There are several exercise that can replace traditional squats for people who are experiencing knee pain. These exercises eliminate stress on the knee joint by controlling or eliminating flexion.
Finding an effective combination is dependent on individual pain free ROM (Range of Motion) and applicable equipment. The level of exertion can be increased through added resistance and/or increase of repetitions.
5 Alternative Exercises to Squats
Dumbbell Deadlifts target your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, while keeping knees in a fixed position.
Glute Bridges strengthen muscles around the knee and tone posterior leg muscles, hamstring and lower. They also effectively build hip and core strength.
Side-Lying Leg Raises enhance mobility by using body weight to engage the entire hip region and inner thigh muscles.
Donkey Kicks specifically focus on all posterior leg muscles while kneeling on the floor. This movement eliminates all pressure on knee joints and accentuates flexibility.
Seated Leg Extension (Without A Machine) is a pain free way to strengthen the quadricep muscles where it meets the knee joints. It’s a safe exercise to promote isolation during the flexion movement.