Knee-friendly exercises to replace squats

Squats are a staple for many workouts, but they could hurt the knee if done incorrectly. We look into the technique and present some alternatives.

Knee-friendly exercises to replace squats
Deep squats are included in most exercise regimes, and for good reason. They work on lower body strength, improve flexibility and promote better posture.

“Squats are an excellent exercise to tone glutes, hips and thighs which is generally a concern for most women,” fitness instructor Payal Khanchandani told the Times of India.

Sports nutritionist and certified fitness trainer Asif Shaikh added: “The stretching and enhanced circulation helps to get rid of unwanted cellulite.”

Still, the exercise has received some flake for being strenuous on the knee. A literature review published in the Sports Medicine journal put complaints to rest. Researchers concluded that the exercise does not increase the chance of damaging passive tissues, provided that it is performed correctly.

Squats: The general technique

Warming up is important, according to osteopathic physician Joseph Mercola. Ensure that your feet are shoulder width apart, or slightly more. Remember to keep your back straight, Dr Mercola added.

Then, breathe in and slowly bend your knees until the squat is in a 90-degree angle.

Breathe out as you get back into the starting position.

Dr Mercola recommends that the exercise should be repeated 15 to 20 times and beginners should perform two to three sets.

What are some good alternatives?

Despite being clear on the technique, the exercise is not recommended for those with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. It is also unsuitable for those recovering from meniscus tears and other knee injuries.

We recommend that you check out this video by Fitness Blender. The workout takes less than 30 minutes and combines exercises such as kneeling leg raises, high side kicks and ’round the world’ jacks.

Does your workout routine include squats? Share it with us at

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