Knee exercisesTherapeutic strengthening for beginners.These knee exercises are a great starting point if you have difficulty squatting, climbing stairs, orbalancing on 1 foot. Practice this routine 1-2 times per day to help rebuild the basic strength inyour knee.1 Quad setsPlace a pillow lengthwise under your knee. Pull your toes back and push your leg down tosquash the pillow. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat up to 20 times. You should feel your thigh andgluteus muscles during this exercise.2 Hamstring setsLie on your back with knees bent and toes up. Dig your heels into the ground and pull backwithout sliding your heels. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat up to 20 times. You should feel theback of your thigh, the hamstrings, during this exercise. As with quad sets, start with a moderateeffort and increase your effort gradually.
3 Straight leg raiseTighten your thigh and pull your toes back just as you do for the quad set, then maintain themuscle tightness as you slowly raise your leg 18 inches. Lower slowly, relax your musclesbriefly, then tighten your thigh, pull your toes back and repeat 20 times.Note: These first 3 knee exercises are the least stressful on the knee joint as they require little tono movement of the knee itself.4 BridgingKnees bent and feet flat on the floor as above with your heels spaced comfortably from yourbottom. Fold a bed pillow in half, and place it between your knees. Squeeze the pillow and holdon to it tightly. Raise your bottom upward slowly lifting one vertebra at a time from yourexercise mat. Continue lifting your bottom upward until there is a straight line from yourshoulders to your knees. Hold this position 5-10 seconds. Repeat 6-8 times. Think of reachingyour knees forward over your ankles.Note: If this exercise is uncomfortable, just squeeze the pillow and hold it 10 seconds. This iscalled an adductor set, as it works the inner thigh muscles. Once you can do this (and kneeexercises #1 and 2) 20 times with a strong effort, try bridging again.
5 Knee extensionSit upright in a chair, straighten your leg, tighten your thigh and pull your toes back. Hold for 10seconds and repeat up to 20 times. The more you tighten your muscles, the better results you’llget from this exercise. You may feel a stretch behind your knee during the exercise. For a greaterchallenge, straighten both legs at the same time, or do this exercise with an adjustable ankleweight up to 5 pounds. I 6 Heel raises Hold onto a chair or countertop only as much as you need to for safety. Go up on your toes as high as possible without leaning your bodyweight forward. Stay up and maintain your balance for 2-3 seconds. Repeat up to 25 times. Keepyour weight over your big toes as you go up and down. Once you can easily do 25 repetitions, trylowering back down on one foot. Then progress to single leg heel raises.
7 Butt kicks Keep your knees in line and lift your heel as high as possible. Stand upright when you lift yourheel. You will feel your hamstrings during this exercise, and you may feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Repeat up to 20 times on each side. Add an ankle weight to increase the challenge. Note: Knee exercises #6 and 7 are balance exercises.