Quadriceps Exercises for Knee Pain

Most knee pain can be attributed to damage to the ligaments and tendons which connect to the knee joint, notes MayoClinic.com. While conditions such as knee bursitis and meniscus tears require rest and surgery, strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks can often help reduce knee pain with respect minor and chronic knee injuries. Consult a doctor or physical therapist prior to engaging in exercises for knee pain.

Quadriceps exercises may relieve pressure and strain on your knees.

Leg Lifts

This leg lift exercise helps you strengthen your quads, reducing stress on your knee joints. Lie down flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides. Bend your left knee until it creates a 90-degree angle with the ground. With your left foot fat and right leg still extended, lift your right leg off the ground until your right leg is even with your left knee. Hold for three seconds before returning your leg to the ground. Repeat with your left leg.

Wall Squat

This quadricep exercise strengthens your quads and stretches out the ligaments that attach to your knee. Stand directly in front of a wall with your feet flat on the floor and knees hip-width apart. From here, rest your back directly on the wall, bending at the knees until your knees for a 90-degree angle with the ground. With both of your hands resting on your quads, hold this position for five to 10 seconds before sliding up to your original position. Repeat until fatigued.


This step-up exercise strengthens both your quadriceps and hamstrings. Stand in front of a 6-inch-high step or stool with your knees slightly bent. Step up onto the stool with your right foot, allowing your left foot to hang off the back of the stool. Hold this position with your right foot for a count of three to five seconds while slowly returning your left foot to the floor. Once your left foot hits the floor, bring your right foot back down. Rotate legs and repeat until fatigued.

Quad Contractions

This exercise strengthens your quads and helps reduce pain in your knees. Sit down in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and back straight. Move up to the edge of the chair, extending both of your legs until you are balancing on both heels. Contract your quadriceps and hold this position for 10 seconds. Release your muscles and rest for three seconds. Repeat this 10 times.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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