5 Great Exercises You Can Do Even With Knee Pain

Our knees are the joints most prone to injuries in the body, due to the heavy use and daily stress we exert on them from the moment we wake up. Knee injuries lead to pain and restrict us in movement, which in turn cause us, in many cases, to completely give up exercising, leading us to neglect the rest of our body.


Many exercises do put a lot of strain on your knees, so if you suffer from pain in this area, you should get to know the following 5 exercises. These are familiar exercises that underwent changes to make them suitable and effective for those who want to stay fit without putting pressure on their knees or damaging the recovery period. After you start doing them you will find out how easy it is to keep fit, sculpt the body and build strong muscles, without suffering pain!


1. Static boxing

Many people who suffer from knee pain are forced to give up various aerobic activities, as these often include running, jumping and other exercises that make it difficult and painful for the knees. The next exercise, which is a kickboxing exercise, is a static exercise, so you can perform it while remaining standing. This exercise increases your heart rate and strengthens your biceps, without hurting your knees.

  • Stand with your feet parallel but slightly apart (as opposed to one leg in the front and the other in the back, as is the case with kickboxing).
  • Now bend your knees slightly until you feel comfortable. 
  • Make a fist and keep your hands close to your face, keeping your arms bent with your elbows close to your ribs.
  • Now, move your fists forward, in opposite directions: punch your right hand to the left, and your left hand to the right. Perform 3 sets of 10-20 punches.

 static boxing

2. Half-bridge

The following exercise helps to extend the spine and stretch the muscles that support it, while strengthening the leg muscles in a way that doesn’t overload them and helps in sculpting the buttocks. Instead of performing a regular bridge exercise, which exerts the knees that are responsible for stabilizing the body, you can perform it in the following manner and achieve the same benefits. Perform it on one leg, then on the other leg.

  • Lie on your back and place your hands on either side of your body, with your palms down.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Note that you don’t need your calves to be perpendicular to the floor, so don’t overdo it with the bending
  • Now, straighten one leg so that it is parallel to the thigh of the other leg. Since the calves are not perpendicular to the floor, the foot will rise upwards 
  • Next, lift the body by using the force of the hips and buttocks, so that your entire body forms a straight line. The movement should come from your hips, not your knees. 
  • Stay in this position for 3 seconds and then return to the starting position. Perform the exercise 5 times for each leg.

Half bridge

3. Quad strengthening

The following exercise is suitable for someone suffering from pain in the patella area, which is caused by cartilage erosion or overload, injury or a wrong movement of the joints. This kind of injury sometimes leads to pain as you climb the stairs or when you bend over to pick up an object, and to avoid it, it is very important to strengthen the core and quadriceps muscles. There are several ways to do the following exercise; if you are a beginner you should do the first exercise, and if you feel you can do a little more, you can do it with a rubber band as shown below.
Beginner level:

  • Lie on your back and place your arms at your sides, with your hands straight and your palms facing the floor.
  • Bend one of the knees so that your heel is as close as possible to the buttocks, then straighten it out very slowly until you reach the other foot. Keep it in the air and parallel to the floor without touching it. The foot alignment process should take about 30 seconds, but if you find it difficult to start, you can start from a shorter bend and extend it over time.
  • Repeat about 5 times for each leg.

 quad strengthening

Advanced level:

  • Put both feet into a rubber exercise band.
  • Now lie on your back, put your arms at the sides of your body, or under your lower back if you suffer from spinal pain and want to provide stability.
  • Bend both legs, close to the chest, and then straighten your left leg while keeping your right leg bent. Make sure that the loop is tight and not loose, and hold the traction for about 30 seconds.
  • Lower the bent leg slowly towards the floor, and perform the exercise again with the other leg.

quad strengthening


4. Deadlift for one leg

The deadlift exercise is known to all of us as lifting weights, where you lift a weight from the floor while bending your legs. This is an exercise that helps the muscles of the back, knee, and the quads, but due to its complexity many become injured and it is not recommended for those suffering from knee pain. The following solution allows it to be performed with a small weight for each leg separately, which allows the person practicing it to enjoy its benefits without causing damage to the knees.

  • Stand with your legs slightly apart at shoulder width. Hold a small weight in your hands.
  • Move all your weight to one leg, with the other leg bent backward at an angle of 90 degrees.
  • Now, start leaning forward slightly with both hands holding the weight as they are faced toward the floor. Remember to keep your back straight and avoid bending it.
  • Reach the point where your back is parallel to the floor and return to the starting position.
  • If you find it difficult to maintain balance, you can lower your other foot to the floor and stabilize yourself with its tip.
  • Lift back, repeat the exercise about 5 times for each leg


5. Sidestep

One of the most painful things for those with knee problems is going up and down stairs, so the first exercise they give up is step training. However, for many, the following simple change may help them go back to the favorite exercise without a problem. All you have to do is switch from regular step exercises to side step exercises. Try this exercise slowly several times to see if it is right for you, and if you don’t feel pain you can do it regularly.

  • Stand with your right side adjacent to the step, raise your right leg and place it gently on the step.
  • Now, bend the other leg and lift it in the air as you straighten your foot on the step.
  • Straighten the bent leg and put it back on the floor, with the foot on the step accompanying it. Perform the exercise 30 times for each side. If you feel the exercise is easy for you, you can do it with weights in your hands.


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