4 Exercises For Sore Knees

Dealing with sore knees can be disheartening, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living a fit, healthy, active lifestyle. Our clients at Ascend Fitness improve their strength, and mobility while reducing aches and pains by following a program that targets their specific needs. Here are a few exercises that we often use to achieve those goals. 

  1. Low-Impact Cardio: Engaging in low-impact cardio exercises such as swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine provides a fantastic way to boost leg strength without aggravating knee discomfort. These activities improve cardiovascular health, enhance leg muscle endurance, and promote overall fitness while being gentle on the joints.


  1. Stretching and Flexibility Exercises: Incorporating stretching and flexibility exercises into your routine can alleviate tension in the muscles surrounding the knee, reducing stiffness and discomfort. Gentle stretching of the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors promotes better mobility and reduces the risk of injury. Yoga or tai chi are excellent options for enhancing balance, stability, and flexibility while providing a low-impact workout for the legs and knees.


  1. Strength Training: Strength training is essential for building muscle and improving overall strength. Some effective leg-strengthening exercises that also correct common imbalances that cause sore knees are described below. Click below for a video tutorial of the exercises.



  • Ball/Wall Squat: The Ball/Wall Squat is a modified version of the traditional squat that minimizes knee strain. Begin by placing a stability ball against a wall and leaning your mid-back against it. Slowly lower yourself into a squat position, ensuring your knees align with your ankles and don’t extend past your toes. Hold briefly before returning to the starting position. If your knees hurt at a certain depth, try to move within a range of motion that feels better for you. This exercise targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while providing support to the knees.


  • Terminal Knee Extension:  The standing terminal knee extension exercise is an effective way to activate the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscle, which plays a crucial role in knee stability and alignment. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart, ensuring good posture and engaging your core muscles. Place a resistance band around your right knee and anchor the other end of the band to a sturdy object or use a wall attachment. Bend your right knee slightly, and then straighten it against the resistance of the band. As you straighten your leg, focus on the inner portion of your quadricep (thigh) muscle. Repeat for 10-15 reps, then switch to the other leg.


  • Hip Bridging: Hip Bridging targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles while being gentle on the knees. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top, then lower back down. Focus on engaging your core and keeping knees aligned with ankles throughout. Hip Bridging improves hip stability and strengthens muscles supporting the knees.


  • Clamshells: Clamshells strengthen the muscles of the hips and outer thighs, crucial for knee stability. Lie on your side with hips and knees bent, feet together. Keeping feet together, open your top knee as far as comfortable, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat on the other side. Clamshells help alleviate strain on the knees during activities like walking and running by strengthening the hip abductors.

By doing the right exercises, you can strengthen your lower body and reduce aches and pains. 

At Ascend Fitness we can help! We focus on helping people over 40 improve their strength, fitness, health, and energy so they can live fully. Our team of Kinesiologists and Medical Exercise coaches are experienced in working with people with different injuries and limitations. Learn more about Fit for Life, our 6 Week New Member Program at www.getfitchilliwack.com, email [email protected] or call us at 604-392-0892.


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