Many people complain of knee problems and there are some exercises that one can do to alleviate such issues. Weak knees occur due to three main causes, illness, injury or overuse. To accurately identify the reason and corrective measures for your weak knees, one should first consult a doctor. If the doctor prescribes strengthening exercises as a corrective measure for your weak knees, the focus must be on strengthening the surrounding muscles ie. the quadriceps, claves, glutes and hamstrings.
Weighted Calf Raise
Main muscle: Calves
Equipment: Smith Machine
Set the bar on the smith machine to around shoulder height and rack up the weight you want to use. Grab a step or calf block and put it below the bar. Step up on the block and position the balls of your feet on the edge. Grasp the smith bar with a wide grip and position it across the top of your back muscles (not across the back of your neck). Push up to take the weight off the rack and slowly let your heels drop down as far as possible. This is the starting position. Slowly raise your heels as far as you can off the floor. Squeeze the calf muscles, and then slowly lower your heels back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times. Alternatively, if one does not have access to a smith machine, the same movement can be performed standing at the edge of a step (preferably, first step on the staircase to avoid any risk of injury) and use the body weight as resistance to perform the exercise.
Main muscle: Quadriceps
Equipment: Stepper/ stair/ bench
Place one foot on a step bench, platform or a step on a staircase. Bend your knee and slowly lower the opposite foot to the floor. Lightly touch your toe to the floor, then rise back up. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch legs.
Side lying leg Abduction
Main muscle: Abductors
Begin by lying on your side perpendicular to the ground, with your legs straight. Support your head on your left arm with your right leg directly on top of your left. This will be your starting position. Initiate the exercise by abducting/ raising your right leg, pushing the leg away from the midline of your body. Pause at the top of the motion, and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Ball Leg curls
Main muscle: Hamstrings
Equipment: Exercise Ball
Begin on the floor, lie on your back with your feet on top of the ball. Position the ball so that when your legs are extended, your ankles are on top of the ball. This will be your starting position. Raise your hips off the ground, keeping your weight on the shoulder blades and your feet. Flex the knees, pulling the ball as close to you as you can, contract the hamstrings. After a brief pause, return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Machine Leg Extension
Main muscle: Quadriceps
Equipment: Leg curl machine
First choose your weight and sit on the machine with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle, legs under the pad (feet pointed forward), your back completely resting on the back rest, and the hands holding the side bars. This will be your starting position. Using your quadriceps, extend (straighten) your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale, ensuring that you do not go past the 90-degree angle limit. Repeat 10-15 times, on each leg for three sets.