At soccer a few weeks ago I had a moment where my foot was planted, my knee got hit and fell in with a lot of force. I was sure I tore my MCL when I woke up in pain later. However I am so fortunate that I didn't! I do most of these exercises before I do a heavy leg day or work them in on a corrective day and I am so certain this is why my knees have survived soccer as long as they have. Having strong glutes and good hip stability is crucial in protecting your knees as well as having balance quad muscles. So work these babies into your next leg day to keep your knees strong and happy!


Ensure knees are at a 90 degree angle, feet are together, and knees open without rotating body. 10x per side 3 sets

Side Plank leg lift

Beginner version: Bottom knee bent, lift leg up and lower back down. Ensure chest is open and body is aligned. 10per side 3 sets
Advanced version: Straight bottom leg, ensure everything is in line and lift top leg up and lower down with control, 10per 3 sets

Glute bridges

Band above knees, ensure hands can touch heels, push up through heels and squeeze the glutes. You should feel this mostly in the glutes and not the hamstrings, it's a glute engaging exercise. 10x 3 sets

Knee Drive Outs

Resistance band just above knees, let fall in and then drive knee out with control. 10x per knee 3 sets. 

Standing Side Leg Pull

Standing ensure the hips are level, attach band to outside leg, and lift outside. Bring back and forth 10x per side 3 sets, should feel this in the side of your hips. 

 Split Squat Knee Drive outs 

The band is trying to pull the knee in, push out against it and lower down and up. Bend both knees and push through the heel of the front leg, 10x per leg 3 sets. To increase difficulty hold a weight in a goblet position (in front of chest)

Ball Squeezes (Wall Sit or Seated)

Sink into your hips at a 90 degree angle up against the wall, place volleyball between knees and squeeze into volleyball. Hold 30s on and off 3x. Can also be performed in a laying glute bridge position, also 30s on and off 3x.

Touch downs off small box

Really be aware of the position of the knee on the box, ensure it does not fall in and the hip remains neutral. Push through the leg on the box lowering down and up with control. Range of motion depends, start with a small 6 inch box and if you can control the knee position properly move up. 10 reps per leg 3 sets.