Everyone goes through aches and pains in their life, it’s a sign of experience and the adventures that you’ve taken.
As the body’s foundation, the legs are especially susceptible to pain and tightness, which will force joints like the knees and ankles to undergo some painful throbbing as well.
People search far and wide for ways that offer knee pain relief, such as over the counter medication, when all they truly need is to incorporate yoga.
Not only does it help with recovery, but yoga can also make those knees stronger and prevent pain and future injuries.
Here are 9 amazing knee strengthening yoga poses and how to correctly perform them.
Many yoga postures that you see on this list are geared towards strengthening the leg as a unit, not separate muscles.
Building strength in the muscles that surround your knee will help them to support the joints and not rely on them so heavily.
Doing the Chair pose helps your body start to understand the concept of distributing weight between your hips and knees, as well as every muscle in-between.
Imagine doing a wall sit exercise with your legs at a 115-degree angle… now take out the wall. That’s essentially the leg workout you can expect.
Start by standing up with proper posture while putting your feet and legs together side-by-side. Sink your hips down as if you’re going to sit in a chair while having your arms raised straight up into the air.
Make sure your chest stays lifted, and keep the weight evenly distributed on the back of your heels for proper alignment.
Stay in this pose for 1-2 minutes and focus on your breathing, repeat 2-3 more times for a strengthening exercise.
This will start to develop your hips and thighs a bit more. And your calves will start to feel the burn as well, for support from the other side of the knee.
Those that aren’t super familiar with yoga practices may see this pose as no different than just regularly standing. However, it is so much more than that.
The mountain pose is vital to teaching you good posture while training your muscles to be receptive to that notion. It also allows for relaxation and optimum breathing techniques.
To get yourself into the mountain pose, start by standing straight up on your yoga mat with your feet a hip’s width apart from each other.
Make sure that your hips are stacked directly over your feet and your shoulders directly over your hips for proper alignment. Do not lock your knees for this exercise, it’ll contradict the entire pose.
Next, roll your shoulders up and back to open up your chest. At the same time, rotate your thighs inward to activate your quads. You should start to feel the burn on the back of your legs.
To engage your arms in the mountain pose, have your palms facing in front of you and spread your fingers out so they aren’t touching each other.
Keep your head raised and tuck your chin slightly into your neck as you close your eyes and focus on the rhythm of your breathing. Stand in this pose for about 1-2 minutes and revert back to it a few times during your routine.
3. Warrior II
Now it’s time to activate each leg individually for the first time, and the Warrior II pose (one of several warrior poses) is a great pose for improving your balance.
Not only are you activating each leg muscle group on an individual leg basis, you’re also keeping your core engaged throughout and giving those shoulders a workout.
Start by taking your left foot and placing it in front of you (pointing forwards) while placing your right foot behind you at a 45-degree angle. This will open up your hips for the entire exercise.
Bend your left leg and make sure your left knee is directly over your left foot; keep your right leg straight while you lunge with your left.
Next, raise your arms on both sides to be completely horizontal and turn your head to face the front.
Focus on your breathing and keeping your back straight. Wait for 1 minute and then switch legs.
4. Forward Fold
The more flexible you are, the more impressive this pose will look. But it will still work wonders regardless of your flexibility.
Start by standing up with your knees a few inches apart from each other. Refrain from locking your knees as you take your head and slowly lower it to the ground.
If you can, touch the ground with your palms and keep the arms bent (they aren’t the priority of this pose).
For more stretching, you can take your hands and place them on your calves to slowly stretch the hamstrings and hips. This will also lengthen the back a bit more.
Focus on your breathing and try to stretch a bit more with every exhale, repeat for 4-5 breathes before returning to a standing position.
The bridge pose will have that knee pain feeling like water under the “bridge” in no time!
Cheesy jokes aside, it’s one of the best postures out there for engaging your buttocks and core simultaneously.
Start by laying on your back and take your feet (shoulder-width apart) and bend your legs while you set the bottom of your feet down on the ground.
Place your arms down beside you and lift your midsection up to the sky by pushing the floor with your heels; keep your shoulders rolled back.
Make sure to squeeze your glutes as tight as possible and take slow, deep breaths.
Take 4-5 deep breathes in bridge pose before moving onto the next one!
6. Warrior I
Not to be outdone by Warrior II, Warrior I activates more of your core to stretch the legs a bit more in front of you.
Same as the Warrior II, start with your left foot in front of you (pointing forward) while you step your right foot back behind you and into a 45-degree angle again.
Raise your arms completely up towards the sky and lunge your left leg so that your knee is directly over the foot. Keep the back leg straight, but do not lock your knee.
Next, arch your chest towards the sky, allowing your head to go back with it.
Extend your arms as far back as you can and concentrate on your breathing. With every exhale, try to reach your arms back a bit more. Take 4-5 deep breathes before switching to the opposite leg.
Place your feet wide and place your left leg in front of you and straighten it (again, don’t lock your knee).
Bend your body to the side towards the front leg while reaching your other hand to the sky. Turn your head to look up at the hand that’s reaching upwards.
Try to resist turning your hips and keep your core activated as you go along. Again, focus on your breathing for 3-4 deep breathes. Then come back to a standing position before doing the same triangle pose on the opposite side.
Start in a standing pose, then take your right foot and place it around 3 feet behind you so that your legs form a pyramid shape (hence the name of the pose).
Keep your feet only a hip-width apart from each other and start to bend forward, keeping your back straight. Engage your core and place your hands behind your back.
If you’re a beginner, feel free to place your arms along either side of your front leg to keep your balance.
Focus on bending further into the pose with every exhale. Take 5-6 breaths before returning to a standing position and switching to the opposite leg.
9. Peaceful Warrior
Who knew warriors did so much yoga, right?
For this version of the warrior pose, take your left foot and set it behind you at a 45-degree angle, bending your right leg into a squat position.
Keep your back straight and torso opened-up as your face forward. Extend your arms out to either side and open your palms to the sky.
Now, take your left hand and lower it down to touch your left leg, slowly arching your back. At the same time, take your right hand and lift it over your head.
Take a few deep breathes, and wait around 45 seconds to a minute before returning to a standing position and switching to the opposite leg.
Try These Knee Strengthening Yoga Poses Today!
Nothing will get you into a better frame-of-mind than a thorough yoga session. Put these knee strengthening yoga poses to work in your next practice.
Please be sure to check back with our website frequently for the latest tips and tricks in the yoga universe!
While you’re at it, check out this article on great poses for two yogis so that you can find out about other poses to use with a partner.