How To Strengthen Knees For Hiking

How To Strengthen Knees For Hiking [15 Hiking Knee Exercises]

Are you planning on going on a hiking trip soon?

If so, it’s important to make sure that your knees are in good shape! Hiking can be a lot of fun, but it can also be tough on your knees.

But you might wonder if you can even strengthen your knees or not?

Can Weak Knees Be Strengthened? Especially For Hiking?

Yes, weak knees can definitely be strengthened! In fact, strengthening your knees is one of the best ways to prevent injuries from happening.

In this blog post, we will discuss 15 exercises that you can do to strengthen your knees and help protect them from injury.

15 Knee Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees For Hiking

Keep in mind that in order to strengthen the knees you have to strengthen and increase mobility for all other parts of your leg.

Below are 15 knee exercises you can do to strengthen them for hiking!

1. The Squat

The squat is a great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It is also a good exercise for improving flexibility and balance.

To do the squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly lower yourself down into a sitting position. Make sure to keep your back flat and your head up. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly rise back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

2. The Lunge

The lunge is another great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It is also a good exercise for improving flexibility and balance.

To do the lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step forward with one leg. Bend your front knee and lower yourself down until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your back straight and your head up. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly rise back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times with each leg.

3. The Calf Raise

The calf raise is a great exercise for strengthening your calves and improving balance.

To do the calf raise, stand with your feet hip-width apart and rise up onto your toes. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

4. The Hamstring Curl

The hamstring curl is a great exercise for strengthening your hamstrings.

To do the hamstring curl, lie on your back on the floor and place your heels on a sturdy surface such as a bench or chair. Dig your heels into the surface and curl them towards your butt. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower them back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

NOTE: If you don’t have access to a bench or chair, you can do the hamstring curl by lying on your back on the floor and placing your feet flat on the ground. Dig your heels into the ground and curl them towards your butt. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower them back to the starting position.

5. The Bridge

The bridge is a great exercise for strengthening your glutes and hamstrings.

To do the bridge, lie on your back on the floor and place your feet flat on the ground. Dig your heels into the ground and lift your torso and legs into the air, forming a bridge shape. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

6. The Wall Sit

The wall sit is a great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

To do the wall sit, stand with your back against a wall and slowly lower yourself down into a sitting position. Make sure to keep your back flat and your head up. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly rise back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise for 30-60 seconds.

7. The Step-Up

The step-up is a great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

To do the step-up, place one foot on a sturdy surface such as a bench or chair, and lift yourself up into the air. Make sure to keep your back straight and your head up. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times with each leg.

8. The Pilates Scissor

The Pilates scissor is a great exercise for strengthening your abs and improving flexibility.

To do the Pilates scissor, lie on your back on the floor and place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees in towards your chest and hold them there. Simultaneously lift your head and shoulders off the ground and extend your legs out to the sides. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly bring your head and shoulders back down to the starting position, and bring your knees back in towards your chest.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

9. The Superman

The superman is a great exercise for strengthening your back, glutes, and hamstrings.

To do the superman, lie on your stomach on the floor and extend your arms and legs out to the sides. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly bring them back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

10. The Side Plank

The side plank is a great exercise for strengthening your abs, glutes, and hamstrings.

To do the side plank, lie on your side on the floor and place your hand on the ground. Lift your body off the ground into a plank position, and hold the position for a few seconds.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times with each side.

11. The Step Down

The step down is a great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

To do the step down, place one foot on a sturdy surface such as a bench or chair, and lift yourself up into the air. Make sure to keep your back straight and your head up. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times with each leg.

12. Wall calf stretch

The wall calf stretch is a great exercise for improving flexibility in your calves. You want to do this to get a greater range of motions for the other exercises.

To do the wall calf stretch, stand with your back against a wall and place your hands on the wall. Place one foot forward and bend your front knee while keeping your back leg straight. Lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds, and then switch legs.

13. The Mini Band Walk

The mini-band walk is a great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

To do the mini band walk, place a mini band around your ankles and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one foot and slowly bring the other leg in behind it. Keep your back straight and your head up. Step forward with the other foot and bring the first leg in behind it.

Repeat this exercise for 30-60 seconds.

14. The Leg Press

The leg press is a great exercise for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

To do the leg press, place your feet hip-width apart on the leg press machine and press the weight away from you. Keep your back straight and your head up. Press the weight back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

15. Straight Leg Raise

The straight leg raise is a great exercise for strengthening your abs, quads, and hamstrings.

To do the straight leg raise, lie on your back on the floor and place your hands behind your head. Bring your legs in towards your chest and hold them there. Raise one leg up towards the ceiling, and hold the position for a few seconds. Bring the leg back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

##What if your Knees Are Much Weaker?

If your knees are much weaker than the other exercises, you can start with basic knee extensions.

To do a basic knee extension, lie on your back on the floor and place your feet flat on the ground. Bring your legs in towards your chest and hold them there. Straighten one leg at a time and hold the position for a few seconds. Bring the leg back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

Alternatively, you can check out this video below by Jared Beckstrand who is a doctor of physical therapy.

##Is Hiking Good for Knees?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Hiking can be good for your knees if you are doing it the right way and are gradually building up your mileage.

However, hiking can also be hard on your knees, particularly if you are not used to it or are going on difficult hikes. It is important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed. If you experience any pain or discomfort in your knees, stop hiking and seek medical attention.

Do Trekking Poles Really Help Knees?

Yes, having a proper trekking pole can reduce the strain on your knees. This is because it takes some of the weight off your knees and distributes it to your arms and upper body.

If you are considering purchasing trekking poles, make sure to do your research and find the right pair for you. Poles that are too heavy or have a weak grip can actually do more harm than good.

You can check out this article which goes into this much more in-depth: Do Walking Sticks Help With Knee Pain?

I personally use and recommend the Montem Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles, I actually did a review of them here.

What Is The Best Exercise To Strengthen Knees For Hiking?

There is no one “best” exercise to strengthen your knees for hiking. However, some of the best exercises include squats, lunges, calf raises, and mini-band walks.

It is important to gradually build up your mileage and only do the exercises that are appropriate for your level of fitness. If you experience any pain or discomfort in your knees, stop doing these exercises and seek medical attention.

Don’t Forget Rest – Key To Building Knee Strength For Hiking

It is important to remember that rest is key to building knee strength for hiking. If you are not giving your body enough time to recover, you will not see the results you are looking for.

Make sure to allow at least 48 hours between workouts and always listen to your body especially when you are a beginner!

Conclusion

Hiking can be a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but it is important to take precautions to protect your knees. By strengthening your knees with these exercises, you can reduce your risk of injury on the trail.

Happy hiking! 🙂

Can You Do Me A Small Favor?

I have put a lot of time & effort into writing this post to provide you with the best info out there.
It’ll help me out if you could consider sharing it on your social media networks. You are also allowed to take any photo you want from my blog as long as you credit and link back!

Appreciate it! ❤️️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.