4 Knee Stretches and 3 Knee Strengthening Exercises to Relieve Pain

Do you struggle with knee pain? The exercises below will stretch and strengthen your knees and the muscles attached to them.

Realize that these exercises wonít make your knee pain magically disappear. You may need to see a doctor if the pain is severe. But if your pain is mild, these exercises may be all you need.

Here are 7 exercises that will stretch and strengthen your knees to reduce knee pain.

Knee stretches

Calf stretch

Tight calves do more damage than you can imagine. They can cause pain in the knees, hamstrings, hips and lower back. Use this stretch to eliminate pain in these areas.

How to perform:

Stand in front of a wall (two steps away) and place your palms on it at shoulder-height.

Step forward with one leg. Keep the front knee bent and the rear knee straight.

Now lean forward to stretch the calf muscles of the rear leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then alternate legs.


Hamstring stretch

Tight or weak hamstrings are one of the main causes of knee pain. Use this stretch to increase hamstring flexibility.

How to perform:

Lie on your back and place your hands on the side.

Lift the left leg then grab it with both hands. Slowly pull it toward the chest. Remember to keep the leg straight throughout.

Pull the leg as close to the chest as possible then hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.

Switch legs and hold the stretch for the same duration.


Quadriceps stretch

Stretching your quadriceps can also help relieve knee pain.

How to perform:

Lie on the floor sideways or facedown.

Bend the right knee and grab the ankle with both hands.

Gently pull the leg and bring its heel as close to the butt as possible.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then switch legs.


Butterfly stretch

This exercise stretches the inner thighs, groin and hips. Go easy with this stretch if you have severe knee pain.

How to perform:

Sit on the floor and keep your back straight.

Bend both knees sideways and bring the soles together. Bring your heels as close to your groin as possible.

Place your elbows on the inner thighs and press them down to 30 seconds. Rest and then press again.


Knee strengthening exercises

Hamstring curl

This exercise will strengthen weak hamstrings and consequently reduce pressure on the knees. Note that using ankle weights, dumbbells or resistance bands will make this exercise more rewarding.

How to perform:

Lie on the floor facedown and keep the legs straight.

Bend your knees and then slowly raise your heels until theyíre directly above the knees.

Slowly lower the leg until the toes almost touch the floor then raise it again.


Chair knee extension

This exercise will strengthen your quadriceps and knee joint. Feel free to wear ankle weights.

How to perform:

Sit on a chair and keep the knees bent at 90 degrees.

Slowly extend the left leg until the ankle, knee and hips are aligned in a straight line.

Hold that position for two seconds then return the leg to starting position and repeat.


Clamshell exercise

Clamshell should be part of your routine if you struggle with knee or back pain. Research shows that itís one of the best exercises for relieving pain in these two areas. This exercise strengthens the inner and outer thighs. Wearing resistance bands will make the exercise more challenging.

How to perform:

Lie sideways. Keep the knees bent at 90 degrees and the legs on top of each other.

Squeeze the butt muscles then slowly raise the top knee as high as possible. Donít lift the heels.

Slowly lower the knee to starting position and repeat. Complete reps for one leg before alternating.


Which exercise has helped your relieve knee pain?


Anna R
Anna R1 months ago

thanks for sharing

Kathy K
Kathy K1 months ago


Barbara S
Barbara S1 months ago

thanks for sharing

Sheila D
Sheila D1 months ago

Good to know. Thank you.

Peggy B
Peggy B10 months ago


Ellen J
Ellen J10 months ago


Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Amanda M
Amanda McConnell1 years ago

thanks you for sharing

Amanda M
Amanda McConnell1 years ago

thanks you for sharing

Kay M
Kay M1 years ago