10 Best Knee Arthritis Exercises

Your guide to the best knee arthritis exercises is here!!

Osteoarthritis is commonly known as knee arthritis, a disease in which natural lubricant between the knee joints washes away.

Knee osteoarthritis happens when the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another due to the loss of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in knee pain, swelling, bone stiffness, and decreased ability to move.

It can occur even in young people, but the chances of developing osteoarthritis rise after age 45. No activity can make arthritis worse, and the motion of knee joints acts as a lotion for them. Knee osteoarthritis causes joints to become painful and swollen.

When it affects the knee, it can lead to mobility problems. Still, exercises and physical therapy can strengthen the muscles around the joint, and physical activity can comfort the painful joints.

Understanding Osteoarthritis

The best exercise program for anyone depends on their pain and range of motion. Only a healthcare professional and physical therapist can provide detailed advice about how much exercise or therapy to do and which works best.

Among various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, we have discussed some knee exercises that can reduce knee arthritis pain and increase muscle strength.

Best Knee Arthritis Exercises

1. Hamstring Stretch

This stretching exercise targets the hamstring and gives flexibility to the thigh muscles. You can feel the stretch in your legs and calves.

Target – Hamstring

Hamstring Strengthening Exercises & Stretches - Ask Doctor Jo

1.1. Steps to This Stretch

  • Lie to your back and use a mat for cushioning under your back.
  • Straighten legs outstretched.
  • If you become comfortable, gently pull your knee closer to your hips.
  • Next, bend your right knee and support the back of your thigh with both hands.
  • Place your hands behind your thigh and gently pull your leg straight toward your chest until you feel a slightly straight leg stretch.
  • Relax your arms.
  • Slowly straighten the leg upwards as much as possible, and hold for 10–20 seconds.
  • Bend and stretch the other leg again 2 times.

2. Half Squat

An excellent way to strengthen the guts and hamstrings without straining the knees.

How To Do SQUATS FOR BEGINNERS | Correct Form & Mechanics | STEP BY STEP GUIDE

2.1. Step to Do Stretch

  • Get into a squat position with the feet shoulder-width and place your hands on your hips for balance.
  • Look straightly and squat down about 10-15 inches.
  • Pause yourself and stand up by pushing your heels.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 sets in repetition.

3. Standing Leg Lifts

This is one of the best moderate exercises and stretches that help improve balance, stability, and strength and reduces severe pain.

Target – Outside Glutes

3.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Stand against any wall.
  • Raise your leg without rotating your toes to the side, and keep the toe pointing forward.
  • Lower the leg.
  • Switch legs and repeat 15-20 times.

4. Calf Stretch

It is one of the best exercises that strengthen the back legs and leg muscles.

Calf (gastrocnemius) stretch

4.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Stand with your shoulders feet-width apart and position yourself next to a wall.
  • Lift both your heels and slowly lift and try to stand on the straight leg raise.
  • Slowly lower your heels to the starting position and control balance by toes pointed.
  • Repeat sets 10 times.

5. Quad Stretch

This great exercise explicitly targets your quadriceps, large muscles, and those at the front of your thighs. This exercise can help improve the body-moving and flexibility in your hip and quadriceps muscles.

5.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Stand next to a wall or use a chair for support and start slowly.
  • Bend one knee, so your one leg goes up toward your glutes.
  • Grab your ankle and gently pull it toward your glutes, slowly lower.
  • Hold for 30 seconds or more if you can do it comfortably.
  • Return to the starting position of the exercise and switch legs.
  • Repeat 2 times on each and switch sides.

6. Quadriceps Stretch

This exercise is done by lying down and doing step-ups. It is quite difficult or painful for the person with severe pain.

It helps with flexibility, muscle strength, and range of motion in the knees.

Target – Quardcipes Muscles

7 Best Quad Strengthening Exercises For Knee Pain

6.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Lying on the ground facing downward, place the right forearm at the support of your body.
  • Bent the left leg and grab the ankle with your left hand.
  • Leave your right foot on the ground.
  • For a few seconds, gently lift the knee and hold it there.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

7. The Clam

Clam is a simple exercise that tones hips, knees, and thigh muscles. It also provides a strengthened medial glute and brings stability and power to the knees.

