7 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

7 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


hey everybody it’s doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you my top 7 knee strengthening exercises. so let’s get
started. If you happen to have some knee pain, especially when you’re doing strengthening exercises, you can use a knee sleeve. the
folks at Titan compression sent me some of their knee sleeves, and if you’re
interested in purchasing them, you can click up here. when you use any kind of
knee sleeve, you want to make sure it fits right because if it’s too tight
you’re gonna cut off circulation. if it’s too big, it’s gonna kind of slide around.
so with the compression sleeves, it’s not a brace. it doesn’t stabilize your knee.
what I like about the knee sleeves is it’s kind of like a hug. it just kind of
holds everything together a little bit. it gives you some compression to keep
the circulation going and it does give you that little bit of feel of security,
but if you have something like an actual ligament injury, this is not going to
stabilize your knee. but if you have arthritis or something like that, this
is gonna really help just kind of keep everything together with that nice hug.
so the first exercise is going to be what we call a short arc quad. so
basically you’re making a short arc. I like using a foam roll, but if you don’t
have a foam roll, you don’t have to use a foam roll. you can take a big beach towel
and roll it up, you can use a ball like a basketball or soccer ball, you just want
it to be something where you have a short little angle there on your knee.
you want to keep your knee on the roll the whole time, so you’re not picking up
your leg, you’re just straightening your leg at that knee. so you can either sit
up like I’m gonna do, or you can lie down. you want to be comfortable, so if you’re
kind of uncomfortable sitting up like this, make sure you lie down. so all
you’re gonna do, keeping the knee on the roll, is just straightening it up as much
as you can. see how I kind of pull my toes up at the end? that just kind of
helps activate all those muscles. I’m strengthening that quad muscle right
there. that’s the one that extends or straightens our knee. so do a nice slow
controlled movement even when you come back down, and get that little squeeze at
the end there. so if you have knee pain or an injury and you’re trying to
strengthen it, you might not be able to get that knee fully straighten,
but that’s okay. just try and go as far as you can.
big squeeze at the end. you should feel that muscle working, and nice and slow
going back down. I would just start off with ten. if you get to ten and that’s easy,
you can kind of slowly work up. if you’re getting to twenty – twenty-five and it’s
easy and it’s not very hard, you can add an ankle weight around your foot just to
start strengthening it a little bit more. so the next one is going to be bridge.
bridging it’s one of my favorites because it not only works the hamstrings,
it works the glutes, and all of this has to do with strengthening your knees as
well. so go ahead and lie all the way dow,n get nice and comfortable, and prop
your knees up. so what you want to do is as you come up, kind of come one segment
at a time with your back. so you’re not just popping up and then popping back
down, you’re really controlling this movement. so you’re just bringing your
booty up off of the floor. so coming up like this, you want to just get pretty
straight. you don’t want to try and arch it up, they’re just nice and straight. a
little pause at the top and then slowly come back down.
so not fast. making sure that those muscles are doing the movements not
momentum doing the movement by just dropping you back down. so same kind of
thing, I would just start off with maybe ten of these. if that becomes easy and if
you get to 20-25 then you can try doing it just with one leg of a bridge. but if
this if you feel like you’re kind of dropping that hip down, then you’re not
ready for that single leg bridge yet. so make sure that you’re doing the correct
technique the whole time. so then the third one is still doing a bridge, but
this time you’re going to use a resistive band with it. and so what this
does is it helps activate other muscles while you’re doing the movement. so you
want to take the band and put it around just above your knees at your thighs. so
start off with a really light band. if it’s different brands, usually the colors
are a different amount of resistances, so I would start off with the lightest one
whichever one you have. so same kind of thing you’re going to go into that
bridge, getting your knees bent, but as you can
see that bands trying to pull my knees inwards. I want to try to keep them as
straight as possible. so I’m not pulling out necessarily, I’m just holding them in
that bridging position without letting my knees come in. so holding it there and
then you’re going to go back into that bridge position. you might be able to see
my legs might knee just went in a little bit, and that just means that those
muscles are working. so now I’m activating these outer muscles as well
as the glutes and hamstrings with the bridge. so again with this I would just
start off with 10. it might feel kind of easy, but you’re doing more work with
your body than you think you are, so just slowly progress up from there. and then
if that gets pretty easy, you can go to a higher resistive band. so then we’re
still gonna do bridges, but now we’re going to just go in the opposite
direction. so using a ball of some sort, it can be a basketball, soccer ball, if
you don’t have anything like that you can fold up a pillow and put it in
between, you can use a yoga block, you want it usually to be something kind of
soft, but you want it to be enough where you can squeeze your knees inwards. so
now you’re activating those inner thigh muscles. so same kind of concept, you’re
doing that bridge, you’re doing that controlled motion, but this time I’m
squeezing in when I’m lifting. so a lot of times people kind of forget to
squeeze in. so make sure you’re squeezing in first, and then lifting up into the
bridge, and then nice and slow coming back down. so if you feel like you’re
coming out a little bit, then just reset everything ,squeeze it in come up, nice
and slow back down. so sometimes the muscles want to cramp underneath those
hamstring muscles, so if you feel that, just come back down. you might not be
quite ready for that yet. so now we’re going to go into a seated
position. so the fifth exercise is going to now be a long arc quad. so we did the
short arc quad on the floor, now it’s just going to be a longer arc. so that’s
why it’s called the long arc quad. Just get in the chair get nice and
comfortable. if you need to relax in the backrest you can because you don’t want
to be hunched over. you want to be nice and upright. and then all you’re gonna do
is just straighten out that leg. so again you’re squeezing that quad muscle. you’re
contracting it. pulling up your toes at the end helps, but you don’t have to, and
then just nice and slow coming back down. so don’t just drop that leg back down,
but coming down is just as important, if not more important, than the coming up. so
nice and controlled, little squeeze at the end, nice and controlled coming back
down. so even though this might not feel like a lot, if you’re trying to
strengthen those muscles because you’re injured or you haven’t been doing
exercise in a while, this is going to be a lot, so again make sure you’re doing it
correctly. if you get to 20-25 and it’s easy, you can put a small ankle weight
around your foot just to give you some more resistance. but don’t go too much
with the ankle weights because that open position is going to put a lot of stress
on the knee, so maybe three to five pounds of ankle weight at the most. so
the last ones are going to be standing up. so this one is just a squat. squats
are great they kind of work everything around the legs and the hips, so they’re
really good to do, but you want to make sure that you’re doing them correctly.
with squats, you want to keep your knees behind your toes. so if you feel like
you’re going forward like this, then you’re putting a lot of pressure on your
knees and then that’s gonna be really painful. so you want to stick your bottom
back. you want to kind of even yourself out, keep your back straight
but bend at your hips. you want to have even weight on your feet. so not back on
your heels, not up on your toes. I like using a chair behind me not necessarily
that I’m sitting down, but if you’re a little weak because you’re trying to
strengthen it, you go down and you can’t get back up, you can just sit down in the
chair. so feet about shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward, not out, not in,
nice and forward, and then coming down sticking that booty back and coming back
up. so you’re really trying to find the chair with your booty, but if you don’t
have the chair that’s fine, you don’t have to touch it but make sure those
knees stay behind the toes. so you can just go this way, you don’t
have to go down that deep. if you’re just starting the strengthening exercise, you
can do what we call a mini squats. so you’re just going like this, but still
keeping those knees behind the toes. you’re not doing this – my back with my
back straight up like this – you’re keeping the back straight, but you’re
hinging at the hips. so you’re going down and then coming back up. so same thing
just start off with ten. if you get to twenty five and thirty, and it’s easy, you can
start adding some some weights up here if you want to, or you can start with
like a one leg squat. but the last exercise is still going to be a squat
but this time you’re gonna use the band again to activate those other muscles. so
I’m just going to put it again kind of right above the knees around the thighs,
get that about shoulder width maybe slightly past it for this so you can
kind of get that band resistance, and then do the same thing. you want to make
sure those knees aren’t collapsing inwards. you don’t want them going in
like that, you want to keep them out and still have that good form with when you
squat. so you can go down deeper as long as you keep that good form, or you can
just do a little mini squat with it. but if you feel like your knees are
collapsing in like that, then you’re probably not quite ready for that band.
so there you have it, those were my top seven knees strengthening exercises. if
you’re interested in purchasing the Titan compression knee sleeve, make
sure and click on the link up here, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking
down here. and remember, be safe (keep those knees happy), have fun, and I hope
you feel better soon.

