Exercises for Knock Knees

If your legs spread outward from your knees to the point where your ankles are far apart from each other and your knees are touching then you are considered knock kneed. This condition (also known as genu valgum) is common in small children but should outgrow it by the time they reach adulthood. The exercises for knock knees listed below can help correct this deformity by making certain muscles and knee joints stronger.

Why Knock Knees Exercises Can Work

Weakened lower body posterior chain muscles are usually linked to knock knees. By strengthening the posterior chain muscles (especially the glutes such as the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus) it will help the genu valgum straighten out.

Pretty much your gluteus maximus (glutes), calves, lower back, and hamstrings make up your posterior chain muscles.

These muscles in the posterior chain are responsible for stabilizing the hip as well as hip abduction. This is vital because if these muscles are weak the hip will fall out and the knee will knee turn inward, and the ankle won’t properly stabilize itself – which describes knock knees in a nutshell.

With all that being said utilizing exercises that focus on making the hip stronger is necessary for knocked kneed correction. Here’s a great picture below to give you a visual of these muscles in the posterior chain and hip abductors:

knock knees exercises


Exercises for Knock Knees

exercises for knock knees

Keep in mind that knock knees exercises are usually only helpful for those with mild genu valgum. If you are dealing with a severe case of knock knees then performing these exercises can help slightly, but won’t fully correct the bone deformity.

When doing these corrective exercises (especially for knock knees in adults) the key is to stay consistent in order for your knees to realign correctly and stabilize. Also, the cause of your knocked knee will play a huge role in how effective these exercises are at knock knee correction.

Side Lying Leg Raises

exercises to correct knock knees

  1. Begin this exercise by laying down on your left or right side.
  2. Make sure your legs are fully extended (one leg should be on top of the other) and your hand closest to the ground should be extended straight. Your opposite arm should be bent while your hand is placed on your hip.
  3. Now start one rep by elevating your leg that’s on top slowly as high as you possibly can manage.
  4. Now return your leg back down slowly and rest it on top of the other leg like you had it in the starting position.
  5. Do at least 10 reps of these to make one set.

These side lying leg raises are simple but for very effective for making the muscles like the gluteus medius stronger and helping to stabilize your hip, which is exactly what you want in order to fix knock knees.


  1. Begin this exercise to correct knock knees by laying down on your side with your legs on top of one another and bend your knees to a 45 degree angle.
  2. Keep your head on your the arm closest to the floor and place your arm that’s furthest from the floor (on the top) to keep your body steady.
  3. Now raise your upper knee as high as possible while keeping your ankles together. Your hips and pelvis should remain as steady as possible while doing this motion. Also, make sure your lower leg doesn’t get lifted off the ground.
  4. When your upper knee has reached as high as possible pause and keep it there for a second before returning it to the starting position.
  5. Perform 10 reps of this exercise to complete 1 set.

The clamshell is a great knock knee treatment because it strengthens your hip and really targets your glutes (gluteus maxium, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius) and other important muscles in your posterior. Definitely include this effective hip and leg strengthening exercise in your routine.

Lateral Walks with Band on Ankles

exercises for knock knees in adults

Begin this exercise by placing a mini band around your ankles and stand up straight.

  1. Keep your knees bent a little while performing this exercise and try not to lock them out.
  2. Keep your feet apart and begin stepping to the right and then follow with your left foot. Make sure you feel some resistance from the band around your ankles as you take each step.
  3. Repeat the steps towards the right and then repeat the steps towards the left.

The lateral band walk is another one of the great exercises for knock knees because it builds more strength and stability in the hip abductors, glutes, and knees. Another variation of this exercise is called the “Penguin Walk”, which is also effective for correcting knock knees naturally. Check out the video below:

Hip Extensions

exercises for knock knees in children

  1. Begin this knock knees exercise by placing an ankle weight around your ankles. Make sure you start with a light weight and complete one rep before choosing heavier weights.
  2. Now get on your hands on knees and then bend one of your knees with the ankle weight to a 90 degree angle.
  3. You’ll then slowly lift up the leg that’s bent to a 90 degree angle along a straight line all the way up towards the ceiling.
  4. Repeat this motion for 10 reps and then switch to your other leg making sure it has ankle weights on it too.

This is one of the most effective exercises for knock knees because it works your glutes and helps stabilize your hips. If you don’t feel comfortable (or if you just don’t have any) using ankle weights then don’t use them and perform this exercise without them.

Eventually as you build up strength in your posterior muscles and hips try wearing the weights to help you build even more strength. Check out the video below:

Another way to perform this exercise is to stand up and extend your hips.

  1. Begin by standing behind a chair or a table.
  2. Hold onto the table or chair so you can have some support.
  3. Tighten up your core and extend your legs outward toward your back.
  4. Do at least 10 reps and then repeat this motion with your other leg.

Take a look at the video below that demonstrates how to properly perform a standing hip extension exercise:

Hip extensions whether standing or laying down are a great way to strengthen a weak hip and glutes, which as we explained earlier is usually associated with knocked knees.

