straight.

- Engage your glutes and hamstrings and lift one leg as high as comfortably possible.

- Hold for 5 seconds, then lower.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.

Other Types of Exercise for Knee Pain

As you build knee strength, consider adding low-impact exercises like yoga, tai chi, elliptical machine workouts, swimming, stationary cycling, water aerobics, and walking to your routine.

These activities put less stress on your joints than high-impact exercises like running or jumping.

Recommended Product for Knee Support

For added comfort and support during these exercises, we recommend using the Ultra Knee Elite 2.0 knee sleeve.

This knee sleeve helps reduce swelling, provides stability, and enhances mobility, making it perfect for both exercising and daily activities.

It’s especially beneficial for seniors dealing with knee pain and ailments, offering daily comfort and support.

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The Ultra Knee Elite 2.0 is designed for both active use and resting, providing superior support and comfort.

Key Benefits:

Comprehensive Support: Stabilizes the knee joint during activities, reducing the risk of injury.

Comfort: Made with breathable, lightweight materials for all-day wear.

Pain Relief: Alleviates pain from arthritis, minor injuries, and chronic conditions.

Improved Mobility: Helps maintain flexibility and ease of movement during activities.

This product is ideal for those who need extra support while staying active or even while resting.

Overall Treatment Plan for Knee Pain

To effectively manage knee pain, it’s crucial to identify the underlying cause.

In addition to exercises, a healthcare professional may suggest:

- Applying ice for relief

- Using a knee compression sleeve

- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Physical therapy can also be more beneficial than home exercises, as a therapist can design and supervise a program tailored to your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does walking help with knee pain?

Yes, walking can strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. Start slowly and gradually increase intensity.

What exercises relieve knee pain?

Low-impact exercises that target the muscles around your knee joint, like hamstring curls and leg extensions, can help relieve pain.

What exercises strengthen knees?

Exercises like calf raises, hamstring curls, leg extensions, lunges, step-ups, and squats can strengthen the muscles that support your knees.

What is the single best exercise for knee pain?

The best exercise is the one you feel capable and comfortable doing. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

The Bottom Line

Stretching and strengthening exercises targeting the muscles around your knees can help ease pain, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of future injuries.

Always consult with a doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise program, and listen to your body to avoid further injury.

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