How to Build Muscle Around the Knee: 5 Perfect Exercises

How to Build Muscle Around the Knee

In the past, I was always asking how to build muscle around the knee. I was a skateboarder in middle school and high school. And I had my fair share of knee problems.

In fact, I gave up skateboarding for the less dangerous surfing. Even when I started surfing, one of my knees would sometimes pop out of it’s socket when I was trying to stand up on a wave.

I knew that I needed to do something. And after a lot of trial and error, I learned how to build muscle around the knee. It turns out, it’s not terribly hard, it just takes time.

I am happy to tell you that now, I still love surfing and haven’t had any knee pain or issues in the past 10 years.

It definitely helps that I workout 3-4 times per week. Each one of the exercises that we are going to discuss in this article, I do every week at least once.

Why does building muscle help knee pain

Knee pain can come from a wide array of different places, but since you are here, I am assuming that it is mostly due to weakness or lack of structure.

You might not even have knee pain right now. Most of the time, when I was just walking around normally, I would be fine. But any time that I tried to put it to the test, my knees would give out.

Lucky for us, when you build muscle around the knee, your future self is thanking you. The time and work that you put in now will pay dividends later.

Building muscle around your knee strengthens everything in the area. All of the periphery muscles and ligaments work together to support your knee and give you strength.

Exercises that build muscle around the knee

When you first start working out, you might experience pain/discomfort while doing these exercises. That is why I always recommend starting light. Think about your form before anything else.

Do things slow and steady. Do not try to rush things, and you will find that you are moving on within a few weeks. The key is to be consistent here. Don’t do this for a couple weeks and give up because it’s not working.

You are building a house here. It is not going to happen overnight. But I will say that you will not regret it. This is something that is going to vastly improve your life, whether your knees are in pain, or you just want the muscles above your knee to pop.

Before we get into the exercises, I recommend downloading our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). We have over 100+ exercises, FREE built-in workout plans, and the ability to create your own custom workout plan. All of these exercises are on there, and it will really help you around the gym.

If you don’t feel like downloading the app, that is fine too, just make sure you do these exercises once or twice per week. It will really help you learn how to build muscle around the knee.


This is one of the original bodybuilding exercises, and it is great for building muscle around the knee. I will tell you, that when I first started working out, I was only using the bar for the first week.

Do not be afraid to start small. When you go to the gym, you aren’t being judged. I have been going to the gym for 15 years now, and I have yet to encounter a mean person. I am sure they are out there, but they are the exception, not the rule.

All you have to do here is find a squat rack or a power tower and get to work.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Now we are getting into a knee specific exercise. Actually, this exercise focuses on your quad muscles, but on the lower portion. This is right above your knee, and will really help your knee build some muscle structure.

You can use dumbbells here, but I recommend starting off with just your body weight. You don’t want to actually hurt your knees!

If you don’t have a weight bench, you can always use a coffee table, couch, bed, etc…

Trap-Bar Deadlift

Deadlifts are my favorite exercises of all time, there is no secret there. However, traditional deadlifts put a little bit more pressure on your knees.

Lucky for us, the trap-bar deadlift has come to the rescue. Also known as the hex bar deadlift, this exercise positions the weight over your center of gravity. This differs from a traditional deadlift where your center is a little bit farther forward.

I prefer trap-bar deadlifts, but I understand that a lot of gyms don’t have the bars for this. Traditional deadlifts will work fine also, but if you are insistent on doing trap-bar deadlifts, you can always buy the bar from Amazon.

Leg Extensions

When it comes to building muscle around your knees, I personally believe that this is the strongest exercise possible. While leg extensions target your quad muscles, you will find that every muscle surrounding your knees are also targeted.

I make sure to do these twice per week, and I hold them responsible for a lot of the muscle around my knee.

Walking Lunge

While I do use dumbbells in the video, don’t think that it is a requirement. Start off without them and see how you feel.

You will also notice my steps. A lot of people will try to do huge lunging steps with each alternation. That is not the correct way to do things, and it might cause injury.

When you switch legs, be sure to bring your feet together first. Then go into the next lunge.

Main Point: How to build muscle around the knee

If you have been struggling to build up your knee muscles, you now know what is possible. As I mentioned before, I personally have struggled with knee pain, and it was obnoxious. I have not had knee pain for the past 10 years and I attribute it directly to the 5 exercises mentioned in this article.

Remember that success does not happen overnight. That goes for anything, but especially when it comes to learning how to build muscle around the knee. You are going to need persistence and patience in order to hit your goals.

When it comes to building muscle, you want to make sure that you are working out 3-4 times per week AND eating enough calories to sustain muscle growth. Check out our tips for going from a thin body to a muscular body.

Let us know what you think about these exercises, and if they are working for you!

Related Articles

20 of the Best Exercise Equipment Amazon Has to Offer (Home Gym)

How Long Does it Take to Gain 20 Pounds of Muscle

How to Make Exercise a Habit: A Guide

Download All Workouts Personal Trainer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>