8 exercises for bad knees

8 Exercises for Bad Knees

Suffering from bad knees? Here are 8 good exercises for the knees that can give you better muscle strength, less pain and better function. Feel free to share with someone who is bothered by their knees. Or contact us at The pain clinics - Interdisciplinary Health if you have questions.



- Bad knees can lead to bad habits

Many people are not always so good at paying attention to their knees before they start to hurt. It is easy to take them for granted. Knee problems can have a number of causes, such as: Osteoarthrtitis, trauma, myomas, joint irritation, meniscus damage and the like. When we get knee pain, we can be scared off from doing what we should actually be doing - which is to keep moving and exercise specifically. Many therefore forget to do exercises for bad knees - and then they often get worse and worse.


- Written by: The pain clinics - Interdisciplinary Health department Lambertseter (Oslo) og Dept. Eidsvoll Sundet [See full clinic overview here – link opens in new window]

- Last updated: 01.11.2022


- 8 Good Exercises for Bad Knees

Here are 8 good knee exercises for those who want better knee function - the program consists of both stretching exercises and strength exercises. To do some of these exercises, you need an adapted exercise bike or mini band - you can do that obtain here if desired (link opens in new window). Remember that you can also contact our publicly authorized clinicians, including physiotherapists and modern chiropractors, at The pain clinics, if you have questions or want an initial consultation.


Tips: Towards the end of the article, you can watch an exercise video for strengthening the knees. The video is designed so that you can follow it in real time. It is recommended to do the program three times a week for 16 weeks. Adjust the number of repetitions according to functional condition.


Stretching of the calf

Tight calf muscles can be a contributing cause of knee pain. It is therefore recommended that you stretch the back of your calf daily. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds and repeat over 3 sets. The illustration below is a good way to stretch the back of the calf. This can also be a good way to counteract leg cramps.

Stretch the back of the leg


2. Side lunge with elastic rubber band (mini band)

This exercise is excellent training for the seat muscles, which plays a very important role in hip stabilization, and thus, knee stability. Find an exercise band like this one (adapted for just this type of exercise) that can be tied around both ankles as if in a big circle.


Then stand with your feet shoulder-width apart so that there is gentle resistance from the band against your ankles. The knees should be slightly bent and the seat should be slightly backwards in a sort of mid-squat position.

Side outcome with elastic

Execution and repetitions

Then take a step to the right with your right foot and leave the left leg standing again, making sure you keep the knee stable, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 repetitions, on both sides, over 2-3 sets.


Video: Side outcome w / elastic


3. Stretching of hamstrings and seat

Landscape hoarding equipment

In several previous articles, we have talked about how reduced function in the thigh muscles can cause knee pain (including patellofemoral pain syndrome). The purpose of this exercise is to gain more flexibility in the hamstring muscles - which are known to contribute to knee problems if they are too tight.


Execution and repetitions

Lie flat on the floor with your back down, preferably on an exercise mat with support under the neck. Then bend one leg towards your chest and then grab the back of your thigh with both hands. Extend the leg in a controlled, calm movement, while pulling the leg towards you. Hold the stretching exercise for 20-30 seconds, while taking deep breaths. Then bend the knee back and return to the starting position. Alternatively, you can use a towel or elastic band to get extra stretch on the back of the thigh. Repeat the exercise 2-3 times on each side.


4. Bridge

It is quickly made to forget how important the seat muscles are for both hip and knee stability. Strong gluteal muscles reduce the pressure and strain on the knees.


The bridge is performed by lying on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground, with your arms resting at your sides. Your back should be in a neutral curve. Feel free to warm up the seat by performing some light exercises - where you simply tighten the seat muscles, hold it for about 5 seconds and release again. This is an activation exercise that tells the muscles that you plan to use it soon - which in turn can lead to for more correct use during the exercise, as well as reducing the chance of muscle damage.


Execution and repetitions

When you are ready, you perform the exercise by contracting your gluteal muscles (tightening your butt), before lifting your pelvis and hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure you perform the exercise by pushing off through the heels. Raise the pelvis up until the back is in a neutral position, not arched, then slowly lower back to the starting position. The exercise is performed 8-15 repetitions, over 2-3 sets.


5. The VMO exercise (Munchies)

Very important exercise that should be part of any training program against knee pain and knee problems. This is actively used in rehabilitation training after, among other things, cruciate ligament injuries and knee operations. The exercise is easy to perform, but surprisingly heavy, as it isolates the muscle called the Vastus Medialis Obliquus (VMO) – the innermost of the quadriceps muscles. Many of you who try this training exercise will probably notice that you are considerably less stable on the side where the knee pain is worst.

knee exercise for vmo

"- When performing the VMO exercise, you will often discover that you are significantly less steady on the side that is painful."



