The best way to protect your knees is by building strong glutes. When targeting your glutes it’s important to choose exercises that are both safe and effective to avoid aggravating your knee pain even further. From easiest to hardest, the following movements are the best glute exercises for knee pain that will help you maintain your lifestyle as you get older.
Glute Squeeze And Release
Many people have a difficult time activating or ‘turning on’ their glute muscles. Before you begin your glute exercises for knee pain it’s important to know how to activate this muscle group. The glute squeeze and release helps regain control of your glute muscles to get more out of each exercise.
The Glute Bridge
Easily the best glute exercise for knee pain, the glute bridge is a safe and effective way to strengthen your hips. The glute bridge is easy to progress so you can continue to build challenge yourself as you get stronger.
The Glute Raise
Some people may find the glute bridge uncomfortable or have trouble getting into the correct position. If that’s the case, try the glute raise to target your glutes without needing to be on your back
The Banded Glute Bridge
In order to build strength you must eventually start adding resistance. The banded glute bridge is a great way to further strengthen your glutes before moving to more dynamic movements.
The Hip Thrust
Brett Contreras (AKA the Glute Guy) is famous for bringing attention to the hip thrust. This exercise is an advanced glute bridge variation that further challenges your glutes. You can make this even more challenging by holding a weight at the hip.
The Step Down (w/ Hinge)
Single Leg Glute Bridge
A lot of knee pain can be causes by side to side imbalances. Previous injuries, surgery, and having a dominant side cause you to favor one side. The single leg glute bridge helps improve these imbalances, making it a great glute exercise for knee pain.
Single Leg Hip Thrust
Similar to the two legged hip thrust, this single leg variation further challenges your glute muscle. By making each side work individually you can restore balance and improve knee pain.
The squat is a full body movement that has a host of benefits for treating knee pain. One of the biggest benefits of the squat exercise is that it targets your glute muscles. While the air squat is a great place to start, adding weight with a sandbag or barbell will take your results to the next level.
The Kettlebell Deadlift
The deadlift is another full body strengthening exercise that can be utilized to treat knee pain. This movement also targets your glute and hamstring complex. The kettlebell variation is a great place to learn and practice the movement. Moving to a barbell will allow you to add more weight and get even stronger.
Improving movement and strength is the best treatment for knee pain. Strong, healthy glutes will not only limit pain, but help you keep active and maintain your lifestyle as you get older. The best glute exercises for knee pain target the glutes while limiting impact on the knee itself to avoid reaggravtion. Add these exercises to your strength routine and feel the benefits for yourself.
For the last 11 years I’ve been helping adults build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy, and happy lives. My free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ gives you a step-by-step, approachable way to build strength without stressing your joints. Download it below and get started feeling better today.