3 Workouts to Strengthen Your Knees

Jennifer Goldstein, 32

Goal: To build muscle so she can climb Mount Rainier in September

Current Regimen: Works her legs (squats, lunges, and leg presses) three days a week; runs on treadmill 20 minutes twice a week.

Obstacles: Weakness and occasional pain from surgery last year to re-repair an ACL tear in her knee

Workout #1

Katy Bowman, MS, director of the Restorative Exercise Institute in Ventura, CA

Stairs & Stretches

The Plan: Running is not the right kind of cardio for someone with knee problems. Using a stair-climber will put less wear and tear on Jenn's joints, and the vertical action will prep her glutes and quads for her Mount Rainier trek.

Jenn is now working the front of her legs, but she'll get stronger and reduce stress on her knee joints if she targets the back of her legs too. She should do the exercises below whenever she strength-trains.

Power off pounds with this walking workout that trims and firms your hips, butt and thighs.

Top Toners

1. The Stepmill

This moving staircase—available at some gyms—is easy on joints but still a good cardio workout. Do 15 to 30 minutes two or three times a week.

2. Butt Builder

Hinge forward at hips, hands on wall.

Lift left leg back without moving hips. Hold for one minute.

Switch legs. Do three to five times with each leg.

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