Squats for Knee Strengthening
Squat For stronger Knee
Regularly doing squat for knee strengthening can decrease knee pain and minimise the progression of knee arthritis. How?
When the muscles around the knee get stronger, they are better able to stabilize the joint and absorb shock during weight-bearing activities, such as standing and walking. A stable, supported joint will undergo less friction and wear-and-tear.
Below are suggested knee strengthening exercises. If these exercises are too challenging, modifications may be used; as muscles get stronger the modifications may be eliminated.
The squat is a multi-purpose knee strengthening exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and buttocks.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, firmly planted on the ground.
- Slowly bend the knees as if sitting back into a chair, keeping the back straight and the abdominals engaged. The knees should not go forward beyond the toes.
- Arms may be raised forward to help with balance.
A reasonable goal is 4 sets of 12. To add difficulty, small free weights may be held in each hand.
Squat Modification 1: A person who is unable to keep his or her back straight may try squatting against the wall.
- Position the body in a full squatting position with the back flat against the wall.
- Raise the body by straightening the legs and sliding the back up against the wall.
- Lower the body using the same method.
Thigh and Hip Strengthening Seated Leg Raises
Squat Modification 2: This version uses a chair.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in front of the chair.
- Cross arms across the chest, grabbing opposite shoulders with opposite hands.
- Exhale and sit back, moving toward the chair until the thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Pause for a moment, and then rise slowly while keeping the core body engaged and back straight.
If the chair feels too far down, place pillows on the seat until it is a comfortable height.
This exercise strengthens the muscles in the front of the thigh, the quadriceps.
- Sit in a chair with the knees bent, feet dangling above the ground. Add pillows to the seat of the chair if necessary.
- Holding onto the sides of the chair for stability, slowly extend left leg until it is nearly parallel to the floor. Try to keep the leg as straight as possible without locking the knee.
- Pause briefly holding the leg straight, and then return back to the starting position.
Repeat with the right leg. Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each side.