Knee Rehab

One of the key goals of knee rehab is building up muscle strength. Having strong leg muscles provides better support for the knee, ensures that the forces going through the joint are evenly distributed, and helps reduce the pressure through the knee. Virtually everyone suffering with knee pain, whatever the cause, will benefit from rehab exercises to strengthen their knee muscles.

Before embarking on these advanced knee rehab exercises, if you haven't already I suggest you start with the basic and intermediate strengthening exercises to build up your strength. The last thing you want to do is overwork an already painful knee. Start slowly and build up. Once you’ve mastered the first and second stage exercises, you are ready to progress onto these advanced strengthening knee rehab exercises.

Advanced Knee Rehab Exercises

1) Squats

Purpose: Increase quads, hamstrings and glutes strength, Squats are one of the best ways to reduce knee pain

quats for knee rehab. Approved use by HEP2go.com

Starting Position: Stand upright with feet hip width apart, toes pointing forwards

Action: Slowly squat downwards as far as is comfortable without letting your knees go forwards over your toes. Then return to starting position

Repetitions: 10-30x

Top tips: Don’t let your knees drop inwards, keep your kneecap in line with your second toe

Progression: 1) Increase the depth of the squat
2) Hold at the bottom for a few seconds before coming back up

2) Chair Squats

Purpose: Increase knee strength (quads, hamstrings, glutes)

Starting Position: Stand on the leg to be worked, and put other leg behind you on a chair

Squats are a great way to reduce knee pain.  Approved use by www.hep2go.com

Action: Slowly squat down as far as comfortable. The knee should not go beyond your toes (see dotted line). Return to starting position

Repetitions: 10-30x on each leg

Top tips: 1) Keep your back straight throughout – don’t lean forwards
2) The movement should be slow and controlled for maximum benefit.

3) Split Squats

Purpose: Great knee rehab to increase quads, hamstring and buttock strength. Increase knee control

Split Squats.  Approved use by www.hep2go.com

Starting Position: Stand in staggered stance position (one foot in front of the other)

Action: Slowly squat downwards taking your back knee towards the floor. Then slowly return to starting position

Repetitions: 10-30x on each leg

Top tips: 1) Make sure you are going down not forwards
2) The emphasis should be on a slow, controlled movement
3) Don’t let your front knee go forwards over your toes

4) Lunges

Purpose: Great knee rehab to increase knee strength and control

Starting Position: Standing upright, feet pointing forwards

Lunges are a great way to improve knee strength.  Approved use by www.hep2go.com

Action: Step forward with one leg and drop your back knee, keeping most of your body weight on your front leg. Push off the front leg to return to standing position

Repetitions: 10-30x on each leg

Top tips: 1) Keep your toes pointing forwards and your back straight
2) Don’t let your front knee go over your toes – if that is happening you need to step further forwards

Progression: Hold weights while doing the exercise

5) Lunge Clock

Purpose: Increase knee strength and control

Starting Position: Standing upright, feet pointing forwards. Imagine you are at the centre of a clock

Lunge clock.  Approved use by ww.hep2go.co

Action: Step straight forwards (as if to 12 o’clock) with one leg and drop your back knee, keeping most of your body weight on your front leg. Push off the front leg to return to standing position. The lunge slightly to the side, as if to 1o’clock and back. Then to 2 o’clock etc until you have worked your way all round the clock

Repetitions: 5-10x on each leg

Top tips: 1) Keep your toes pointing forwards and your back straight
2) Don’t let your front knee go over your toes – if that is happening you need to step further forwards

Progression: Hold weights while doing the exercise

6) Plank Leg Lift

Purpose: Increase buttock and leg strength and control

Starting Position: Lie on the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders.

Plank leg lift.  Approved use by www.hep2go.com

Action: Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift yourself up off the floor, keeping your body straight. Then lift 1 leg up off the floor. Hold for 3 seconds a lower

Repetitions: 10-20x on each leg

Top tips: 1) Keep your back straight – don’t let it arch up or sink down
2) Keep your pelvis/hips level – don’t let them drop down on one side

Progression: You can also pulse your leg up and down quickly in this position to further strengthen the muscles

7) Box Jump

Purpose: Increase knee strength and control. Good after ligament injuries eg ACL injuries

The box jump is a great way to improve knee stability

Starting Position: Standing upright next to a small, sturdy box/step

Action: Jump up sideways onto the box, landing with both feet. Then jump off the box down to the ground, again landing with both feet.

Repetitions: 10-30x each way

Top tips: 1) Make sure the box is sitting securely so it can’t move when you jump onto it
2) Start with a low box/step and gradually increase the height

Progression: Progress to jumping completely over the box landing with both feet together on the far side.

Remember, with any knee problem, you should always see your doctor before you start any knee rehab, but once you get the all clear, you’re ready to begin. To get the most out of these knee rehab exercises, visit the Top Tips on Exercising section before you start.

What Next?

You want to gradually increase the number of repetitions you are doing of each knee rehab exercise as suggested. When trying to increase muscle strength, you should do exercises at least five times a week. If you’re only doing them once or twice, they won’t make much of a difference. And you must persevere. It can take a good six months to really build up the strength of muscles.

Once you are up to the maximum suggested number, you should have really good strength in your leg muscles, and your knee should be feeling much better – CONGRATULATIONS! Your hard work has paid off. You can now cut down to doing the knee rehab exercises three a week to maintain that strength. Make sure you are also keeping up with knee stretches too!

Go to Knee Exercise Guide or Homepage


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