Lie on your back on an exercise mat. The exercise can also be performed sitting on the floor. Rotate the foot outwards as shown in the picture and then raise the foot towards the ceiling - you should feel it touch the upper inside of the knee and thigh. Feel free to comment in this article on which leg you were weakest in - and if that surprised you.


How many times should I do the exercise?

The exercise is repeated with 8-10 repetitions over 3-4 sets. We recommend that the exercises are done every other day for those who are not used to training, and otherwise according to the "3 days on, 1 day off principle" for those who are used to training regularly. Remember that continuity is the key to success.


6. Oyster exercise (Mussel)

The oyster practice is also known as scallop or mussel. A very good exercise for more proper use of the seat muscles, especially the gluteus medius. You will feel that it 'burns' a bit in the seat after only a few repetitions - suggesting that you are, most likely, undermining this important part of the supporting muscle.

oysters Exercise

Execution and repetitions

Lie on your side with your hips bent at 90 degrees and your knees on top of each other. Let your lower arm act as support under your head and let your upper arm rest on your body or the floor. Lift the top knee up from the bottom knee, while keeping the heels in contact with each other - a bit like a clam opening, hence the name. Focus on contracting the gluteal muscles when performing the exercise. Repeat the exercise over 10-15 repetitions over 2-3 sets.


Video - Oyster Exercise w / elastic:


7. Toe lift and heel lift

Toe raises and its lesser-known little brother, heel raises, are both exercises that are important for the muscles in the arch of the foot and the sole of the foot - which can lead to less stress on the knees. The exercises can be performed on bare ground or on the stairs. Perform 10 repetitions of both exercises over 3 sets.

Toe lift and heel lift

Position A: Start with your feet in a neutral position and lift yourself up onto your toes - while pushing down towards the football.

Position B: Same starting point. Then lift your feet up towards the heels - here it may be appropriate to lean against a wall.


8. "Monster walks" with elastic

"Monster walk" is a brilliant exercise for knees, hips and pelvis. It combines what we have learned, and used, in the previous 5 exercises in a good way. After only a short time with this exercise, you will feel that it burns deep in the seat. For this exercise we recommend the use of minibands (link opens in a new browser window).

Use an exercise band that can be tied around both ankles as in a large circle. Then stand with your feet shoulder-width apart so that there is good resistance from the band against your ankles. Then you should walk, while working to keep your legs shoulder-width apart, a bit like Frankenstein or a mummy – hence the name. The exercise is performed for 30-60 seconds over 2-3 sets



Self-measures and good advice against knee pain

At our different clinic departments at Vondtklinikkene our physiotherapists and chiropractors constantly receive questions about how the patient himself can contribute to the fastest possible recovery and healing. Our publicly authorized clinicians are happy to recommend the use of knee compression support for increased stability and relief during the injury period.


- Comprehensive self-measures that can be easily used in everyday life

Our other advice is based on the fact that many people with knee pain have very tight calf muscles and Achilles problems. Precisely for this reason, it may be appropriate to try one adjustable night rail (which stretches the calf muscles while you sleep). We know how important it is that the self-measures are easy to use, as the vast majority of us can fall into a time crunch in a hectic everyday life.


Tip 1: Custom knee compression support (link opens in a new browser window)

A knee compression support can provide effective and good support for a painful knee.


Tip 2: Adjustable night rail (against tight calves)

As clinicians, we know that the calf muscles can have a significant impact on the knees. Studies have shown that more elastic leg muscles can have a positive effect on knee pain and symptoms due to knee osteoarthritis.¹ Regular stretching and use of night shine, as shown above, can contribute to increased flexibility and elasticity in the calf muscles.


VIDEO: Safe Exercises for Knee Pain (16-minute program)

In the video below shows chiropractor Alexander Andorff come up with a training program that you can carry out in real time. The program is 16 minutes long and contains exercises that are safe for your knees. It is used minibands on certain of the exercises, but they can also be done without.

Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel for free for more good exercise programs.

Pain clinics: Contact us or book an appointment

We offer modern assessment, treatment and rehabilitation training for knee pain and knee injuries.

Feel free to contact us via one of our clinic departments (the clinic overview opens in a new window) or on vår Facebook-side (Vondtklinikkenne - Health and Training) if you have any questions. For appointment booking, we have XNUMX-hour online booking at the various clinics so that you can find the consultation time that suits you best. You are of course also welcome to call us during the clinics' opening hours. We have interdisciplinary departments in, among other places, Oslo (incl Lambert seats) and Viken (Raw wood og Eidsvoll Sound). Our skilled therapists look forward to helping you.



