If you’ve been dealing with knee pain, but you can’t go to the gym or invest money in special rehab equipment, you’re in luck. There are plenty of knee rehab exercises you can perform without fancy equipment. In fact, you can strengthen your knees without leaving the house.
While you’re probably eager to get up and move, it’s in your best interest to take it slow. If you do too much too fast, you’ll end up hurting yourself and reversing the progress you’ve made.
10 At-Home Knee Rehab Exercise That Require No Equipment
Although the following exercises can be performed safely, you should contact your doctor regarding knee treatments before getting started. Here are 10 at-home exercises you can try.
1. Heel Slides
Heel slides will strengthen your knee and restore knee movement. For 3 sets of 10 reps, start this exercise by laying on your back. Bend your knee to your chest. Next, slide your heel down towards the floor. Keep your heel in contact with the floor, and don’t push your knee outward.
2. Quad Sets
Quad sets do a lot to strengthen your quadriceps muscles, which are vital for supporting your knee. To begin, lay on your back and tighten your thigh muscles until you lift your heel off the floor. Hold the position for 5 seconds, then relax your muscles. Go for 3 sets of 10 reps.
3. Straight Leg Raises
Straight leg raises are great for knee mobility and work your quadriceps muscles. To start this exercise, lay on your back. Keep one leg straight and the other bent. Lift your straight leg off the floor and hold for 5 seconds, then lower it back down slowly. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
4. Balance Exercises
Balance exercises can work on knee stability, and there are plenty of easy yoga poses you can do. To do this exercise, stand on one foot and hold the position for 10 seconds. Then switch to the other foot and repeat. Start at 3 sets of 10 reps. Expecting mothers should try doing yoga.
5. Hamstring Curls
Hamstring curls will strengthen your hamstring muscles, leading to better knee joints. Start by lying on your stomach and bend one knee to bring your heel towards your buttock/backside. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then release the exercise. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Step-ups build muscles in your quadriceps and aid in knee mobility and function. This exercise, done for 3 sets of 10 reps, starts by standing in front of a step, chair, or a low bench. Place one foot on top of it. Step up onto the object for a beat and then lower your foot back down slowly.
7. Wall Sits
Wall sits build strength in your knee and leg muscles. Do this exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps. Stand with your back against a wall and then slide down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for 10 seconds (or 5 if you’re shaky) and stand back up.
8. Calf Raises
Calf raises, which you should do for 3 sets of 10 reps, will strengthen your calf muscles, which are necessary for supporting your knee. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then go on your tippy-toes. Hold the position for 5 seconds, and then lower your heels to the ground.
9. Side Leg Raises
Side leg raises work on hip and knee stability by pushing away the leg from your midline. Lie on your side and lift your top leg off the floor. Keep your foot flexed at all times. Hold the position for 5 seconds, and then lower your leg back down. Stop after doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Lunges build strength in your quadriceps and glutes, especially after 3 sets of 10 reps. To start this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then walk forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, reverse the movement.
These 10 at-home knee rehab exercises are the best ways to get started on strengthening your knee and restoring movement. Remember to take your time and focus on form–you don’t have to rush your progress. With dedication and patience, you’ll recover from your knee injury.