Exercises for knee problems

These exercises can help to get you moving normally, and safely, if you've a muscle or joint problem affecting your knee.

These video shows the whole movement so don't worry if you can't do it all.

How many and how often

Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. Add an extra 1 or 2 repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.

When to stop

Stop these exercises if they make your symptoms worse, or cause new pain.

If your symptoms don't improve after 2 weeks, phone the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Helpline (only available in some health board regions).

If this service isn't available in your area, speak to your GP to find out if you can refer yourself to a local MSK service.

Lying leg raise (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJT4i_yQCf0)

You should do this exercise while lying down.

With your sore knee straight, and the other knee bent:

  1. Lift up your sore leg by 1 centimetre or more
  2. Hold this position for 5 seconds before returning your leg to the floor

Lifting and holding your leg once is one repetition.

Seated knee bend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEFG9Fqzm0)

You should do this exercise while sitting down.

With both feet on the ground:

  1. Lift and straighten your knee as far as is comfortable
  2. Hold this position for 5 seconds before returning your leg to the floor

Lifting and lowering your leg is one repetition.

Lying knee hold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JyAbMLRVnI)

You should do this exercise while lying down.

With both knees straight:

  1. Push the back of your sore knee firmly down against the floor or bed
  2. Hold this position for 5 seconds before relaxing

Pushing and releasing your knee is one repetition.

Lying knee bend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfDNT3gYYMM)

You should do this exercise while lying down.

With both knees straight:

  1. Slowly bend your sore knee by sliding your foot along the floor or bed towards you as far as is comfortable
  2. Hold this position for 2 seconds before straightening your leg

Bending and straightening your knee is one repetition.