7 PT-Recommended Knee Pain Exercises You Can Do at Home

7 PT-Recommended Knee Pain Exercises You Can Do at Home

Knee pain is a common issue that affects people of various ages, often hindering daily activities and overall mobility. Whether you're recovering from an injury, dealing with arthritis, or simply looking to prevent knee pain, incorporating specific exercises into your routine can significantly help.

Physical therapists often recommend exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee to provide better support and reduce stress on the knee joint. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially for individuals experiencing knee pain or recovering from an injury.

Here's a guide to seven knee-strengthening exercises you can easily do at home to help manage and reduce knee pain.

1. Straight Leg Extension with OmniStrap

How to Do It: Sit in a chair with your leg bent and feet flat on the floor. Attach the OmniStrap to one foot and secure a dumbbell for added resistance. Slowly raise your foot until you have your leg straight in front of you, and hold for a few seconds before lowering it back down. Do it with your left leg and alternate with the right.

Benefits: This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, the front thigh muscles that are crucial for knee stability. Strong quadriceps can help take the load off the knee joint during daily activities, reducing knee pain.

2. Hamstring Curl with OmniStrap

How to Do It: Stand up and wrap the OmniStrap around one foot with a dumbbell for resistance. Hold onto a chair for balance, bend your knee, and lift the heel towards your buttocks. Slowly lower your foot back to the starting position and repeat. Do it with your left leg, and alternate with the right.

Benefits: Hamstring curls target the back of the thigh and are essential for balanced strength in the legs. Strengthening the hamstrings relieves pressure on the knee joint and helps reduce knee pain by ensuring that the leg muscles work together effectively.

3. Air Squat

How to Do It: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body as if sitting back into a chair, keeping your back straight and knees behind your toes. Go as low as comfortable without causing pain, then push back up to the starting position.

Benefits: Air squats engage the entire lower body, including the thighs, hips, and buttocks. This exercise enhances joint stability and increases leg strength, both of which are vital for reducing knee pain.

4. Prone Hamstring Muscles Curls with OmniBands

How to Do It: Lie face down on the floor, placing bands around your heels. Slowly bend your knees to pull your heels towards your buttocks, ensuring one leg is bent while the other leg remains straight, then gradually lower them back to the ground.

Benefits: Prone hamstring curls intensively work the hamstring muscles, complementing the quadriceps' function and offering enhanced support and cushioning for the knee joint.

5. TKEs (Terminal Knee Extensions) with OmniBands

How to Do It: Place the OmniBands behind your knee and step back to create tension. With a slight bend in the knee, perform a small squat, then focus on straightening the knee and tightening the quadriceps.

Benefits: TKEs are excellent for isolating and strengthening the quadriceps without heavy loads. This exercise helps in maintaining proper alignment of the knee cap, reducing the risk of pain.

6. Hip Thrust with the Nordstick and Yoga Ball

How to Do It: Place the Nordstick behind your heels and position your upper back on a yoga ball. Press through your heels to lift your hips towards the ceiling, creating a straight line from the shoulders to the knees, then lower back down.

Benefits: Hip thrusts strengthen the glutes and hamstrings, which play significant roles in supporting the knee structure. Strong glutes ensure better alignment and distribution of forces through the leg, helping to alleviate knee pain.

7. Nordic Curl with Eccentric Focus to Target

How to Do It: Kneel and secure your feet with the Nordstick. Place a cushion under your knees for comfort. Slowly lower your body towards the ground, focusing on a controlled descent. Use support bands if needed to manage the descent without strain. To further target the hamstring muscles and provide additional support for the knee, consider incorporating variations like the 'straight leg raises' into your routine.

Benefits: This exercise primarily targets the hamstring muscles through eccentric strengthening, which is crucial for decelerating the body during movements and reducing the load on the knee joint.


Managing Knee Pain Through Knee Strengthening Exercises

Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine can make a significant difference in managing and reducing knee pain. It's important to perform these exercises consistently and with the correct form to gain maximum benefits and avoid further injury. Always ensure to warm up properly before starting your routine and to stop immediately if you experience sharp or increasing pain.

For those looking to expand on these exercises, many healthcare professionals recommend personalized exercise programs tailored to individual needs. You can find more in-depth routines and guidance through resources like the "Knee Strength Revolution" program, which provides comprehensive knee pain management strategies and an entire workout program to help bulletproof your knees.


By strengthening the muscles around your knees and enhancing your overall leg strength, you not only reduce the impact of knee pain but also improve your mobility and quality of life. Start slowly, listen to your body, and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your strength and resilience grow. With dedication and the right approach, you can achieve significant relief from knee pain and get back to enjoying your daily activities pain-free.

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