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10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Knees and Prevent Injury

Anyone who leads an active lifestyle, should start paying closer attention to how their knees feel with each movement.

Whether you love to run, jog, or hike, practice yoga or dance, do kickboxing, or any other high-intensity exercise, your knees are a key joint in these activities – and one in potential danger of injury.

Enter: yoga. In particular, there are certain yoga poses for knees that can strengthen your knee joints and may help prevent future knee-related injuries.


Practice These 10 Yoga Poses for Knees to Strengthen and Prevent Future Injury:

These yoga poses for knees are important to practice on a regular basis to help reduce knee pain, strengthen the knee joint, and help prevent future injury.

Struggle with knee pain? Practice These 10 Yoga Poses to Relieve Knee Pain

1. Bridge Pose With Elevated Heels (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose

This yoga pose stretches your hips, increases strength in your back, glutes, and hamstrings, and lengthens your spine and neck while opening your chest.

Let’s try it:

  • Place your back on the floor, keeping your knees bent and directed upward
  • Extend your arms along the floor and keep them flat
  • Ground your feet and arms firmly onto the floor
  • On an exhale, lift your bottom and hips toward the ceiling
  • Interlace your fingers as you squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Keep your heels lifted, balancing on the balls of your feet
  • Hold for three to five breaths


2. Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Bound Angle Butterfly Pose 1

This yoga pose for knees stretches your groins muscles and notably your inner thighs that surround the knee joint.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin by sitting on your mat with your legs stretched out directly in front of you
  • You may wish to elevate your hips by sitting on a yoga blanket or place yoga blocks under each knee for added support
  • Keep your spine straight as you bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together
  • Move your thighs up and down like wings or keep your knees still


3. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Childs Pose

Child’s Pose is a “resting pose” that can be varied in intensity.

For students with tight, sore knees, try keeping your bottom and hips lifted. Or place a folded yoga blanket underneath your knees, adding an extra “cushion.”

Let’s try it:

  • Begin on all fours and bring your feet together with your toes untucked
  • Rest your stomach in between your thighs with your bottom and your hips sitting on your heels
  • Release your forehead or chin on the mat
  • Extend your arms out with your elbows slightly bent or lengthen your arms by your sides with your palms facing up or down
  • You can place folded blankets behind your knees or on your heels for added “cushioning”
  • Hold for three to five breaths

Here’s How to Practice Child’s Pose For Beginners

4. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Easy Pose

This pose is traditionally the opening to a class, introducing your body to breath awareness while warming up your knees and ankles for future poses.

With any variation of this seated pose, your knees are bent, and for many with existing pain, it is neither comfortable nor, in some cases, even possible to get into.

Let’s try it:

  • To make this pose more accessible, instead of having one foot on top of the other or both feet in the crease of your thighs, simply cross your legs and ease one in front of the other
  • You can sit on a folded yoga blanket or place yoga blocks underneath your knees for extra support
  • Lengthen your spine with each inhale and relax your body with each exhale
  • Begin with three to five breaths in this pose and gradually increase your time as your body becomes more flexible


5. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Extended Side Angle

Extended Side Angle is beneficial for increasing flexibility and strength in the legs, knee joints and ankles, groin, and abdominal muscles.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet between three to four feet apart
  • Start to point your right foot forward and your left foot out
  • Look down to check that the arch of your right foot is in line with your left heel
  • Gently ease into bending your left knee to a right angle
  • Reach your top arm overhead and rest your bottom forearm on your left thigh or bring your left hand to a block or beside your front ankle
  • Reach and lengthen your right arm over your head, opening your chest, and take your gaze toward your right arm
  • With an active and open chest and energy from your left elbow, gently press the into your left knee
  • Stay for three to five breaths and then repeat on the other side

Runners, Practice These 7 Yoga Poses to Release Your Sore Legs and Hips


6. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose is considered the foundation of all standing poses.