Russian Hamstrings

how to fix my knock knees

  1. To start this exercise get on your knees and align your shoulders, torso, and hips so that your body forms a line that’s straight.
  2. If you have a weight bench (a weight bench would be ideal) place both feet under it. If you don’t have a weight bench no problem just have someone get behind you and hold your ankles down.
  3. Now bring your hands up to shoulder level by bending your arms at your elbows. You’ll know you’re doing this right when your upper arms at the sides of your body and your elbows are pointing downward.
  4. Make sure your back is as straight as possible and then tighten up your hamstrings and glutes while slowly lowering your body toward the ground.
  5. Make sure you don’t bend at your hips and avoid dropping your body to the ground. Try to fight gravity and keep your body in as straight a line as you can manage.
  6. Finally, when you can’t lower your body any more release the tension in your glutes and hamstrings and drop down to the ground making sure you use your hands to break your fall.
  7. Repeat.

This is one of the best exercises for knock knees because it will help build strength in your hamstrings and glutes. Additional it will help stabilize your hips which will help straighten out your knees. Check out the video below:

A few of exercises for knock knees listed above can be performed with a resistance band or weights to help work and strengthen your glutes, hips, and other muscles in your posterior chain even more. However, make sure you master the basic technique first before you begin adding weights, resistant bands, and stability balls with these exercises. By strengthening these specific muscles by using simple exercises it’s possible to correct the problem without knock knee surgery.

Knock Knee Braces That Help Correct Algus Valgus Naturally

Many people with algus valgus want to know more about knock knee braces.  Knock knees are very typical among young children but if you reach your teenage years or even adulthood it can become a serious problem. Not only can this problem cause complications like arthritis in the knee but it can also cause you a great deal of embarrassment if you don’t take care of it.

The Cause

In order to really treat this lower leg deformity you have to know what’s causing the problem this late in your life. By the time you reach eight years old you are supposed to outgrow this problem and it’s supposed to correct itself on its own. If this doesn’t happen then there is usually an underlying problem that is causing it to persist past the age it’s supposed to correct itself.

There are various causes of knock knees but the most common causes are other medical conditions like scurvy or Blount’s disease. These underlying conditions cause knock knees as a result of them not being treated properly.

Once again the problem with knock knees isn’t just the potential problems it can cause in a person, but also the embarrassment of the physical appearance of it. What’s worse, the longer a knock kneed adult takes to treat their problem it will only get worse be harder to correct properly.

Most people that contact us here are hoping that there is another option besides expensive and drastic surgical procedures that may not even correct the problem. One of these alternative options for treating bow legs and knock knees without surgery involves wearing knee braces.

Knock Knee Braces

knock knee braces

Knock knee braces can help but usually they won’t fully correct knock knees if the person is already at a certain age where their bones stop developing and growing.

The first thing you should do if you’re interested in knee braces for knock knees is to get consultation from a certified orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine doctor. If an orthopedic believes that braces will help your knock knee problem then they will suggest that you wear the braces at night while you’re sleeping to help realign you knees and lower leg properly.

The knee braces will help realign your knees into its proper position by pulling the knee upwards. The average knock knee brace will have to get attached to the shoes of the patient in order to help pull the knee upwards into its proper position.

Types of Knee Braces

The most popular kind of knee brace for knock knees are unloader braces. These knee braces unloads the stress that is being directed to the joint being affected.

The unloader knee brace will either be designed to unload the medial or lateral area of the knee. The medial being inner and the lateral being the exterior part of your knee.

It’s important to know that these type of knee braces can cost a lot of money, but some insurance companies will cover the cost so make sure you check with your health insurance company.

Most of the time these unloader braces will be used congruently with various exercises and other alternative methods to help make them more effective at knock knee correction.

Since there are various types of unloader braces out there you should always consult your doctor about which option will be the best for your specific condition.

How Does It Work

These knock knee braces will apply a degree of force in order to lessen the amount of pressure on the area of the knee that’s being affected, which will lead to less pain and gradually a more normal knee function.

There are some companies who produce these unloader knee braces that will allow you to give their braces a trial and if you don’t like it within a certain amount of time you won’t have to pay a dime. One of these companies offering a free trial on their knee braces can be found here.

What Knee Brace is Good for You?

The type of knee brace your doctor recommends that you wear will depend on the problem you’re dealing with. Unloader knee braces will be used to help with knock knee or bow legged deformities.

The main goal of these unloader or offloader braces is to decrease the uneven loading in the knee. Another type of braces often used to help correct knee problems are functional knee braces, which aim to help your knee stay stable after an injury.

Patellofemoral knee braces will help provide a smooth kneecap motion in patients suffering from knock knee deformity due to complications in the femur of the knee.

Check out this site for different braces that could help.

How to Use a Knee Brace Correctly

Always follow the directions provided by your health care provider in regards to your knee braces. Wear the brace at the times recommended (usually at night while you sleep), and make sure you clean it routinely with soap and water.

Always make sure you check your brace, especially if you’ve been wearing it for a while. You need to make sure there isn’t any severe wear and tear on the braces you’re using so they can be at their most effective potential.