Exercises for Bad Knees - Sources and Research:
  1. Alshami et al, 2020. Girth, strength, and flexibility of the calf muscle in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A case–control study. J Taibah Univ Med Sci. 2020 Jun; 15(3): 197–202.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons 2.0, Creative Commons, Freestockphotos and submitted reader contributions.

6 Exercises for Those with Fibromyalgia

6 Exercises for Those with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain and increased sensitivity in nerves and muscles.

The condition can make regular training incredibly difficult and almost impossible at times - therefore we have put together a training program consisting of 6 gentle exercises adapted for those with Fibromyalgia. Hopefully this can provide relief and help give you a better everyday life. We also recommend training in hot water pool if you have the opportunity to do so.


- At our interdisciplinary departments at Vondtklinikkene in Oslo (Lambert seats) and Viken (Eidsvoll Sound og Raw wood) our clinicians have a uniquely high professional competence in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation training of chronic pain. Click on the links or here to read more about our departments.

BONUS: Scroll down to see an exercise video with exercises tailored for those with fibromyalgia, and to read more about relaxation techniques.


Also read: 7 Tips to Endure with Fibromyalgia

aches in muscles and joints


VIDEO: 6 Custom Strength Exercises for us with Fibromyalgia

Here you see a customized exercise program for those with fibromyalgia developed by chiropractor Alexander Andorff - in collaboration with a physiotherapist and his local rheumatism team. Click on the video below to see the exercises.

Join our family and subscribe to our YouTube channel for free exercise tips, exercise programs and health knowledge. Welcome!


VIDEO: 5 Exercises against Tight Back Muscles

Fibromyalgia involves an increased incidence of muscular pain and muscle tension. Below are five exercises that can help you to loosen up in tight muscles and tense.

Did you like the videos? If you enjoyed them, we would really appreciate you subscribing to our YouTube channel and giving us a thumbs up on social media. It means a lot to us. Thank you very much!


Together in the Fight against Chronic Pain

We support everyone with chronic pain in their struggle and we hope you will support our work by liking our site via Facebook and subscribe to our video channel at YouTube. We also want to tip about the support group Rheumatism and Chronic Pain - Norway: Research and news - which is a free Facebook group for those with chronic pain where you know information and answers.


More focus should be placed on research aimed at a condition that affects so many - that's why we kindly ask you to share this article on social media, preferably via our Facebook page and say, "Yes to more research on fibromyalgia". In this way one can make the 'invisible disease' more visible.


Customized and Gentle Exercise

It is important to know its limitations to avoid "flare-ups" and deterioration. Therefore, it is better to try regular low-intensity training than to take the "skipper's grip", as the latter can, if performed incorrectly, put the body in imbalance and cause more pain.


Also read: 7 Known Triggers That Can Aggravate Fibromyalgia

7 Known Fibromyalgia Triggers

Click on the image above to read the article.



1. Relaxation: Breathing Techniques & Acupressure

Deep breath

Breathing is an important tool in the fight against muscle tension and joint pain. With more proper breathing, this can result in increased flexibility in the rib cage and associated muscle attachments which in turn leads to a reduction in muscle tension.


5 technique

The main principle of what is considered to be the first basic deep breathing technique is to breathe in and out 5 times in one minute. The way to achieve this is to breathe in deeply and count to 5, before exhaling heavily and again counting to 5.


The therapist behind this technique found that this has an optimal effect on heart rate variation in relation to the fact that it is set to a higher frequency and thus is more ready to fight stress reactions.


resistance Breathing

Another known breathing technique is breathing against resistance. This should make the body relax and go into a more relaxed setting. The breathing technique is performed by breathing deeply and then exhaling through an almost closed mouth - so that the lips do not have such a great distance and that you have to 'push' the air against resistance.


The easiest way to perform 'resistance breathing' is to breathe in through the mouth and then out through the nose.


Relaxation with Acupressure Mat

A good self-measure to calm muscle tension in the body can be daily use of acupressure mat (see example here - the link opens in a new window). We recommend that you start with sessions of about 15 minutes and then work your way up to longer sessions as the body becomes more tolerant of the massage points. Click here to read more about the relaxation mat. What is extra nice about this variant we link to is that it comes with a neck part that makes it easier to work towards tight muscles in the neck.


2. Heating and Stretching

back extension

Joint stiffness and muscle pain are often a boring part of everyday life for those affected by fibromyalgia. Therefore, it is extra important to keep the body going with regular stretching and light movement throughout the day - regular stretching can cause the joints to move more easily and the blood to flow to tight muscles.


This is especially true for the large muscle groups such as hamstrings, leg muscles, seat muscles, back, neck and shoulder. Why not try to start the day with a light stretching session aimed at the larger muscle groups?