This is one of the best yoga poses for knees because it’s aimed to improve your posture and body awareness, helping to strengthen your legs and establish good alignment, which can help prevent future knee injuries while also helping to manage existing strains.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Check in with all parts of your feet by wiggling your toes and spreading them wide
  • Ground yourself firmly into the corners of your feet to evenly distribute the weight of your body
  • As you press into your feet, engage your calf and thigh muscles and internally rotate your inner thighs to widen your sit bones
  • Tuck your tailbone in to engage your glutes and tighten your ab muscles
  • Keep your shoulders away from your ears, stacked and aligned over your hips and ankles
  • With facial and neck muscles relaxed, slightly lift your chin as you pull it back gently to make it parallel with the floor
  • Lengthen your arms by your sides with your elbows soft and spread your fingers apart

How to Actually Practice Mountain Pose – There’s More Technique Than You Think

7. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Half Moon Pose

Balances are excellent yoga poses for knees because they’re beneficial for building the muscles surrounding the knee joints.

For individuals experiencing inflammation or strains, using a block for support or practicing against a wall is helpful.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your back to a wall
  • Rotate your left foot so the outside edge is parallel with the wall
  • Shift your weight so you’re balancing on your left leg
  • Lean your torso forward and place a block under your left hand a few inches in front of your left foot
  • Rotate the right side of your body upward to align your back against the wall
  • Lift your right leg roughly parallel to the floor
  • Hold for three to five breaths and then repeat on the opposite side


8. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose stretches the muscles around the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, chest, and spine.

Let’s try it:

  • To begin, step your feet out in a wide stance with your left foot parallel to the back of your mat and your right foot at a 90-degree angle, parallel with the long edge of your mat
  • Lean your torso forward and reach your right arm straight down to a block or the floor and rotate upward with the left side of your body
  • Align your arms in a straight line, keeping your core engaged and your spine lengthened
  • Hold for three to five breaths and then repeat on the other side


9. Wall Sit or Supported Chair Pose

Wall Sit

This pose aims to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and abductors as it increases blood flow to the lower part of the body, which helps to bring fluidity to your movement.

While Chair Pose (Utkatasana) is normally practiced away from a wall, a supported practice works as an excellent yoga pose for knees to build strength and stability.

Let’s try it:

  • Start by placing your feet hip-distance apart with your back to a wall
  • Lean your entire back against the wall and begin to slide down until your knees and ankles are parallel with each other
  • For additional support, use your hands, placing them against the wall as you start to bend your knees
  • Once you have reached a point of comfort, begin to place your hands on your thighs or reach your arms toward the ceiling
  • Hold for three to five breaths, then ease yourself back up
  • Repeat several times, focusing on your breath


10. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Seated Wide Forward Fold

Upavistha Konasana is a great way to stretch the entire back without tweaking any existing pain in your knees. In addition, the pose addresses the hips, inner thighs, and groin muscles.

Let’s try it:

  • Start seated on props or the floor and straddle your legs out wide
  • Flex your feet to activate your leg muscles
  • Place your hands on the ground and begin to walk them forward until you feel a stretch
  • Keep your spine lengthened as you fold your torso forward
  • Hold for eight to 10 breaths


Try These Yoga Poses for Knees to Strengthen, Reduce Pain, and Prevent Injury

The yoga poses for knees outlined in this article are just some examples of how beneficial incorporating yoga can be to sustaining the longevity of healthy knees.

As always, continuing to stay mindful of your body, practicing breath awareness, and listening to any cues suggesting pain is important.

Strained knees can negatively affect any physical activity – from the simple act of walking to intense exercising. Practicing yoga poses for knees and stretching daily, even for just a few minutes may prevent any future injuries, reduce any existing pain, and increase strength.

In addition, you will gain a new understanding, appreciation, and patience, and learn to care for all your body parts – from your head to your shoulders, knees, and down to your toes.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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Trish Londres

Trish first discovered yoga through Rodney Yee. With over 10 years of teaching experience, she is a 200-RYT with YogaFit and is working toward a specialty track, Warrior Kids, Healing Childhood Trauma through Yoga. Tricia loves teaching age groups ranging from toddlers to seniors, and creates fun fusion classes that combine Barre, Pilates, and Yoga.

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