Pilates Knee Strengthening Exercises


**If you do have a knee injury, please seek attention from a professional licensed medical doctor. The exercises listed below are a great way to keep knees strong and help in rehabilitating, but it is strongly recommended to be under the guidance of said doctor.**

The knee joint’s primary plane of movement is in the Sagittal plane. The Sagittal plane cuts through the body. This motion is front to back, which means that the joint is most comfortable with flexion and extension. The knee itself doesn’t necessarily move inward or outward. Therefore, when we talk about turning the knee in and out or medial and lateral rotation of the knee, it is actually referring to rotation at the hip joint with the knee following in movement.

A lot of irritations in the knee can come from overuse of our knees in our every day lives or in our fitness regimens. A lot of different factors can play into this, but regardless of how strong our muscles are the knee can still become unhappy.

Pilates is a great way in which you can help your knee movement, strength, and flexibility. If you already have knee discomfort try adding some of the Pilates exercises listed below into your routine. If you don’t have any discomfort it is still a great idea to do theses moves so that you don’t face discomfort in the future!


The following moves bring awareness and control at the hip and knee. If the hip isn’t cultivated and controlled then there is potential for the knee to be twisted out of alignment.

Some of the following exercises can be performed at home, while some should be monitored by a certified Pilates’ instructor to gain optimal results.

At Home

-Bridging on a mat is extremely effective in strengthening the gluteal muscles and the hamstrings (muscles that support the knee) as well as stabilizing the back of the knee.

-Single Leg Stretch Focusing on keeping the legs nice and straight-due to the hamstring most likely being tight to compensate for the knee.
-Different variations of leg circles to work the blood supply to continue moving through the knee.

In Class
-The footwork series is the excellent for improving strength and alignment for the whole lower body, all the way from the feet to the hips.
-There is a whole range of exercises that are performed with the feet in the straps. These exercises are excellent for strengthening and stretching adductors inner thighs and hamstrings (supports of the hips) as well as hip flexors themselves.
-Modified Swan
-Supine Twist for the hips