Building strong knees can involve a combination of exercises that target the muscles around the knee joint, as well as maintaining good posture and form during physical activity. Here are a few exercises that can help strengthen your knees:
Squats are an excellent exercise for strengthening the muscles in your legs, including your knees. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and then bend your knees and lower your hips as if you’re sitting in a chair. Aim to go as low as possible without letting your knees go past your toes, then push back up to the starting position.
Lunges are another excellent exercise for building knee strength. To do a lunge, take a big step forward with one foot and then bend both knees until your back knee touches the ground. Push back up to the starting position and then repeat on the other side.
Step-ups are simple exercises that can be done using a step or bench. Stand in front of the step with your feet shoulder-width apart, then step up onto the platform with one foot, pushing through your heel. Lower back down and then repeat on the other side.
Leg curls can help strengthen the hamstrings, which can help support the knee joint. Lie face down on a leg curl machine and then bend your knees, bringing your heels towards your buttocks. Slowly lower back down and then repeat.
Strong calf muscles can also help support the knee joint. Stand on a step or platform with your heels hanging off the edge and then raise up onto your toes. Lower back down and then repeat.
Leg press is a resistance training exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This exercise can be done using a leg press machine or a resistance band.
Yoga (aff link) is an excellent way to improve flexibility and joint health, which can help reduce the risk of knee injuries. Poses such as downward dog, warrior I and II, and pigeon pose can be particularly helpful for strengthening and stretching the knee joint.
Stand with your back against a wall and lower your body until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, then slowly stand back up.
Lie face down on a leg curl machine and hook your ankles under the padded bar. Curl your legs up towards your buttocks, and then slowly lower them back down to the starting position.
Sit on a chair or bench and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg up until it is straight and parallel to the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your leg back down. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs. Bend your knees and lower the weights to just below your knees, keeping your back straight. Push back up to the starting position.
Remember to start with lighter weights or bodyweight exercises and gradually increase the intensity and weight as you build strength and endurance. Also, if you have any knee injuries or conditions, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program.