A majority of the chronic knee pains that my clients experience are caused by imbalances or poor flexibility in the muscles around their knees, like their quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves—they’re not caused by injuries that damage the structure of their joints.
One of the most frequent comments I hear from new clients is, “I can’t do that because my knees are bad.” And my response is always, “Your knees are problematic because you haven’t been doing that move.”
That’s why it’s so important to perform stretching and strengthening exercises that target these large, strong muscles—which are responsible for protecting your knees. Those muscles have to be in good shape in order to do their job.
This is actually something that I learned when I developed serious pain in those joints. Luckily, I discovered the strength and flexibility moves necessary to whip those lower-body knee-protecting muscles into shape, and today, my knees are ouch-free and better than ever.
These eight moves, which target the muscles that are key to your knee health, are my secret to keeping those joints healthy and ready to kick some ass.
The workout: Hold each of the stretches below for 30 seconds on each side before moving on to the next stretch. After completing the stretches, move on to the strength exercises.
Perform two sets of each strength exercise below, resting for 30 seconds after each set, then move on to the next exercise. If you have mild to moderate knee discomfort, perform this workout twice a week for six weeks. If you have no acute knee discomfort, perform this workout three times a week for six weeks to prevent future knee issues.
After completing the strengthening moves, perform the stretches again in the same way.
Check out our pin-friendly graphic below to see the workout as a whole, then scroll down the page for a complete breakdown of each move.