Physical Therapy Tips: Exercises for Your Knee

Knee Exercises

Whether you’re trying to recover from a recent knee surgery or suffering from ongoing knee pain or an injury, physical therapy may be just what you need to restore normal function and relieve discomfort. Depending on your condition and where the pain is located or the type of surgery you had, a physical therapist will establish an exercise program designed to help the knee by strengthening muscles and decreasing the placement of stress on knee joints. The following exercises are some of the most beneficial when dealing with knee problems.


 Quad Sets

First, lie down on your back with your leg straight out. Apply pressure to your thigh muscle by pressing the back of the knee down into the floor or into a rolled up towel for more cushion. Hold for about five seconds, release, and then repeat 10 times.

 Straight Leg Raises

Again, lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straight out. Slowly lift your extended knee up until it’s approximately 12 inches off the ground. Hold the leg suspended in the air for a few seconds before bringing it back down gently. Repeat 10 times. After some time, you can make it more challenging by adding an ankle weight.

 Heel Slides

Lie on your back with your legs straight out. Begin sliding the heel on the leg with the injured knee up towards your bottom until your knee is fully bent. Hold for a few seconds, release, and then repeat 10 times.


Step-ups can be done with stairs or aerobic steps. Place one foot up on the step, bring the other foot up to tap the step, and lower it back down. Continue the exercise by alternating legs for several repetitions.

 Partial Squats

Place a chair about a foot behind you and spread your feet hip-width apart, keeping your toes forward. Bend down at the hips, keeping your abs tight and your knees behind your toes. Lower yourself down halfway to the seat of the chair and come back up slowly. Repeat several times.

Physical therapy can be a very effective solution for many types of knee conditions. The most important thing to remember is to always use the correct form and technique when performing exercises recommended by your physical therapist. At the Center for Athletic Performance & Physical Therapy, you will find experienced and dedicated therapists that care about your well-being and are capable of helping you achieve your knee therapy goals.