Try these five bodyweight exercises for stronger and healthier knees

Your knees are the largest joint in the body and help support the entire weight of your body – this is how to look after them

Man performing knee holds in his garden
(Image credit: Getty)

If your weak knees are causing you pain in everyday life, disrupting your runs or preventing you from achieving a new personal best at the gym, you may need to work on strengthening the muscles surrounding them. These five exercises will do just that; they don’t require any equipment either and will take you the best part of 10 minutes.

The knee is actually the largest joint in the body and plays an important role in supporting the weight of our entire body, hence why we need to keep them strong. Bupa says: “Strengthening exercises for your knees will help to protect your knees and keep the surrounding muscles strong. This will help to prevent injuries and help you recover if you do have a knee injury.” This is particularly essential if you’re someone who does a lot of regular exercise, especially running.

As we mentioned previously, these five exercises don’t require any equipment as they’re all bodyweight. However, once you find them easy, it may be best to incorporate either some resistance bands or a pair of dumbbells to create some added resistance to help build up the joints' muscles even further. Grab yourself a chair, though and perform each exercise 10 times and do three rounds in total. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Quad contractions (sit on the chair for these and when the leg is extended hold for 15 seconds)
  • Squats
  • Single-leg squats (use the chair to slowly lower yourself onto)
  • Lunges
  • Straight leg raises

We hope you found these exercises useful, although if you've suffered from a knee injury, then do check with your GP first to see if they're suitable. If your knees aren't injured, and you're just looking for a workout that's gentle on them, then we've got a no-squat, 20-minute knee-friendly workout that will help to build up your leg muscles. Also, check out the exercise Jason Momoa and Dwayne Johnson do to strengthen their knees.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.