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The Best Exercises To Ease Knee Pain

Knee discomfort is one of the prevailing musculoskeletal issues that prompt individuals to seek medical attention. This ailment manifests as an achy sensation in the area behind and surrounding the kneecap, particularly when engaging in strenuous activities like climbing stairs, crouching, jogging, and carrying heavy objects while walking. Knee pain can limit your involvement in fun activities and hinder your ability to carry out routine duties. If left untreated, this condition may persist for an extended period, possibly spanning years. Various factors can cause knee pain, such as a stiff knee joint, improper positioning of the kneecap, flat arches, incorrect exercise form, and weak hip and knee muscles. However, regular exercise and physical activity can help alleviate knee pain and improve joint function. Are you struggling with knee discomfort and seeking practical exercises to alleviate the pain? Fear not! This article will explore the top exercises that can help ease knee pain, allowing you to engage in physical activity with greater comfort and mobility.

Best Exercises To Ease Knee Pain

Warm-up First

Get ready for your workout by warming up your muscles with a low-impact activity such as cycling on a stationary bike while pumping your arms. You can also do wall push-ups followed by calf raises. By warming up, you will enhance your workout performance, prepare your muscles for stretching, and reduce your chances of getting injured.

1. Bridging

To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Use a pillow or towel roll to support your head. Keep your knees, feet, and hips aligned, and let your arms rest by your sides in a relaxed manner. Engage your buttocks muscles, lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Only lift your hips comfortably for your back without causing pain or discomfort. Pause briefly and slowly lower your hips back to the starting position. Aim for ten repetitions of this exercise, with three sets performed once a day. You can do this exercise 2-3 times a week for maximum benefit.

2. Quad Set

To perform this exercise, lie on a bed with one leg straightened out. Tighten the thigh muscle by pressing the back of the knee into the bed. Alternatively, you can place a small towel behind the knee and press against it to activate the muscle. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. This simple yet effective exercise can help alleviate knee pain and strengthen your quadriceps muscles.

3. Straight Leg Raise

This exercise requires lying on your back and keeping the affected leg straight while bending the opposite knee. Engage the thigh muscles of the affected leg and slowly raise it in a controlled manner until it reaches the same height as the other knee. Hold the raised position for 5 seconds while squeezing the thigh muscles, then relax and lower the leg back to the floor.

4. Hip Abduction

Lie on your side with your bottom knee bent to provide balance. Use a pillow or towel roll to support your head. Straighten your top knee by tightening the muscles on the top of your thigh. Flex your foot and lift your leg towards the ceiling, making sure not to lift it higher than the line of your body. Hold this position momentarily, then slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each leg, with three sets performed once a day. You can do this exercise 2-3 times a week to improve your knee mobility and reduce pain.

5. Squats

You can use a kitchen counter or the back of a chair to provide support for this exercise. Start by standing next to the support with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down to a comfortable distance while keeping your body weight on your heels. Use only your legs to squat without relying on your arms to pull up or lower yourself. This exercise can help improve your knee strength and stability and reduce knee pain.

6. Standing Calf Stretch

This exercise requires a wall and focuses on stretching the calf muscles and heel. Begin by standing facing the wall with your unaffected leg forward and slightly bent at the knee. Keep the other leg straight behind you, with the heel flat on the floor and toes pointed somewhat inward. Hold this position for 30 seconds while keeping your hands on the wall for support. After 30 seconds, relax for another 30 seconds. Aiming for two sets of 6 repetitions, 6 or 7 days per week, is recommended. Be sure not to arch your back during the exercise, as this can strain your lower back unnecessarily.

7. Clamshells

To do clamshells, lie on your side with a pillow or towel roll to support your neck. Bend your knees and keep your feet in line with your body. Keep your feet together and lift your top knee towards the ceiling, be careful not to roll your hips forward. Pause briefly before lowering your knee back to the starting position. Aim to do ten repetitions of this exercise on each leg, three sets once daily, and perform it 2-3 times a week.

8. Planks

The plank is a bodyweight exercise that can be done on the floor in a push-up position. To make the exercise easier, you can do it with your forearms resting on the ground or your knees on the floor. Keep your body straight and tense your abs, glutes, and legs to maintain the position for 20 seconds. Take a break, then repeat the exercise.

9. Leg Curl

To do the leg curl, find something to hold onto for balance, like a counter or chair. Keep your back straight and bend your knee, bringing your heel up towards your buttock. Avoid moving your hip as you lift your heel. Hold for a few seconds before lowering your heel to the floor. Repeat the exercise on your other leg.

10. Supine Hamstring Stretch

The supine hamstring stretch targets the muscles at the back of your thighs and knees. It would be best if you aimed to do this exercise 2 to 3 times per session and 4 to 5 times a week. To do the stretch, lie on your back and bend your knees, then lift one leg towards your chest. Hold onto the thigh with both hands (not the knee) and gently straighten the leg until you feel a stretch. If necessary, use a towel or band to aid in the stretch. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

Alternative Exercises for Knee Pain

You can incorporate low-impact exercises into your workout routine to improve your knee strength. Unlike high-impact exercises such as running or jumping, low-impact exercises are generally gentler on your joints. Popular low-impact exercises include yoga, tai chi, using an elliptical machine, swimming, stationary cycling, water aerobics, and walking.

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing continuous or escalating knee pain, you should contact a physician or a physical therapist for advice. It's always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen, especially if you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort.


Incorporating exercises into your daily routine can significantly reduce knee pain and improve mobility. You can strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, increase flexibility, and reduce pain by including a combination of strengthening, stretching, and low-impact exercises. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program, particularly if you have an injury or persistent pain. With dedication and consistency, you can successfully manage knee pain and improve your quality of life.


The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.