Knee Exercises - Top Tips

Written By: Chloe Wilson, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board

Knee Exercises: Top tips on getting the best results

Knee exercises can be done to strengthen and stretch muscles which can help prevent injuries and speed up healing.

When done properly, exercises can be really effective, so here I will share with you my top tips for getting the best results and help you find the right knee exercises for you. 

Let's start with the basics:

  1. Have a regular time each day that you do your knee exercises - it makes it much easier to remember to do them

  2. Get motivated: About a third of my clients don’t do their knee exercises as often as they are advised to and these are always the ones that take the longest to recover. Don’t let that become you!

  3. Breathe normally: Don’t hold your breath while doping exercises otherwise you engage the wrong muscles

  4. Pick a daily trigger to remind you to do your knee exercises e.g. an alarm, brushing your teeth, boiling the kettle 

Getting The Best Results From Your Knee Exercises

Let me share with you my top ten tips on getting the best results from knee exercises.

1. Start Slow

Don’t overdo things especially early on as it will do more harm than good. See the working at the right level section for more advice on this. If an exercise is too difficult at the beginning, revisit it every month or so to find out when you are ready to add it in to your knee rehab programme.

2. Progress Slowly but Steadily

Aim to progress your exercises every 3-4 days e.g. increase the number of repetitions, add weights or progress to the next stage. As muscles strengthen/stretch, they need to be worked harder to improve further.

Remember, each exercise is different so you will progress at different rates for different exercises – don’t expect to be able to do the same number of reps for each exercise.

Set a regular time each day to do your knee exercises

3. Be Consistent

Get into a regular habit of doing your knee exercises. Pick a regular time of the day, or link it with a specific daily activity such as brushing your teeth. This makes it much easier to remember and it will soon become habit.

4. Be Realistic

It takes time to build up strength and to stretch muscles. Whilst you should start to notice a difference after 2-3 weeks, you are likely to need to do exercises for at least three months to really notice a long term difference.

5. Take a Break

Sometimes, doing exercises can get boring. Give yourself one or two days off a week off to help keep you motivated.

6. Variety is the Spice of Life

Try exercising with someone else - it can be a great way to keep motivated

People often find it helps to split their knee exercises into two groups and do one lot at a time for a bit of variety. There is also usually more than one way to perform an exercise, e.g. starting in a different position, which can help keep things fresh.

You could try using some simple equipment like a resistance band, or try exercising with someone else - having someone to hold you accountable can be a great way to keep motivated and it makes it more fun!

7. Acknowledge Progress

Every few weeks think back to where you were at the beginning of everything and see how far you’ve come – e.g. more movement, stronger, more flexible, able to do activities you couldn’t do before, less pain.

8. Focus on the Goal

Remind yourself why you are doing each exercise – you are much more likely to stick with an exercise if you know how it is going to help you. Each of the knee exercises on this site will have an explanation of what it is aiming to achieve.

Make sure you are doing your knee exercises correctly.

9. Do it Right

Follow the exercise descriptions and every few days re-read them – I’ve had clients who have started off doing things slightly wrong and never noticed, so they haven’t achieved the best results possible.

10. Sometimes Less is More

It is better to do less repetitions and perform knee exercises properly than it is to try and increase the number of repetitions so quickly that you lose the precision.

Choose Your Knee Exercises

Want to get going with knee exercises that are right for you? Choose from the following exercise plans. 

Also check out the page on how to exercise for advice on doing knee exercises effectively and safely.

Page Last Updated: 07/12/23
Next Review Due: 07/12/25

Related Articles

Home remedies for knee pain

Home Remedies
February 1, 2024

Knee Pain Diagnosis Chart: Find out what is causing your knee pain and how best to treat it

Diagnosis Chart
June 12, 2024

How to improve knee flexibility

Improve Flexibility
January 11, 2023