To try this leg strengthening move, lie on the floor. Prop your back up on your elbows. Bend your left knee, keeping foot on floor. Keep the right leg straight, toes pointed up. Tighten thigh muscles of your right leg. Slowly and smoothly use your thigh muscles — not your back — to raise your leg.
Pause, as seen above, for five seconds. With thigh still tight, slowly lower leg to ground. Relax. Repeat 10 times. Rest. Do another 10; then switch legs.
Is the straight leg raise too tough? Do quad sets instead. With these you don’t raise your leg. Simply tighten the thigh muscles, also called the quadriceps, of one leg at a time.
Start by lying on the floor. Keep both legs on ground, relaxed. Flex and hold left leg tense for five seconds, as seen in right-hand photo. Relax. Do two sets of 10. Then, switch to other leg.
5)Seated Hip March
This move can strengthen hips and thigh muscles to help with daily activities, such as walking or rising from a chair.
Sit up straight in chair. Slightly kick back your left foot but keep toes on the floor. Lift your right foot off the floor, keeping knee bent. Hold right leg in the air five seconds. Slowly lower your foot to the ground. Repeat 10 times. Rest and do another 10, then switch legs. Too hard? Use your hands to help raise your leg
This move helps strengthen the inside of your legs to help support your knee. Lie on your back, both knees bent. Place a pillow between knees.
Squeeze knees together, squishing pillow between them. Hold for five seconds. Relax. Repeat 10 times. Rest, then do another set of 10.
Too hard? You can also do this exercise while seated. See photo to right.
Hold back of chair for support. Stand straight and tall. Lift heels off ground and rise up on toes of both feet. Hold for five seconds. Slowly lower both heels to ground. Repeat 10 times. Rest. Do another 10.
Too hard? Do the same exercise, only sitting in a chair
8)Side Leg Raise
Hold back of chair for balance. Place your weight on left leg. Lift right leg out to the side. Keep right leg straight and outer leg muscles tensed. Don’t slouch. Lower right leg and relax. Repeat 10 times. Rest. Do another 10, then repeat with left leg.
Too hard? Increase leg height over time. After a few workouts, you’ll be able to raise your leg higher
Sit to Stand
Practice this move to make standing easier. Place two pillows on chair. Sit on top, with your back straight, feet flat on floor (see left). Use your leg muscles to slowly and smoothly stand up tall. Then, slowly lower yourself back down to sitting. Be sure your bent knees don’t move forward of your toes. Try with arms crossed (see left) or loose to your side.
Too hard? Add pillows or use a chair with armrests and help push up with your arms
One Leg Balance
Your goal is to do this hands-free. Steady yourself on a chair, if needed. First, shift your body weight to one leg but do not lock your knee straight. Slowly raise the other foot off the ground, balancing on your standing leg. Hold for 20 seconds. Lower raised foot to the ground. Do twice, then switch legs. This move helps when getting out of cars or bending.
Too easy? Balance for a longer time. Or try with your eyes closed.
This move helps strengthen your legs for climbing stairs. Face a stable step, both feet on the ground. Step up with your left foot. Follow with your right foot. Stand on top, tall and with both feet flat. Climb down in reverse: right foot down first, then left. Do 10 times. Rest, then repeat another 10 times. Then repeat, starting with right leg first. Too hard? Use a railing, wall, or lamppost for balance. Or try a lower step
With stiff or sore knees, walking may not seem like a great idea. But it’s one of the best exercises for knee arthritis. It can reduce joint pain, strengthen leg muscles, and improve flexibility — and it’s good for your heart. The best part — no gym membership needed.
13)Static Inner Quadriceps Contraction
Tighten the muscle at the front of your thigh (quadriceps) by pushing your knee down into a towel (figure 1). Put your fingers on your inner quadriceps (VMO – vastus medialis obliquus) to feel the muscle tighten during contraction. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible pain free.
Figure 1 – Static Inner Quadriceps Contraction
14)Quads Over Fulcrum
Begin this exercise lying on your back with a rolled towel or foam roll under your knee and your knee relaxed (figure 2). Slowly straighten your knee as far as possible tightening the front of your thigh (quadriceps). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible pain free.
Figure 2 – Quads Over Fulcrum
15)Static Hamstring Contraction
Begin this exercise in sitting with your knee bent to about 45 degrees (figure 3). Press your heel into the floor tightening the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible pain free.
Figure 3 – Static Hamstring Contraction
16)Knee Strengthening – Intermediate Exercises
The following intermediate knee strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your knee strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.
17)Resistance Band Knee Extension in Sitting
Begin this exercise in sitting with your knee bent and a resistance band tied around your ankle as shown (figure 4). Keeping your back straight, slowly straighten your knee tightening the front of your thigh (quadriceps). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided it is pain free.
Figure 4 – Resistance Band Knee Extension in Sitting
18)Resistance Band Hamstring Curl
Begin this exercise lying on your stomach with a resistance band tied around your ankle as shown (figure 5). Slowly bend your knee tightening the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.
Figure 5 – Resistance Band Hamstring Curl
19)Squat with Swiss Ball
Begin this exercise in standing with your feet shoulder width apart, your feet facing forwards and a Swiss ball placed between a wall and your lower back (figure 6). Slowly perform a squat, keeping your back straight. Your knees should be in line with your middle toes and should not move forward past your toes. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.
Figure 6 – Squat with Swiss Ball
19) YOGA FOR THE KNEES
21) Knee Flexion
Lie face down. Bend knee as far as possible. Then lower leg and relax.
While standing straight with feet slightly apart, raise up on toes. Hold for
5 seconds. Return to starting position.