8 Simple Moves to Strengthen Your Knees & Stop the Pop

Poor form during exercise is the number one cause of knee pain—but even when your form is immaculate you can still experience annoying popping and clicking.

Pain-free popping and clicking can develop for several reasons including:

  • Fluid moving through the joint’s range of motion
  • Misalignment of a muscle or tendon over the joint during movement
  • An old (yet benign) injury to the supportive tissues of the joint

In the absence of pain, these circumstances are relatively harmless and a normal part of joint movement and wear and tear.

However, knee popping and clicking coupled with pain affects 1 in 5 Americans—and, as one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S. it’s decidedly not normal.

If you’re experiencing these red flags here are 8 Simple Moves to Eliminate Knee Pain and Popping for Good: (see pictures to help guide you)

1.) Ball roll on peroneals: use a tennis ball to massage the muscles of the lower leg that can become tight and pull on the knee joint


2.) Lying Hamstring Stretch: use a strap or towel and aim to feel this in the back of the thigh; if you’re really tight in the calf you’ll feel it there too

3.) Lying Diagonal Straight Leg Stretch: use a strap or towel and only go to the depth where you can still breathe deeply


4.) Kneeling hip & quad stretch: tuck the tailbone down to create a stretch across the front of the hip, then lean into the lunge to deepen the sensation

KneePain.Kneeling hip & quad stretch

5.) Calf stretch at wall: keeping the back leg straight, press the heel toward the floor to tolerance.

KneePain.CalfStretchAtWall1KneePain.Calf stretch at wall2

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6.) Seated ball squeeze behind knee: use a small physio-ball or tennis ball to activate the hamstrings and open the front of the knee

KneePain.Seated ball squeeze behind knee1KneePain.Seated ball squeeze behind knee2

7.) Straight leg lifts for quads: internal & external: squeeze a small physio-ball or yoga block between knees as you straighten and bend at the knee

KneePain.Straight leg lifts for quads1KneePain.Straight leg lifts for quads2


KneePain.Straight leg lifts for quads3KneePain.Straight leg lifts for quads4

8.) Hamstring curls & lifts: use a Fit Ball moving slowly and with control to engage hamstrings.



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These 8 Simple Moves target all of the tissues surrounding the knee joint. They work together to flex, extend, and stabilize the knee meaning the exact source of pain may not be obvious.

By targeting each of these muscle groups during specific stretches and strengthening exercises in addition to focusing on proper alignment of the knee joint and activation of glutes during activities you can get and keep your knees healthy!

In Love & Gratitude,

Signature 3

Missi Holt

Further Reading:

Beginner Yoga