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There are many people with knee complaints. Whether it is an injury that occurred, or accumulated stress on poor biomechanics. Below are five great exercises to help strengthen your knees. Please remember to consult a healthcare professional to make sure these exercises are safe for your individual needs. Especially, if you have pre-existing knee issues or injuries.

  1. Partial Squats: Partial squats are a great way to strengthen our gluteal muscles (buttock) and the muscle surrounding the knee joint. Partial squats can increase quadriceps strength which is important for knee stability and injury prevention. Focus on proper form and avoid going too deep to reduce added stress and pressure on the knees.

  1. Step-Ups: Step-ups are another great way to strengthen our knees. A research article published in 2012 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that step-up exercises significantly increase quadriceps strength and improve knee stability. To perform this exercise, use a stable platform or step, and alternate between legs with each repetition.

  1. Leg Press: Leg press exercises can be done with the machine or with bands. This exercise targets the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles. Both are vital to the stability of the knee. Remember to adjust the machine to your comfort level and maintain proper form throughout the movement.  Ask for help at the gym if you have not used the machine before.

  1. Hamstring curls: Hamstring curls are another exercise that helps the stability of the knee joint and can be done on a machine or with a band for resistance. Once again, remember to adjust the machine to your comfort and maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Ask for help if you have not used the equipment before.

  1.  Clamshells: Clamshells are simple and yet effective exercise to target the buttock region, specifically the gluteus medius muscle that plays a crucial role in both hip and knee stability. A study published in 2016 in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy showed that clamshells activate the gluteus medius muscle more effectively than other common glute exercises. This exercise can be used with a band for more resistance.  Strengthening the gluteus medius muscle can help alleviate stress on the knee joint.

Try these exercises and see how well they work for you.  Proper form and progression are important to avoid injury and maximize the benefits.