Three knee-strengthening exercises we should all be doing

Improve your knee stability and fend off injury with these three moves

Woman doing lying leg extensions with resistance band
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I’m a personal trainer and one of the most common complaints from my clients is that they have knee niggles. Regular strengthening exercises can build up the muscles in the knees—as well as improving the support around them—helping to prevent injury and reduce pain.

You can boost your knee strength with my low-impact three-move resistance bands workout. All you need to get started is a light-to-medium resistance band, a chair, and some space. Read on to find out how to do the Maddy Biddulph Personal Training workout.

Renoj resistance bands: was $9.99, now $6.89 at Amazon

Renoj resistance bands: was $9.99, now $6.89 at Amazon

You don't need much equipment for this knee-strengthening routine, just a resistance band. This set has just been reduced as part of Amazon's Big Spring Sale and now costs less than $7, which is a low price to pay for healthy knees. You can also use the band to work your arms, legs, chest, and more—see our full-body resistance band workout for more ideas. 

The exercises

Remember to warm up your legs before you do the workout. Aim to do each exercise for 30-45 seconds, with a 20-second rest between each. Run through this circuit three times.

  1. Banded march: Stand with feet hip-width apart and the band looped around your feet. Drive your knee up and then repeat on the other leg. Keep repeating this move until time is up. You can put your hands on your hips or out to the side for balance.
  2. Seated leg extension with band: Sit on a chair with your knees at 90° and a band around your feet. Straighten your knee and pause with your leg extended for a second or two. Lower the leg with control, then swap sides and repeat.
  3. Lying leg extension with band: Lie on your back with the band around your feet and push your spine flat into the mat. Bring your knees up into table-top position, then fully extend one leg at a time, pushing the band away from you with your feet.

Why is knee health important?

Our knees make it possible for us to walk, jump, ride a bike, climb stairs, squat, bend, and dance—all while bearing the weight of our bodies. Unfortunately, it's a joint prone to pain, injury, and arthritis. 

Strengthening this body part is important, as muscles and bones naturally weaken as we age. The good news is that strength training the knee with routines like this resistance band workout can help build muscle and bone mass, helping you maintain a fit and functional body.

Maddy Biddulph

Maddy Biddulph is a freelance journalist specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. With 26 years in consumer media, she has worked as a writer and editor for some of the bestselling newspapers, magazines and websites in the US and UK. 

She is also a qualified L3 personal trainer and weight loss advisor, and helps women over 40 navigate menopause by improving their physical and mental strength. At Maddy Biddulph Personal Training, she runs one-to-one and small group training for menopausal women who want to get fit to ease symptoms and feel like themselves again.