In creating a routine to strengthen your body, we often focus on the major muscle groups like the hamstring, chest, core, and quads. However, not incorporating exercises for your knees makes you miss out on its many gains.
The knee is the most complex joint in the body. When strengthened properly, it can help you achieve almost any fitness goal that you set for yourself. The knees help you power through almost all of your everyday movements, which is why strengthening it is most important.
Having strong knees allows you to function better and perform well in sports and fitness activities. Since it is a joint and not a muscle, the goal is to strengthen the surrounding muscle to help stabilize it. These include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors.
Sharing with you here the top exercises that top personal trainers recommend for knee strengthening:
1. Half Turkish Get-Up
This compound moves targets the three muscles that support the knees
How to: Lie on your back with your right leg and arm straight on the floor, with your left leg bent, foot flat on the floor, and with your left arm extended towards the ceiling using a kettlebell. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell and sit yourself up by pressing on your right arm. Lift your hips into the air as you press through your right palm and left foot. Reverse the movement and return to stating position. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
2. Isometric Squat
A squat targets the knee joint’s protecting muscle. This isometric variation relieves the pressure from the knee joint as it strengthens the 3 surrounding muscles
How to: Stand with your feet wide apart and clasp your hands in front of your chest. Push your hips back and bend your knees and stop as you become parallel to the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds as you feel the tension in your glutes and hamstrings and release. Rest for about 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times.
3. Dumbbell Good Morning
Good mornings are a rockstar move for strengthening the hamstrings. This is also great for your back and core and puts minimal pressure on the knees.
How to: Stand with your feet wide apart as you hold a pair of dumbbells on top of your shoulders and palms facing inward. With your knees slightly bent, hinge from the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor. Pause and return to starting position. Complete 3 sets of this with 10 reps.
4. Alternating Lunge with Bicep Curl
This move also incorporates upper-body movement for coordination as it burns your hamstring and adductors.
How to: Stand with your feet wide apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward on your right foot and sink your left leg into a half-squat. As you reach the bottom, bend your elbows to curl the dumbbells to shoulder height. Pause and lower your dumbbells to your thighs. Go back to your starting position and repeat on other leg. Complete the routine by doing 3 sets of 10 reps.
5. Side leg lift
This routine strengthens your glutes, adductors, hips, and outer thighs. This will help promote stability and decrease knee injuries.
How to: Lie on your right side with your feet flexed and on top of each other. Stabilize your body by placing your left hand on the ground in front of your chest. Lift your leg up towards the ceiling while keeping your left foot flexed and your leg straight. Repeat on the opposite leg, complete 3 sets with 10 reps each.
6. Isometric Quad Raise
This routine is low-impact and low-movement that is great for strengthening the knee join.
How to: Place a small rolled-up towel or anything similar under your right quad just above your knee. Lie down on your back with your legs straight and hands on your side. Lift the right foot as you squeeze your right quad. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg. Complete with 3 sets of 10 reps.