You don't need lunges for this six-move knee-friendly workout to build stronger legs

Boost your lower body, ease knee pain, and improve your posture with this short routine and two dumbbells

A woman performing a glute bridge
(Image credit: Getty / Eleganza)

If you want to work out at home, most routines include burpees, running on the spot, or lunges, which can all be hard on your knees. Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen your lower body without these exercises. 

You only need a sturdy chair and a couple of dumbbells (or adjustable dumbbells) to give it a go, so you can take it for a spin at home or in the gym. The routine, developed by Sweat app trainer Britany Williams, features six alternative moves that are easy on your knees. 

To get started, perform 12 glute bridges, 10 weighted donkey kicks on each leg, 10 step-ups, 10 squat to chairs, 10 split squats on each leg, and a 60-second wall sit, resting as little as possible between each one. 

After you've finished this six-move sequence, take a 60-second break then go back to the start, and repeat until you've hit four rounds in total. This should take about 30 minutes. 

Watch Williams's video below for a demonstration of each move, then practice them without weights to master the technique before beginning the workout to get the most from your training and avoid injury. 

Watch Britany Williams' six-move leg workout

Williams says this workout will target your glutes (backside), as well as your quadriceps and hamstrings (the large muscles running down the front and back of your thigh, respectively). 

These are the same muscles worked during lunges, allowing you to sidestep the movement while still strengthening the same areas. However, Williams advises that "you shouldn’t avoid lunges forever."

She explains that "if you have chronic knee pain, see a doctor or physical therapist instead of avoiding exercises that are good for you," as there may be an underlying reason for your sore knees. 

Luckily, according to the Harvard Medical School, one of the best ways to reduce knee pain is strengthening the surrounding muscles, tissues and joints. And that's just what this workout can do. 

Another cause of knee pain can be tightness in your leg muscles, which can be countered by stretching your lower body. This four-move stretching routine is a great place to start. 

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.