15-Minute Exercise Routine for Weak Knees

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15-Minute Exercise Routine for Weak Knees

Help stabilize and protect your knees by strengthening and improving mobility in the muscles that surround and support the knees like the quadriceps, inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, glutes—even the muscles in your ankles and feet. We’ll work barefoot for maximum muscle recruitment during this full length 15­minute workout to help build a strong, supportive and flexible lower body that, if done regularly, could help prevent future knee pain during your favorite daily activities or workouts.

All you’ll need for this workout is a sturdy chair and a small playground ball (you can also use a bunched up towel in place of the ball if you don’t have one, I’ll cue you on how to use it during the routine). We’ll target the muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, thighs (inner and outer), hips, abs, ankles, feet with exercises like:

  • Standing Straight Leg Extension Lifts
  • Ankle Circles
  • Seated Leg Extensions with Inner Thigh Squeeze
  • Static Squat Sit
  • Internal Rotation Leg Press
  • Single-Leg Balance
  • Hip Internal Rotation Squeeze
  • Bridge with Inner Thigh Pulse
  • Hamstring Ball Roll Out (or Toe Tap), Option to add Single-Leg Bridge
  • Standing Quadriceps Stretch or Side Lying Quadriceps Stretch

Of course, not all exercises are suitable for everyone. If you are working with a specific knee injury, be sure to get your doctor and/or physical therapist’s approval before attempting this workout. If you suffer from knee pain regularly, be sure to consult a professional for an expert diagnosis.

Like this workout? Be sure to check out our professionally produced low-impact program, the “Walk On: 21 Day Weight Loss Plan.” It’s the burpee-, push-up- and squat-thrust-free way to lose weight ­ and feel great. 

Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out for my “workout” partner, my puppy Peanut, in this video. (Do you work out with your pets at home, too?)

Did you try the moves? Let me know which one was your favorite in the comments below!

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  • Gloria Riner

    I liked the knee exercise

  • Cathy Clark – Schramer

    Thank you

  • mairebee

    How about some exercises for the senior adult crowd?

    • jessicasmithtv

      Hi mairebee! I hope you will check out our “Walk On” DVD walking workouts available on Amazon – we offer a wide variety of walking based exercises that are great for a wide range of ages and abilities 🙂

  • Will

    Great,was looking for something like this, for my bad knees , from playing tennis, will surely try and let you know if it helps.

  • Healthy

    Thank you for taking the time, I am not able to sit on my legs so hoping this will help. I am a senior loving Yoga for the first time in my lifetime. Wish I would have started years ago with all the injuries I have had.

  • Donna

    I’m a senior with bad knees, your workout is excellent! Thank you, I have been going to aqucise some of the moves are the same but yours has far more details. I will be adding yours to the pool. Now I will look up your other videos. Your explanation right on!!!

  • Nancy

    I’ve had 2 total knee replacements. Can I do these?

  • Loretta SpiritualAng

    I love this exercise, I have knee problems. Thank you.

  • Phyllis Watts

    I have had a knee with sharp pain for about 3 months. Got a shot in it, and rubbed essential oil, just tried this workout today! Thank you! I will let you know if I progress…makes sense to strengthen muscles around!

  • Daisy

    How often should this routine be done? daily, every other day weekly? Thank you.

    • jessicasmithtv

      Hi Daisy! You can try incorporating this routine into your regular program up to 4 non-consecutive days a week if you like. Feel free to do it as a warm up prior to another workout as well.

  • Mike

    I liked the hip rotation squeeze. Really targeted my hips.

  • Poppy

    Great but would also like exercises for seniors!

  • Sherry

    I had to quit my exercise class because my knees would hurt after the deep lunges & knee-ball exercises. Thanks for posting these, much better & no pain.

  • Viola Harrington

    I am bone on bone in knees so much pain these exercises not great. Are there weighs to do another type of exercises. Do t have access to pool go water exercises either

  • Viola Harrington

    I am bone on bone in knees so much pain these exercises not great. Are there weighs to do another type of exercises. Do t have access to pool go water exercises either

  • SunnySideUpFlorida

    Good exercises. I would prefer much less talking, pick up the pace & music…I scanned through the 15 minute video in about 4 minutes, past the excruciating instructions, the exercises are so so barebones simple…they are good I will try to remember to do some of these when I am in the gym with my headphones on.

  • Alizah

    I would appreciate a caloric breakdaown for the routine. Thanks

  • Helen

    loved the exercises, would like to be able to turn off the music track, it is distracting

  • Dawn

    This is a perfect excersize! Something iv been looking for, i had knee replacement surgery a cpl years ago.. i had PT but since then iv noticed my legs have gotten weak, no strength @all & i used to be a runner, loved running! Now iv noticed how weak my legs are & thats a wake up call!