3. Comprehensive Clothes Exercise for Whole Back and Neck

This exercise stretches and mobilizes the spine in a gentle manner.

Heel to butt stretch

Starting Position: Stand on all fours on a training mat. Try to keep your neck and back in a neutral, slightly extended position.

Stretching: Then lower your buttocks against your heels - in a calm motion. Remember to maintain the neutral curve in the spine. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. Only clothes as far back as you are comfortable with.

How often? Repeat the exercise 4-5 times. The exercise can be performed 3-4 times a day if needed.


4. Hot water pool training

hot water pool training 2

Many people with fibromyalgia and rheumatic disorders benefit from training in a hot water pool.

Most people with fibromyalgia, rheumatism and chronic pain have known that exercising in hot water can be more gentle - and that it pays more attention to stiff joints and sore muscles.


We are of the opinion that hot water pool training should be a focus area for the prevention and treatment of long-term muscle and joint ailments. Unfortunately, the truth is that such offers are constantly closed due to municipal shortages. We hope that this trend is reversed and that it is again focused more on this training method.


5. Gentle Clothes Exercises and Movement Training (with VIDEO)

Here is a selection of customized exercises for those with fibromyalgia, other chronic pain diagnoses and rheumatic disorders. We hope you find them useful - and that you also choose to share them (or the article) with acquaintances and friends who also have the same diagnosis as you.


VIDEO - 7 Exercises for Rheumatists

Doesn't the video start when you press it? Try updating your browser or watch it directly on our YouTube channel. Also remember to subscribe to the channel if you want more good training programs and exercises.


Many with fibromyalgia are also occasionally disturbed sciatica pain and radiation to the legs. Doing stretching exercises and exercise training as shown below with easy mobilization can lead to more moving muscle fibers and less muscle tension - which in turn can cause less sciatica. It is recommended that you stretch 30-60 seconds over 3 sets.


VIDEO: 4 Clothes Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome

Join our family and subscribe to our YouTube channel for free exercise tips, exercise programs and health knowledge. Welcome!


6. Yoga and Mindfulness

Yoga Exercises for Stiff Neck

Yoga can be soothing to us with fibromyalgia.

Sometimes the pain can be overwhelming and then it can be useful to use gentle yoga exercises, breathing techniques and meditation to regain control. Many also combine yoga with acupressure mat.


By practicing yoga in combination with meditation, you can gradually achieve better self-control and distance yourself from the pain when they are at their worst. A yoga group can also be nice in relation to the social, as well as that it can be an arena for exchanging advice and experiences with different therapies and exercises.


Here are some different yoga exercises that can be tried out (the links open in a new window):

5 Yoga Exercises for Hip Pain

5 Yoga Exercises for Back Pain

- 5 Yoga Exercises Against Stiff Neck


Recommended Self-Help for Rheumatism and Chronic Pain

Soft sooth compression gloves - Photo Medipaq

Click on the image to read more about compression gloves.


Summary: Exercises and Relaxation Techniques for Those with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can be incredibly troublesome and devastating in everyday life.

Therefore, it is important to know gentle exercises that are also suitable for those with higher pain sensitivity in muscles and joints. Everyone is advised to join the Facebook support group for free Rheumatism and Chronic Pain - Norway: Research and news where you can talk to like-minded people, stay up to date on news about this topic and exchange experiences.


Feel free to share in social media

Again, we would like to ask you to share this article on social media or via your blog (feel free to link directly to the article). Understanding and increased focus is the first step towards a better everyday life for those with fibromyalgia.



Suggestions for How to Help

Option A: Share directly on FB - Copy the website address and paste it on your facebook page or in a relevant facebook group you are a member of. Or press the "SHARE" button below to share the post further on your facebook.


(Click here to share)

A big thank you to everyone who helps promote increased understanding of fibromyalgia and chronic pain diagnoses.


Option B: Link directly to the article on your blog.

Option C: Follow and equal Our Facebook page (click here if desired)



Questions? Or do you want to book an appointment at one of our affiliated clinics?

We offer modern assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for chronic pain.

Feel free to contact us via one of our specialized clinics (the clinic overview opens in a new window) or on vår Facebook-side (Vondtklinikkene - Health and Exercise) if you have any questions. For appointments, we have XNUMX-hour online booking at the various clinics so that you can find the consultation time that suits you best. You can also call us within the clinic's opening hours. We have interdisciplinary departments in Oslo (included Lambert seats) and Viken (Raw wood og Eidsvoll). Our skilled therapists look forward to hearing from you.




NEXT PAGE: - Research: This is the Best Fibromyalgia Diet

fibromyalgid diet2 700px

Click on the picture above to move to the next page.


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