6 Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

It’s one thing to be weak in the knees in the romantic sense – and quite another just to be weak in the knees. Show them some love with these exercises that target quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes – the muscles that contribute to healthy knee function and help prevent injury.

If you’re just beginning, start with one set of 3 to 4 repetitions and work up to 8 to 10 as you get stronger. As the exercises get easier, add sets until you’re up to three.

 Starting position for mini squat exercise.

Starting position for mini squat exercise.

1. Mini Squat

Stand straight, holding the back of a chair, with your feet shoulder-width.
• Slowly bend knees to lower body a few inches.
• Keep feet flat and don’t let knees go past toes. Hold for 6 seconds. 
• Slowly tighten buttocks as you straighten your knees.

 

 Quad Stretch

Quad Stretch

2. Quad Stretch

Stand straight, holding the back of a chair.
• Step backward with one foot, keeping knees bent and feet flat.
• Tuck buttocks tightly under hips until you feel a stretch in the thigh and hip of your back leg.
• Hold 10 seconds, release, and repeat with other leg.

 

 

 Standing Back Leg Slide

Standing Back Leg Slide

3. Standing Back Leg Slide

Stand straight, holding the back of a chair.
• Slide one foot backward, keeping toes on floor, until buttocks tighten.
• Slide foot to original position and repeat with other leg.

 

 

 Knee Strengthener - move 1

Knee Strengthener - move 1

4. Knee Strengthener – Move 1

Sit in a sturdy chair with a resistance band looped around both legs just above the ankles.
• Plant one foot firmly on the floor. Straighten the other leg forward and hold for 6 seconds.
• Relax. Repeat with each leg.

 

 Knee Strengthener- move 2

Knee Strengthener- move 2

5. Knee Strengthener – Move 2

Plant one foot firmly on the floor. Bend the other leg back under the chair and hold for 6 seconds.
• Relax. Repeat with each leg.

 

 

 Hamstring stretch

Hamstring stretch

6. Hamstring Stretch

Sit on the edge of a chair.
• Straighten one leg forward, with heel on the ground and toes pointed up. Keep the other foot flat on the floor.
• Keeping your back straight, gently lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back of the outstretched leg.
• Hold 10 seconds and release. Repeat with each leg.

 

Remember to Take Pressure Off Your Knees

Loosing one pound will take four pounds of pressure off your knees. Visit arthritis.org/exercisevideos for great exercises to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Exercises Provided by the Arthritis Foundation