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3 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises

Plus 3 alternatives you can do if these still hurt your knees

These 3 exercises are my go-to favorites for strengthening weak or injured knees.

If you have been avoiding squats and lunges for a long time because they hurt your knees, I hope this will inspire you that you can change that.

Yes, your knees can be strong and healthy! You just need to start small and stay focused on that goal.

Here are the 3 exercises

Knee Strengthening Moves

  1. Seated Quad Extensions
  2. Single Leg Squat (holding onto chair)
  3. Step Up (onto yoga block, while holding onto chair)

Do as many reps as you can until you feel muscle fatigue, do 2 extra reps to push past fatigue, then rest.

The number of reps will vary based on the user. It depends on the strength and condition of your knees.

Some users will feel fatigue after just 5 reps or so and others will need upwards of 20 to 30 reps. Pay close attention to how your knees are feeling and listen to your body.

I recommend repeating each of the 3 exercises for 3 sets each, then resting the next day to allow repair and recovery. Ideally you should do this at least 3x per week to have noticeable results.

If those exercises still hurt your knees you can try these 3 NO-BEND alternatives.

  1. Stiff Leg Deadlifts
  2. Single Leg Toe Touch
  3. Rear Leg Lifts

These 3 are perfect for working your legs and booty even if you have an active knee injury and cannot bend your knees at all.

Once your knees get strong and healthy you can enjoy all of the advanced versions of every exercise in my Tone @Home Program.


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Take the Free Live Lean Body Quiz


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