Skip to main content

Your knees are the largest and most active joint in your body. It should come as no surprise, then, that the knee is one part of the body that is subject to mishap. So, the stronger your knees, the better. In this article, I will lay out 10 easy exercises to help build strong, resilient knees. I’ll include both stretching and strengthening exercises. Many of the moves benefit from the use of a slant board.

Exercise #1: Hamstring & Calf Stretch.

  1. Place a slant board about two feet away from a wall, with the highest side facing the wall.
  2. Stand alongside the board and lean against the wall. Place your left foot on the board.
  3. Keeping your left knee locked, lean into the stretch to feel it through your calf and hamstring. Hold for 5 seconds
  4. Do 5 reps on each leg.

Exercise #2: Quad Stretch

  1. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides.
  2. Bring your left foot up behind you toward your butt. Reach back and grab the foot with your left hand.
  3. Gently pull on the leg to stretch the quadriceps. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Do 5 reps on each leg.

Exercise #3: Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with legs out straight.
  2. Bring your straightened left leg up to about a 70-degree angle and cup your hands around the mid hamstring.
  3. Gently pull the hamstring toward your torso.
  4. Hold for 5 seconds. Do 5 reps on each leg.

Exercise #4: Slant Board Squat

  1. Stand on a slant board with feet shoulder width apart. Clasp your hands in front of your chest.
  2. Maintaining a neutral spine and an uptight torso, hinge at the hips to descend into a full squat. Allow your knees to track over your toes as you go down.
  3. Push through your heels to return to the start position.
  4. Do 4 sets of 15-20 reps. After 6 weeks, begin to add resistance, either with cables or dumbbells.

Exercise #5: Calf Raises

  1. Stand on a slant board, facing it so that your toes are higher than your heels.
  2. With your knees just short of lockout, lift up on the toes to flex your calves. Come up as high as you can. Hold the top position for a second then lower slowly.
  3. Do 4 sets of 20-30 reps. You can add weight to this exercise by holding cables or dumbbells in your hands.

Exercise #6: Slant Board Strep Down

  1. Create a platform that is about six inches from the floor. A couple of weight plates will achieve this., Now place your slant board on top of the platform
  2. Stand on the slant board with feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Step your right foot down to the floor.
  4. Push back to the start position.
  5. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg

Exercise #7: Tibialis Stretch

  1. Stand on a slant board with both feet together.
  2. Without bending your knees, pivot from the heels to bring your toes up toward the ceiling. You will feel a stretch through the front of the shins, which is the tibialis muscle.
  3. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Exercise #8: Slant Board Patrick Step

  1. Stand on the slant board with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step your right foot down to the floor about a foot in front of your body.
  3. Touch your heel to the floor.
  4. Push back to the start position.
  5. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg.

Exercise #9: Leg Extensions

  1. Adjust the setting on a leg extension machine for your height. Set the seat as far back as possible.
  2. Sit on the machine and place your shins under the shin pads. Grab the side handles.
  3. Bring your lower legs up to 10 percent short of knee lockout.
  4. Hold for a second then lower slowly to a position 10 percent short of the start position.
  5. Continue doing your reps within this 80 percent middle range.
  6. Do 4 sets of 30, 20, 15, and 10 reps.

Exercise #10: Leg Curls

  1. Adjust the settings on a leg curl machine for your height. Sit on the machine and place your hamstrings over the pads. Grab the side handles.
  2. Bring your lower legs up to 10 percent short of knee lockout.
  3. Hold for a second then lower slowly to a position 10 percent short of the start position.
  4. Continue doing your reps with this 80 percent middle range.
  5. Do 4 sets of 30, 20, 15, and 10 reps.

Wrap Up

You now have a toolbox of effective knee strengthening exercises. Pick and choose from among them to create a 4-5 exercise workout. Perform it twice per week, with at least 48 hours gap between sessions to build bullet-proof knees.