According to the NHS, knee-strengthening exercises suitable for runners without existing knee injuries include movements such as straight leg raises while in a chair, squats, lunges and knee bends. For people who suffer with osteoarthritis, WebMD recommends performing knee exercises such as seated pillow squeezes, heel raises, step-ups, side leg raises and calf stretches. These exercises are all convenient for people to do at home.
WebMD explains that general movement and low-impact activities are also excellent choices for people to remain active and keep their knees in motion. Examples include relaxed walking, swimming, recumbent biking and water aerobics. The added benefit to light or moderate exercise is that it helps the body to burn calories and lose weight, placing less of a burden on the knee joints as a result. Because the knees are supported by a complex group of muscles, ligaments and tendons, it is important to focus on exercises that build the strength of these surrounding components. According to WebMD, movements such as hamstring stretches and quadriceps sets are intended to serve this purpose. Thigh contractions and iliotibial band stretches are additional exercises that the NHS lists to support the musculature of the knee area. It is important to remain consistent with knee exercises in order to see improvement. Pain is not expected and is a warning sign that the exercises are not being completed properly.