Weak in the Knees

No, its not a romantic post about someone who gets weak in the knees whenever he sees his crush!!!

Its about weakness of the knees experienced by almost 65-70% of the elderly people around the world. It may arise due to degenerative changes in old age, post traumatic degeneration, soft tissue damage around the knees or due to overused or neglected muscles around the joint.

Being a practicing physio I encounter and treat patients with knee pain and weakness from every age group. Majority of the pains can easily be managed by doing right kind of exercises in an appropriate manner. Trust me, there is absolutely no substitute of exercises to get rid of the muscular weakness.

Here are a few knee strengthening exercises to begin with:

Quadriceps drill

It is the foremost exercise that is told and practiced for the sole purpose of strengthening thigh muscles. It is done by placing a towel roll / soft pillow under knee joint in lying position and then the muscle is contracted or pressed on the towel and held in that position for 10 seconds. It should be repeated 5 – 10 times as per the need and prescription.

Straight Leg Raise (SLR)

A simple exercise which contributes to the overall strengthening protocol of the muscles around knee joint. Its done by lifting single leg at around 30 – 45 degrees while lying on the back and holding the leg in air for around 10 seconds. It should be done around 7 – 10 times in the beginning. Repetitions can be gradually increased after every few days.

Hamstring curls

This exercise is particularly for muscles present in back of the thighs. It can be done done in both lying and standing positions. You have to lie down on your stomach and bend your knee bringing heel closer to the hip, 1 leg at a time. 15 – 20 repetitions in a set and upto 3 sets can be easily done without much of a fatigue.

The other position i.e. the standing position needs a support of a chair-back and knees can be bent alternatively bringing heel closer to the hip. This exercise should be done in lesser repetitions than in the lying position.

Calf raises

This exercise is great for toning and strengthening of the calf muscles. It can be done on plain ground or stairs. It is highly recommended to grab a chair-back or a wall bar for support. In this exercise, heels are raised as high as possible and then lowered to the ground or to the heels hanging on the stairs. Heels can be held up for a few seconds in the raised position as well after a few days or as the exercise becomes easy. Repetitions are also encouraged upto at least 10 in a set of 3.

Walking with heels raised is also a great way to do it.

Side Leg Raise

A great exercise for the muscles present on the side of knees. Lie in a side -lying position and lift the upper leg to hold for 5 seconds in the beginning. The hold time can be increased gradually after a few days. It should be done on both the legs to equally benefit both legs. The angle of lift should be around 30 – 45 degrees.

Ball squeeze between legs

Its the most neglected exercise despite being such an easy one. This exercise strengthens the inner thigh muscle and which also is the first muscle to get weak.

To perform this exercise a towel roll or a squeezing ball is placed between both the thighs and then pressed in order to bring both the thighs closer. It can be done done in lying position with knees bent or in sitting position. A hold of 10 seconds with 10 repetitions is advisable. A highly recommended exercise by fellow orthopedic physicians and physios across the globe.

That’s it folks. Begin taking care of your knees.

Note: Kindly consult a Physio for assessment and in case any pain other than soreness experienced after doing these exercises.

Its high time to get rid of the weak knees and enjoy your life!!!

Any queries and suggestions are very much welcome!!


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