Team work is a key component to maintain lower extremity stability, especially for the knee joint, which takes all of the abuse if the hip and ankle joint are not strong enough to support this often overworked component in the kinetic chain.

Aside from injuries, knee pain can be caused by a number of factors, including knots in the muscles that attach to the hip, knee or ankle joint, muscle imbalances, meaning that one leg is stronger than the other, and weak muscles surrounding the hip, knee or ankle joint.

Exercises for knee pain will show you how to strengthen the key players in knee stability.


Strengthening the muscles of the hip and ankle joint, while maintaining the integrity of the muscles connecting to the knee joint should give your knees a happier, more mobile experience in your active journey through life.

Strong muscles surrounding the hips and ankles give the knees a strong support system. Based on this information, you will be introduced to 3 exercises for knee pain with variations to incorporate into your training and running program.

Movements incorporating the hip joint:

Flexion (Forward movement of leg), Extension (backward movement of leg), Abduction (moving the leg away from center), Adduction (moving leg  toward your center), Internal Rotation (rotating leg  inward, toward center), External Rotation (rotating leg outward, away from center).

Exercise #1: Lateral side steps with ankle band:

With a band around your ankles, position feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and assume a half squatting position.

Keeping tension on the ankle band, move the outer foot one inch out, followed by the inner foot (you’re moving sideways like a penguin). Always keep tension on the band. Aim for 10-20 yards in each direction.


#1:Lateral hop side to side: Swing one foot out to the side and land in a hop, while other foot is off ground. Repeat side to side for 1 minute.

#2: Outer leg circles:Standing, bring one leg forward as far as possible, then to the side and rear in a circular fashion. Perform 10-15 repetitions per leg.

#3: Hop into a squat: Stand with feet together, then hop into a squatting position, then hop back up to standing position. Repeat for 10- 15 repetitions.

Muscles worked: Muscles surrounding the hip joint, including Gluteals, creating a superior support structure for hips, which make these great exercises for knee pain.

Movements incorporating the knee joint:

Flexion (Decreasing angle of lower limb), Extension (Straightening the lower limb), Internal Rotation (rotating leg inward, toward center), External Rotation (rotating leg outward, away from center).

Exercise #2: Isometric wall squats:

exercises for knee pain2

With your back against a wall, lower yourself into a squatting position until legs are at a 90 degree angle. Make sure your feet are slightly wider than shoulder width apart, feet slightly externally rotated. Hold position for 1 minute or more.


#1: Stability ball squats: Place stability ball against a wall, place ball under lower back at hip level. Lower into a squat until legs are at a 90 degree angle. Rise back up and repeat for 15 repetitions.

#2: 1 Leg stability ball squats: Perform stability ball squats with one leg off ground. Aim for 10 repetitions per leg.

Muscles worked:  Lower extremities, especially thigh muscles that connect to the knee joint, creating a stronger support system for the knee joint, which make these great exercises for knee pain.

Also check this lower body strength exercises

Movements incorporating the ankle joint:

Plantar Flexion (Raising heel up on the ball of foot), Dorsiflexion (Raising the ball of foot upwards), Eversion (Elevates the sole of the foot outwards), Inversion (Elevates the sole of the foot inwards).

Exercise #3: One leg deadlift:

Balancing on one foot, slowly bend forward, moving the hips back, maintaining an arch in your lower back and letting the knee naturally bend (5-10 degree angle). Touch both hands to the floor. Slowly rise back to starting position, while maintaining balance on one foot. Try to keep the opposite foot from touching the ground. Perform 10 repetitions for each leg.


#1: Touch opposite hand to the ground.
#2: Use a dumbbell for added resistance.
#3: Stand with one foot on an unstable pad to increase the muscles of the lower leg and foot.
#4: Stand on an inverted Bosu to increase instability.

Muscles worked: Muscles of the hip joint, including Gluteals, hamstrings, and muscles of the lower leg and ankle, which make these extraordinary exercises for knee pain.

Strong foundations partnered with robust structures are important for anything, or anyone who wants to endure the test of time. If you perform these great exercises for knee pain, you will be on your way to a stronger support system in preparation for any run or workout!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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