Exercises to Build Muscles Around the Knee



Building muscles around the knee can help you avoid injury while also strengthening your legs. The knee is made up of bone, cartilage, fat and ligaments, but the surrounding muscles support it. Exercises that target these muscles can strengthen them, so you can enjoy favorite activities without harming your knee.


Sprains, Strains and Other Knee Problems

There are many reasons why building the muscles around the knee can be beneficial. You don’t have to wait for knee trouble to engage in strengthening exercises, but they can help improve knee conditions. If you’re experiencing knee issues, they may be age-related, such as with osteoarthritis. Knee problems can also be caused by carrying excess weight on your body, a sprain or strain, knee trauma or inflammation.


Before You Get Started

Diagnosing and dealing with knee problems is a critical first step before you begin exercising. See your physician prior to participating in any knew exercises to get general health clearance. If knee problems or concerns have led you to muscle-building exercises, have the problem diagnosed and properly treated first. Your doctor might agree that strength training exercise can be an effective part of your treatment plan, or she might prescribe rest, medication or even knee replacement surgery. Including your doctor in the process ensures that the health of your knee is protected.


Build Upper Leg Muscles

The muscles of your quadriceps are on the fronts of your thighs, leading down to your knees, while the hamstring muscles are on the backs of your thighs. Both muscle groups help support the knee area. Two to three strength training workouts per week, lasting approximately 20 minutes each, are sufficient for building muscles around the knees. With or without the added resistance of hand-held weights, perform walking lunges, squats and side steps to build muscle that supports your knees.

Do side steps by assuming a squat position with your feet about 24 inches apart. Take one large step to the right with your right foot, remaining in a squat position the entire time. Step over with your left foot. Repeat for 24 steps to the right, and then 24 steps to the left.


Lower-Leg Exercises

Strong lower-leg muscles are equally important to building strength around your knees. Add ankle pumps and calf stretches to your routine. Start out by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you to do ankle pumps. Alternately flex and point your foot to work the ankle and lower leg. Work both legs at once or one at a time. Aim for a total of two to three minutes of each exercise during your knee-strengthening workouts.

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