Strength Training For Knee Pain: 5 Areas To Focus On

Improving movement and building strength is the best thing you can do for knee pain as you get older. But not all strength training is created equal. The strength training you use to look good in a swimsuit is not the same as strength training for joint pain. Below I’ll show you how to strength train for knee pain by focusing on the most important movements and muscles.

Glute Max

Most movement at the knee is controlled by muscles at your hips. The glute max is your big and strong hip (butt) muscle is important for knee stability. For adults with knee pain, this mucle is usually weak.

There are plenty of exercises that strength your glute max. A good place to start is with the Glute Bridge. The bridge is a safe and effective way to target your glute max with minimal impact on the knee.

Learn More Of The Best Glute Exercise For Knee Pain

Glute Med

The glute med is another part of the glute complex but works very differently than your glute max. This muscle lies on the outside of your hip and controls the side to side movement of you knee. A weak glute med can cause your knee to cave in when standing on a single leg (or when walking, running, etc.) 

Clamshells is a great beginner exercise to strengthen your glute med. Add a resistance band around your knees for an even greater challenge.

Find More Glute Med Exercises Here

Hip And Ankle Mobility

Stiff ankles and hips also contribute to more impact at the knee. Your body is smart. When it lacks range of motion in one joint, it will compensate at another. This is one of the reasons why tight hip and ankles lead to more impact at your knee.

While there are plenty of exercises to improve ankle mobility one of my favorites is the eccentric ankle drop.

Single Leg Strengthening

Muscular imbalance leads to more impact at your knee. Odds are if you’ve ever had an injury and/or surgery to one leg (hip, knee, ankle, foot, etc) you most likely have an strength imbalance in one leg vs the other. When performing two footed strengthening exercises (like the squat) you stronger side often subconciously takes over. 

To correct this, it’s important to strengthen each leg individually, so the weaker side works just as hard as the stronger side. Step Ups, Lunges, Split Squats are all great exercises to strengthen each side individually.


Improving Movement Patterns

One of the most overlooked causes of knee pain and arthritis and adults is poor movement patterns. Movement patterns are defined as how you coordinate movements to perform basic tasks. Poor moovement patterns in yoru life and exercise routine lead to more knee pain and arthritis.

Learn More About The Importance Of Movement Patterns Here

In the strength training world, the hip hinge and squat are both important movement patterns that when performed correctly lead to less impact at your knee.

Strength training for knee pain is one of the best things you can do to keep active as you get older. Focusing on the five areas listed above is a great place to start.

Learn More About Strength Training For Knee Pain With Dr. Baird At The Video Below

For the last 12 years I’ve been helping adults 40+ build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy, and happy lives. To help you get started, I’ve put together a free step-by-step strength program to help adults build a solid movement and strength foundation. Check it out down below!

Limited By Knee Pain? Get Started With Our Free Program

Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain

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