    • jessicasmithtv

      So glad this was helpful for you. Keep up the great work you are doing staying strong!

  • Deb

    thank you for that…my knees are bad and balance is an issue. now with increased weight with no apparent reason it is harder than ever. Yoga is even too difficult. This I can do.

    • jessicasmithtv

      Thanks for trying out Deb! So glad you found it helpful 🙂

  • jg

    Loved this workout and the Cardio for weak knees. I had both knees replaced and have problems with my hips. I looked for a dvd from you for knee problems…..would you consider compiling your workouts on a dvd? I can do all of the moves you have shown.

    • jessicasmithtv

      Hi jg! Thanks for checking out our workout! We currently only offer this as a free YouTube video, but we have a brand new walking DVD coming out in May that also includes two bonus workouts – one for strong knees and hips and one for strong feet and ankles (which can help with knee issues as well). Please stay tuned to our website or YouTube channel for more info coming soon on the DVD. Hope that helps!

  • Sandra Marie Paquette Bradley

    Just had knee replace surgery and have been looking for a work out. Thank you

  • Desiree

    I loved this work out as I suffer from arthritis in both knees. I’ve had 2 cortisone shots in the past couple of years and do not want to have another. I’m only 50 years old for goodness sakes! I’ve also done the Power walk but can’t wait to try various videos for weak knees and power walk for beginners. Thanks so much Jessica for these videos!

  • gvisda

    Thanks for the great routine. I have damaged my knee by running and go through physiotherapy. A combination of your exercises with my physiotherapists are working great for my recovery. Keep on the great work. It’s very inspiring.

  • Guest

    I love the exercises, but it was difficult to concentrate with your dog licking your leg!

  • Deb

    These look like some exercises I might be able to do. I’ve had a hip replacement though, so I’m always worried what I should or should not do. I also would like some easy does it exercises for seniors. Thank you.

  • BJ

    I’m trying to lose weight and strenghthen muscles so I’ve been lookinh for exercises my slightly out of shape body can do along with my treadmill work outs. These were great. They will fit into my schedule nicely. Thanks for sharing.

  • Roseann

    Loved the workout! I usually attend water fitness classes 4 times a week any exercises I could incorporate in the water are great for cardio and body strength. Your suggestions are welcome

  • Carol Cee

    Love the workout and especially LOVE the dog!

  • Gin

    Hi Jessica. What do you recommend for someone who cannot use arms or shoulders? I have a bad neck and it dosent take much to set my neck off. I want to do exercises for my bad knees (both of them). That don’t require having to balance myself.

  • Cheryl Anne Dyball

    Thank you a great workout and Peanut adorable
    I would like exercise for arms that don’t hurt my weak neck and upper back please

  • Sue Aubrey

    Hi Jessica I found your vid on “My fitness Pal” and I did it just now. i have arthritis throughout my body and especially my knees. I found your workout very helpful and plan to do it regularly. I have just started going to the gym and aqua-aerobics and this extra routine will help my bad knees immensely. I had to do the floor exercises on my bed as I can’t get up from the floor but I think they will still have the same effect. I love your little dog. When I was doing the”bed” exercises my cat was demanding strokes which makes concentrating more challenging but I managed!
    Can I say I loved everything about your workout except the boring repetitive “Music?” and would much rather it was just you talking. Just a thought for future videos.
    Thank you for this extremely helpful video given for free. I will be looking at purchasing more of your exercises.

  • Teresa Jones

    Thank you I am going to try this and keep you posted, I have severe arthritis in my left knee and have been looking for something I can do to strengthen it so I will lessen my limp.

  • orcookie

    This is regarding the first floor exercise, I have trouble holding up my legs and pointing my toes. Is there modification that I could try. Thank you

  • Rosie

    Love the workout, I have osteoarthritis in both knees and am trying to avoid surgery for a while anyway so any help appreciated.

  • Fiona maclean

    hi would these exercises help me, I have been to the docs and they say I have knee cartilage damage, standing at college and my work doesn’t help me crippled at night when I come home, also can I lose weight not being able to walk any distance at all , please help

  • Rosie

    I have severe osteo arthritis in both knees and am trying to put off surgery for a while I had an injection in each knee but only helped for a short time so really am trying these exercises.

  • The Core Institute

    This 15 minute workout seems great I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Jenn

    Brilliant workout, thank you!

  • Bill Wilson

    These workouts look really effective, thanks for sharing!