Daniel Yohans

10 thoughts on “7 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. AskDoctorJo says:

    Purchase the knee sleeves featured in this video here: http://amzn.to/2pojTED (affiliate link)

  2. Vic says:

    Great .. Thanks

  3. Emily Frank says:

    I have a knee that is locked in a bent position and very painful…no previous injury but the locking used to happen all the time about 10 years ago, but I could "kick" it out….now it has been stuck for a whole day even with a doctor visit…Will these strengthening exercises help prevent future occurrences once I can move again? I'm afraid of it getting even worse as I get older…

  4. elif mete says:

    you have any exercise recommendation for knocked knees with rheumatoid arthridis?

  5. Jianying Li says:

    Thanks for your vedio Dr Jo. I like to buy compression knees sleeve. But what size I should buy? Thanks

  6. Debra Stuart says:

    Love the pillow where can I purchase it?

  7. abccoats says:

    Thank you

  8. Ruti Ann says:

    Dr joe I noticed when you are doing bridges your feet are not directly under knees they are out a bit? Also do you recommend doing theses exercises everyday? Thank you!

  9. Dash62g says:

    I’m only 20 but have notoriously bad knees from work injuries and being 6’3.
    Would these light exercises be beneficial to me as well?

  10. Ruti Ann says:

    Hi Dr Joe, I ordered the bands and knee socks but the knee socks are to tight on the top of the thigh and to loose on the knee . I ordered a large. I am 5’2 and weigh 138 pounds…..???

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