The healthcare provider who recommended the braces for you to use will give you instructions on how to take care of your braces so that they remain in good condition and continue to provide you the best treatment for knock knees.

Potential Complications

There are definitely some adverse effects that come along with wearing knock knee braces. These braces aren’t for everyone so you have to keep an eye on how they make you feel when you first start wearing them.

From our experience some of the most common adverse effects of knee braces for knock knees and bow legs include:

  • Swelling or Pain in the Knee
  • Inflammation in the Knee
  • The knock knee or bow leg deformity seems to be getting worse instead of better


Knock knee braces are definitely a great investment for some people, but they don’t help every knock knee or bow legged patient.

Sometimes the leg deformity is so severe that knee braces won’t help much, but will help with providing a certain amount of relief from the pain and discomfort algus valgus and genu varum can cause.

How to Fix Knock Knees Without Surgery

If you want to know how to fix knock knees without surgery it will depend mostly on the cause of the deformity. If your knock knees are due to structural issues like bone deformities then non-surgical procedures most likely won’t help.

However, if your knocked knees are due to an underlying problem such as a health condition or weakened muscles in your lower leg then there is a good chance knock knee correction without surgery can be successful.


However, non-surgical treatments like braces may help if your knock knees are due to joint issues caused by arthritis in the knees. Knee arthritis will usually stretch and contract certain ligaments which cause the appearance of knock knees. If the stretching and contraction of these ligaments like the MCL and LCL are severe then braces won’t help much.

Knock knees treatment without surgery will then depend on if the joint still has a little flexibility even though it is deformed. One of these knock knee braces that can help if the ligaments in your knees are still flexible are unloader braces.


Other knock knees correction in adults such as shoe orthotics won’t help much but they can help provide you with some decent relief from pain or discomfort if you experience any. There are also strength training exercises that focus on strengthening muscles in the legs and feet that could help reduce the severity of the knee valgus.

Learning how to fix knock knees without surgery is definitely possible thanks to certain exercises. However, if you really want these exercises to work then being dedicated to treating the problem over an extended period of time is necessary. This is a huge investment in time compared to surgery that’s a huge investment in money.

If you believe knock knee exercises could help then teaming up with a knowledgeable and experienced movement specialist is your best option. Once again though these therapy sessions will only help if your knock knees are not due to a major structural issue which is often brought on by an underlying problem.

If this lower leg deformity is due to something like weak legs then exercises for genu valgum can certainly help a great deal. By strengthening the weakened muscles in your lower legs you’ll be able to prevent your arches from collapsing and rolling inwards, which will ultimately lead to your knees and hips being dragged inward.

Some of these exercises will help make the arch muscles in your feet stronger when you perform them regularly. This will give you a strong foundation that can help with improving the deformity without knock knee corrections surgery.

You’re probably wondering how long this will actually take. Well most of our subscribers have seen major improvements in a few months by staying consistent with the exercises.

With that being said strengthening your muscles in your lower legs and arches is one thing you can focus on and if it doesn’t help then you most likely have knocked knees due to an underlying problem that requires surgical incision.

Strengthening Abductor Muscles

One of these exercises for knocked knees that could help are deep knee bend exercises. These exercises will help to slowly help improve your deformity by strengthening your abductors (outer leg muscles).

Abductors muscles are a set of muscles that are found in the buttocks and lateral hip area on both sides of your body. These muscles are called gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fascia lata.

Without the strength of this group of muscles your femur is more likely to cave in towards the mid-line of your body causing, or worsening the appearance of knock knees.

The weakness in these muscles will cause your legs to go into genu valgum by default. Thankfully there are exercises that can help strengthen these group of muscles and provide you with more stability in your hip thus helping to correct the appearance of knock knees without surgery.

Video Demonstration

This could explain why women are more likely to be knocked kneed compared to men, as their hips are often wider and hamstrings tend to be weaker. This lack of strength in the thigh area can cause the knee joint to be unstable.

How to Fix Knock Knees Without Surgery

By practicing and making the abductor muscles stronger through exercises and stretches you can correct this problem over time and prevent your knees from knocking against one another.

Losing Weight

If your knock knees are due to excessive weight then losing weight can definitely help improve the appearance of this leg deformity. Obesity is believed to lead to the development of knock knees even though more studies need to be done to strongly confirm this.

However, it’s proven that knocked knees are often more severe in obese people compared to those who are not. We’ve gotten feed back from a number of people on the site that their knock knees improved after losing the excessive weight.

Vitamin Deficiency

Treating underlying conditions that could be causing this leg deformity is probably the most effective way to correct knock knees without surgery.

One of these conditions is called rickets and it is caused by a deficiency in vitamin D. By simply treating this condition it will lead to healthy bones that will ultimately help correct the genu valgum.

Another vitamin deficient condition that can lead to the development of knock knees is scurvy. This condition is due to a lack of vitamin C. Both of these conditions are treated with vitamin D or vitamin C supplements, injections, and/or diet.

Once again, if your knock knees are due to a chronic structural problem in your legs then it will be very tough to correct the problem without surgery. Knock knee surgery will often involve the removal or addition of a bone, which is known as osteotomy.


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