Target – Knees and Medial Glutes

7.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Lie on your side with your knees most likely bent and one leg on top of the other.
  • Keep your seat together and lift your top knee until it’s parallel with your hip.
  • Lower your head back to its position.
  • Keep up the speed and repeat, and also switch legs.

8. Prone Leg Raise

A prone leg lift, also known as the prone hip extension, is an exercise that provides strength to the thigh muscles, mainly the gluteal muscle. This is an important exercise for hip or lower extremity rehabilitation that causes less pain.

Target – Hip and Leg

8.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Lie on a mat on the floor, face-up with your legs extended.
  • Gently, put your hands underneath your lower back and glutes, so your pelvis is well supported.
  • Begin to raise your legs upwards, pressing your thighs together and keeping the other leg straight.
  • Lift until your hips are fully flexed at their highest, then lower back down and repeat.

9. Kick-Backs

This exercise helps to reduce severe knee pain and strengthen the glutes.

How to Perform Kick Backs Exercise

9.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Get down on the floor on all your forearms and legs.
  • Keep your hands together at your chest with your right leg raised upwards.
  • Kick in the air with your right leg, while the left knee is attached to the ground.
  • Then return to the initial posture and repeat the same with the left leg.

10. Sit and Stand

This exercise is probably functioning, so it is something that I will do every day. Still, also it’s a perfect place for us to concentrate on the hip and knee foot alignment, which is ideal from a neuromuscular control perspective. every day

10.1. Steps to Do Stretch

  • Place the chair against the wall. You may choose a chair with or without arms to sit on.
  • Sit in the middle of the seat with your feet on the floor hip-width apart. Ensure your knee are also hip-width apart and in line with your feet.
  • As you stand up, feel your thigh and buttock muscles engage in bringing you to a fully standing position.
  • If it is difficult to do this without using your hands, then gently use your hands on the arms of your chair to provide whatever boost you need. Slowly sit back down using your arm if necessary for safety.
  • Avoid leaning forward to the stationary side.
  • Have to do 2 sets of 10 repetitions 2- 3 times per week

Aerobic Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis

While the exercises can help in the motion of muscles and knee joints, some aerobic exercises can also improve joint pain and knee function.

These exercises are low-impact exercises and also improve cardiovascular function and weight-bearing capacity. These may include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • cycling
  • Gym and another best exercise plan
  • Yoga
  • Elliptical machine
  • Water aerobics


shutterstock 1673845222
By: Sasin Paraksa on Shutterstock

According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million people in the U.S. are affected with knee osteoarthritis, which is one of the most commonly affected areas in the human body.

Women are more likely to have osteoarthritis than men. Exercise helps people to change the worse stage of arthritis pain. Performing lower-body stretching exercises may help improve your knee joint’s range of motion and flexibility.

While age is a major risk factor for people with arthritis, young people can also get it. For some individuals, it may be hereditary or due to being overweight or infection or injury.

You can have pain that lasts a few days after regular exercise and stop exercising a little. But you don’t have to take it as a signal to stop it. Build exercise and movement in your daily life, and you can have better off it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Frequently Should I Exercise My Knee Arthritis?

Your unique demands and objectives will determine how frequently you should perform exercises for knee arthritis. Generally speaking, it is advised to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, or as instructed by your healthcare physician. Yet, it’s crucial to pay attention to your body and exercise without exerting yourself beyond what is comfortable.

2. Do I Need to Avoid Any Exercises with Arthritis in My Knees?

Running and jumping are two high-impact sports that should be avoided or restricted since they may make knee arthritis symptoms worse. The risk of injury is further increased by exercises like tennis or basketball that call for quick or repetitive motions. It is crucial to speak with your doctor or a licensed physical therapist.

3. Can Knee Arthritis Be Cured by Exercise Alone?

While exercise helps lessen knee arthritis symptoms and reduce the disease’s course, it cannot treat the condition. Exercise, weight management, pain management, and, in extreme situations, surgery, can all be included in a knee arthritis therapy program. It’s crucial to collaborate closely with your healthcare practitioner to create a specialized treatment strategy that takes into account your unique requirements and objectives.

Last Updated on by riyaspeaks



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