10 Strengthening Exercises To Prevent Knee Pain

November 1st, 2022
The knee joint is a very susceptible area to injury, which can keep you out of your sport for a long time. Knee injuries are tough to recover from and can sometimes have long-term complications. So it's important to keep the muscles strong around the knee to protect from injury and support the joint so it's not being overused. 

You want to include exercises that work on one leg at a time individually. Because in the game of football and most sports you're on one leg at a time. You want to have stable balance and make sure you're strengthening up the muscles surrounding the knee as many of them as possible.

So don't just go for the quadriceps. Make sure you get in the glutes, and the hamstrings, trying to get a complete lower-body workout.

Today I'm going to show you 10 exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your knee joints. Don't need any equipment, you can do it with your body weight and home equipment.

Let's get right to the first exercise.

Wall Sits

We're going to start the workout with wall sits.
  1. Get a wall for a little bit of stability.
  2. Back against the wall and get into a seated position
  3. Holding an angle beyond a 90-degree, so that won’t put too much stress on the knee joint, which can cause injury.
  4. Go for a minute at a time. Start off with 20 seconds and bump up 30 seconds if you can.
  5. Repeat 3 times and then you can increase the time and duration as your legs get stronger.
We're going to be working the muscles isometrically, which just means without movements. So you're holding them under tension. And over time this will strengthen those muscle fibers.

Forward Lunges

The second exercise is forward lunges.
  1. Bend both knees 90 degrees, trying to keep your back and chest upright, and also use arm movements in synchronization.
  2. As your left leg moves forward, your right arm comes up, and vice versa.
We're getting the quads and hamstrings in there and adding that little bit of stability factor because you have to balance slightly.

     3. Both legs are getting worked for lunges.
     4. Do 10 on each leg rest for about 20 seconds and then repeat for 3 sets.

Side Lunges

The third exercise is the side lunges.

This time because in the game of football, you're not always moving forwards and backward, sometimes you are moving side to side. As well so you need to be strong in all directions.

So when you move from side to side you use slightly different muscle fibers, you would do moving linearly forwards and backward.
  1. Similar to the front lunge, but we're just moving laterally.
  2. We're going to go from side to side again.
  3. I like to do 10 in One Direction. 10 in the opposite direction and repeat 3 times.

Reverse Lunge

The fourth exercise is the reverse lunge
  1. This time our foot’s going behind us and then both knees go back down into that 90-degree angle.
  2. Again just use those arms in synchronization with our leg movements.
Just to get into those good habits because if we can get in these good habits. Sync those arm and leg movements up. We're going to be more efficient with our running technique as well.

    3. So just like the previous 2 lunge variations, we're going to go for 3 sets doing 10 reps. On each leg and I would recommend resting for about 20 to 30 seconds between each

Controlled Sits

The fifth exercise is controlled sit.
  1. You just need a chair or a sofa. If you're doing these exercises at home just to act as a platform.
  2. The goal with this is to go into that 90-degree angle with your knees.
  3. As soon as you barely feel that touch then you're going to go back upright and Stand Up
  4. Once again and go for 10 reps in total.
If you want to add some intensity to this exercise, you can actually do these single legs and this is going to work on your stability and your balance as well.

Working in each leg individually is more effective for footballers. Because as I've already mentioned, you spend a lot of time on one leg in a match when you're sprinting and kicking.

All of your movements tend to be on one leg, so add that balance and stability factor, it's just going to help your performance.

Single Leg Squats

Exercise 6 is the single-leg squat. 
So again,
  1. You just need a platform.
  2. This time you put your back leg just resting on there and all of the load is going on that front leg.
  3. You’re squatting down until you reach a 90-degree angle with your knee once again. You don't wanna go deeper than that, because it puts a lot of stress on the knee capsule, which isn't healthy for it whatsoever,
  4. Going down in a controlled movement again using those arm movements to synchronize in with your leg movements as well.
  5. Trying to keep your back straight and chest upright.
  6. 10 reps on each leg and then 3 sets in total.


Exercise 7 is the step-ups.
  1. Step up onto a platform with as much control as possible.So again, if you're doing these exercises at home, you can use a chair or your sofa or you can even use your staircase.
  2. Make sure the platform isn't so high, you have to go beyond that 90 degrees with your knee angle.
  3. Use as much control as possible, do not push off of your back foot.
  4. Lifting with your front legs.
  5. Contracting the muscles in your leg. Make sure they're the ones doing the work, you're not using momentum, and try to be as controlled as possible.
  6. Again 3 sets of 10, 10 on each leg.

Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts

Exercise 8 is the single-leg Romanian deadlift.

For this one, you do need a lot of balance. Don't worry, if you struggle at first, you get better the more you do it. Try to get as much stability in each leg individually as possible.
  1. Drive your knee up. Your knee goes 90 degrees out in front.
  2. Then bend forward and extend the leg at the back.
  3. And extend the arm at the front for balance at the same time, working in synchronization with each other.
So you're getting a lot of work on the hamstrings here, but all the muscles in the legs are going to be contracting, trying to stabilize and give you that balance. So this is a great one to protect the knee joints and the ankle joints as well.

     4. Go for 3 sets of 10 on each leg.


Exercise 9 is bridge.
  1. Lay on your back then extend your hips up.
  2. Make sure those knees don't go beyond 90 degrees. As we've already mentioned in the other exercises.
  3. Hold this pose once again, so working those hamstrings isometrically.
  4. If you want to add even more of a challenge, you can do a single leg, so you're working one leg at a time. It's going to add even more stability and balance to the exercise.
  5. For this one again try to hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  6. And then repeat 3 times on each side.

Hip Thrusts

Exercise 10 is hip thrusts.
  1. Get in that same position we got for bridges.
  2. This time instead of holding the pose isometrically, we're adding movement to the exercise.
  3. We thrust our hips up and then we lower them slowly. Everything is done with complete control. To really activate those muscle fibers.
  4. If you want to add even more of a challenge. You can do the same exercise, but do it single leg so adding that stability and balance in there.
  5. I recommend going for 10 reps, resting for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeating 3 times.
So there we go 10 exercises that you can do pretty much anywhere if you can, just find a bench. You can use a chair or anything like that to complete all 10 of these exercises.

And if you want to increase the intensity, you can add weight to these workouts. But I would recommend starting with body weight until those muscles are nice and strong.

You've got a good sense of gravity, and good balance before adding weight on top of it.

Mike Jones

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