Can You Exercise to Tone the Inner Knee?

Strengthening the inner knee muscles aid in preventing knee injury and also helps create a shapely set of legs. Weakness in the vastus medialis obliquus, VMO, in particular can lead to patellar maltracking and potential patellofemoral pain syndrome which causes knee pain and a subsequent decline in physical activity. Start inner knee toning exercises two to three times per week as part of a lower-body strengthening program. Precede all workouts with a warm-up such as walking or light biking to avoid muscle pulls or strains.

A person having their knee massaged with kinetic tape on it.
Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Turn Your Toes

Straight leg raises tone the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles. You can target the inner knee muscles with this exercise as well by slightly rotating your foot out to the side. Do this exercise by lying on your back with legs straight. Bend up one knee to support your lower back if this is more comfortable. Rotate your foot out to the side at a 45-degree angle as you lift your opposite leg up into the air. Hold for five to 10 seconds before lowering to start position. Repeat 10 to 12 times for a total of three sets.

Squatting Sumo Style

Sumo style squats target the inner thigh adductors and knee muscles. Do this exercise by standing tall with feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointing out. Contract your abdominals as you lower down into a squat to a maximum of 90 degrees or such that thighs are parallel to the floor. Avoid deep knee bends if you have knee pain. Your knees should not extend past your toes. Raise back up to start position and repeat 10 times or until fatigued for two sets in total.

Contract It Statically

Isolate the inner knee VMO muscle with static quadricep contractions. Do this exercise by half sitting on a bed or the floor so that legs are extended in front of you. Place a small rolled-up towel underneath your left knee so that your left heel still maintains contact with the floor. Contract the left quadriceps muscle so that that back of your knee pushes into the towel. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times for a total of three sets. Repeat on the right leg.

Wall-Ball Squats

Squats using a stability ball against a wall increase tone in the inner thigh and knee muscles. Do this exercise by placing a stability ball behind your low back pressed into a wall. Walk your feet out so that when you lower into a squat, your knees will not extend past your toes. Slowly squat down by bending your knees, keeping a straight back. Bend to approximately 90 degrees if you have no knee pain, pause and return to start. Repeat 10 to 12 times for a total of three sets.

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