8 Knee Exercises for Strength, Fix Knee Pain and Increase your Mobility

knee exercises for strength

Knee Exercises for Strength - Why We Need It

As we age, our muscles and bones begin to weaken. It’s our body’s natural tendency to become less flexible and more susceptible to injuries. This is especially apparent in our knees, as they take on a lot of the burden from our body weight. 

And for obvious reasons, our knees are pretty important to us. They help us walk, run, dance, and generally help us keep moving. But what happens when they start to weaken? 

In the United States, about 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year. That’s about one out of four older adults will fall each year, making falls a public health concern, particularly among the aging population.

While this may seem discouraging, it’s not all bad news! These incidents can often be prevented by taking steps to make your knees (and other joints) strong and healthy. 

Yes, your knees may feel fine now, but sooner or later they’re going to start giving you trouble if you don’t take care of them. And by “take care of them,” I don’t mean just popping some pills when they start to hurt. I mean making sure your knees are strong and healthy. 

And the best way to help your knees become stronger is to work on the parts of your leg that connect the knee – our hips, thighs and the calves. And when these parts are strong your knees get better!

Here are eight easy and the best knee exercises for strength that you can do to make your knees strong, help fix knee pain and increase your mobility. It’s perfect for beginners, seniors, and women over 50.

💡At the bottom of this article, you will find a button to download a free Fitness Journal.

8 Knee Exercises for Strength

1. Knee Circle

How to do : Move your knees in a circular motion paying attention to keeping your feet flat on the floor. Swap direction after 30 seconds.
Benefits : Works on the joints including ankles, and knees and muscles including hamstrings, calves, and thighs.

2. Heel Raises

How to Do: Hold onto a chair and rise up onto your toes lifting your heels as high as possible.  If it’s going to be more manageable for you to do this on a chair, you’re still going to get great results! If you’d like to try the more advanced version, you can do this on one leg. Do this for 30 seconds.

BenefitThe heel raise will strengthen our calf which helps support the knee. 

3. Straight Leg Raises

How To Do :Lay on your back and prop yourself up on your elbows. Pull your toes towards your chest and clench on that muscle in the front of the thigh… locking your knees straight. 

Lift your leg, hold, and ensure that your knees stays straight the whole time. 

Remember if you’re feeling pain stop doing the exercise. 

Do 30 seconds on each leg.

Benefit : To strengthen the quad muscles, and a strong quad muscle takes all the pressure off our knee joint. 

4. Side Leg Raise

How To Do : Keep your body straight, bend the knee on the floor to a 90 degree angle, then activate the muscle on your straight leg as you raise it up. Make this movement slow and purposeful, hold and bring back down again. 

Repeat this for 30 seconds. 

Benefits : Side leg raises are great for strengthening the hip abductors. You’ll feel it opening up your hip flexors, and strengthening the quads.

5. Knee Pillow Squeeze

How To Do : Take a pillow (or one or two towels rolled together) and place between the knees. Lie on your back, arms to the side, and squeeze your knees inwards towards the pillow, and then release. 

Continue squeezing your knees together for 30 seconds and  make sure that you keep your back flat.

Benefits : It’s a Pilates exercise that works the inner thighs and the pelvic floor muscles. We’re strengthening the muscles that connect the knees because when those muscles are strong, the pressure is taken off the knee.

You can also use a Foam Roller and you can buy it here:

6. Short Arcs

How To Do : You will need two towels rolled up together for this exercise.  

As you tighten your thigh muscle, gently lift the foot off the floor until your knee is straight, hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower it down again.

 Preform for 30 seconds on each leg.

BenefitsThis isn’t a fast exercise and you’re definitely going to feel it in your quads! We’re going to be strengthening our quad muscles by pulling the toes towards your body.

7. Bridge

How To Do : Lie on your back fingers touching your heels and lift your bottom as high as you can without arching your back hold for a few seconds and then come down back up and squeeze the glutes the whole time.

Make sure that you’re not pushing from your heels or your back. All the power is going to come from your hips and your glutes.

Benefits : This is one of those magical exercises. It works your glutes and your hamstrings plus it also helps our hip mobility and strengthening our lower back. All of those things are super important to help us maintain our mobility as we’re getting older.

8. Hamstring Stretch

How To Do: You can either touch your toes or you can keep your knees completely bent. Do what’s comfortable for you.

Do this for 30 seconds.


Benefit : Hamstring stretches improve flexibility in the muscles on the back of the thigh. And it can improve the range of motion in the hips.

Bonus Exercise

Knee Hugs

How To Do : Pull your knees in tight and try and balance for a little bit. Touch your toes to the floor if you can’t balance and then try and put your toes up again.

Benefits : It works your hip flexors and quad muscles. It also helps reduce compression in the spine.

Wrapping up...

I’ve had lots of knee pain in the past and these exercises really helped. I recommend that you do these Knee Exercises for Strength 5 times a week. It’s very very doable. You can incorporate this into any other workout you’re doing or into just before you do a walk or after. 

If you’re up to it, I invite you to set your intention today. Write down your body’s current state and what you want to achieve and write down how these exercises can benefit you. And then, join Fabulous 50s Challenge Private Facebook Group, introduce yourself, and share this with us. Make a commitment to do this exercise, this way you enhance your motivation and get full support from the community.  

Remember, it’s all about maintenance. Whatever you can do now to strengthen your knees is going to benefit you every single year for the rest of your life.

PS: I created a Free Fitness Journal – Knee Exercises for Strength, get it below and share it with someone who may also benefit from doing this workout.

If you find fabulous50s content useful and would like to support my work, you could always BuyMeATea  🫖 (completely optional, only if you want to!). Your support will help me create more quality videos and content created just for you… Fabulous women over 50! With love and appreciation, thank you. 🙏🏻😘

Gain a love for exercise and join over 1 million others today! 💖

Fabulous50s Workouts are designed with you in mind. They are meant to be a challenge, with the aim of improving your overall strength but they are very doable. 

We don’t need to be athletes now we’re over 50, but we do need to do some form of physical activity every single day. Aim to be 1% better than you were yesterday and you are a success. 

Now, let’s celebrate YOU and enjoy the process!

✅ Join the Private Group -> Fabulous 50s Challenge Group

✅ Access the FREE Workout Plans here -> Fabulous 50 Fitness Challenge



 (1) This content is not sponsored and all opinions are 100% my own. If I LOVE a product first, and there is an affiliate link available, I will use it. However, I will NOT look for a product that pays a commission first, and then do a review…EVER!

 Some links are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I may receive a small commission for the sale. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you are free to use the link or not. It’s totally up to you. If you do use my links…Thank you so much xxx

 (2) Information provided in this video is of a general nature only and is for entertainment/educational purposes. We strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Performing any of these exercises is done so at your own risk.


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