Knee Strengthening Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

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Knee strengthening exercises can range from simple to complex. You can do very simple ones sitting down to more difficult ones standing up. In this video, Doctor Jo will show you a progression of knee strengthening exercises. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:

The first exercise is a seated knee extension, or long arc quad (LAQ) to help strengthen your quad muscles. It’s important to go slow and controlled to really work the muscles. Start off in a chair with your back straight. Slowly bring your foot up straightening out your leg. At the end, you can pull your toes up to help contract the muscles even more. Then slowly come back down. If that becomes easy, then you can add small ankle weights.

The next exercise is a seated hip flexion to help strengthen the hip flexor muscles. Again, make sure you are going in a slow controlled movement. Bring your knee up towards the ceiling as far as you comfortably can, and then slowly come back down. If this becomes easy, you can add ankle weights.

Now you are going to do squats. The best way to do a squat is to give yourself a target like a chair or couch. Spread your feet about shoulder width apart, and make sure your knees do not go in front of your toes. Stick your buttocks back and keep your back straight. If this is too hard, you can put a box in the chair, so you don’t have to squat as low. If the squats at the chair become too easy, you can do one leg squats. It’s the same concept, but this time, you might want to put the chair in front of you so you can hold on for balance.

Then you will do step-ups. This is on a tall step, but you should start off with something shorter like 2-3 inches. You can also use a step at home where there is a rail to hold onto. Go very slowly and controlled with the step up and step down. Count to three for both up and down with the movement.

The last exercise is a lunge. You can use a box or a step for a target. The higher the target, the easier it will be. Step over the box and try to touch it with your back knee. Try to keep your back straight in an upright position. Once it becomes easy, then you can take the box away and go down to the floor.

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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


Knee Strengthening Exercises:

DISCLAIMER: This content (the video, description, links, and comments) is not medical advice or a treatment plan and is intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. This content should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this content to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained in this content. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC and its officers for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this content is at your sole risk.


AskDoctorJo says:

Buy a printable worksheet with the Knee Strengthening Exercises in this video here:
Don't forget to hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above! Find all of my videos at

Carmen Garcia says:

This is my first time doing the knee strenghtening exercises. At first it hurted after I've goten finished my knees feels good. Thank you for helping me to strengthen my knees. I've had a knee injury on my left knee in 1990, and misses the days of jogging and fast walking. I am going to do these knee exercises with you every time I get up.

Mandy Parsons says:

Is OK for muscle knee tear.. Which I've done.. My knees better. But not strong.. Still sowellen… After 5 weeks

PastaPins says:

Hey 🙂
Actually when I do these excersice I can easily get up from kneeling position easily but after few hrs I can't do that so if I continue doing this will I be able to do it more easily?
+ will this help me run back?
I know too many ques…

Tracy Greenacre says:

Can you do these if you have oa in the knees thanks

Krina Patel says:

Hi thanks started these exercises y'day, going great so far! I am getting a popping sound on my knee when doing the stair exercises, that's normal?

rainhart27 says:

Thank you dr, it’s my 3rd month of mcl and it’s really painful when I do isotonic weight lift for my knee , I can not use my knee normal going down the stairs so I will start these exercises now, i only can use knees normal going up stairs, I only can do half squat

Andy Salazar says:

This video is so amazing. I instantly noticed my knee pain decrease!

John s says:

Should your weight go through your heels on squatting exercises single and both leg and with step ups

Audrey Dugan says:

Good one, thanks

The Cleaning Spark says:

Omg so simple! I could do those sitting leg lifts at the office to 😬.

SireeshaMahesh nagathi says:

After doing this exercise for 6 to 8 weeks ..can we star a regular aerobics exercise

Emilie Leung says:

Easy simple and efficient. Thank you

HL Bricks says:

I am in high school and my knees hurt, I am an athlete and it makes some training day really hard because my knees hurt what do you recommend

Mark Reynolds says:

Thanks for sharing this video

gmail name says:

Thank u greatly!!!!

Jack Pepper says:

Thanks for your help Dr.Jo

Dhanya kiran says:

Had a femur fracture 6 months ago.. undergone ORIF.. now knee is swollon.. oedema and crepitus on bending… cand i do these exercises… will they help?

A Q says:

Will these excercises work for grade2 osteoarthritis of knees? plz reply

John Lilley says:

Dr. Jo, your videos are so helpful! fyi – the link to the pdf says it is $3.99 but it came up as $4.99 in PayPal. No worries, but you may want to correct the price shown.

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