It won’t be wrong to say that running can be hard on your lower body, especially for those who are just starting out or may have amped up their mileage in the recent past. Knees are the most commonly injured joints in the body, but knee injuries can also occur when other parts of your leg are weak and inflexible. Below are some workouts for stronger quads that will not help you become a faster runner, but make sure your knees have the protection they need from jolts and shocks.

Dumbbells step ups
Find a step up bench or some stairs and grab a 3-5kg dumbbell in each hand. Then place one foot up so it forms a 90-degree angle with your hips and knee. Now stand tall and get your lower foot up and over the bench and stand up straight. Return the trailing leg back to the floor. Repeat 10 times on each leg for 3 sets.

Lunge Stretches
This exercise will loosen up your hip flexors, which if tight can cause pulls and strains in your gluten muscles. All of this has a cascading effect on your quads and shins. Step forward and lower your back knee. Make sure your front knee does not cross over your ankle. Hold for 30 seconds on each side. If you want to make it more intense then hold dumbbells in each hand for greater resistance.

A variation for beginners
A forward lunge variation for beginners

Pistol Squat
A single-leg exercise, this one builds great strength over time. Stand on one leg with your arms stretched out in front of you, then slowly squat down so your right thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Keep the motion slow and controlled, then return to standing. Repeat 5-times on each leg and increase your reps every 2-3 weeks.

Extensions and Curls
Leg extensions and curls are excellent for strengthening hamstrings and quadriceps, both of which stabilize and support our knees. Hit these machines when you do end up at the gym. They also improve hip-joint strength and help in increasing our range of mobility. If you don’t have access to a gym, focus on bodyweight or free-weight exercises that can be combined with a resistance band.

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