Some recommended exercises to build strength in the knee include single-leg dips, hamstring curls, wall squats and straight-leg lifts. Stronger muscles in the front and back of the thigh assist the knee with absorbing shock. The less shock the knee faces, the less likelihood of injury, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
A straight-leg lift involves lying down on one's back, bending one knee and keeping the other leg straight. The next step is tightening the thigh muscles on the straight leg and then lifting it about 12 inches above the floor. After holding the leg steady for up to 5 seconds, the last step involves bringing the leg back down to the floor before repeating and changing sides, according to the AAOS.
A single-leg dip involves standing between two chairs for balance and then lifting one leg just off the ground, holding it slightly in front. Planting one's weight on the leg and lowering the body a couple of inches, pushing the body weight into the heel of that supporting leg and holding the position up to 5 seconds complete the exercise. After straightening up and repeating, it is time to switch sides, states the AAOS.
The hamstring curl involves standing up and holding the back of a chair for balance. Placing one's weight on one foot and lifting the other up to the buttocks, holding for up to 5 seconds, and then lowering the leg completes one repetition, as stated by the AAOS.