The 6 Best Butt Exercises for Knee Pain – No Squats or Lunges!

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If you suffer from knee pain but still want to strengthen your lower body, try these easy exercises that put little to no stress on the knees.

There are lots of factors that can contribute to knee pain, but it’s often caused by muscular imbalances that can be improved by working your butt and legs. Unfortunately, some of the most popular leg bodyweight exercises, like lunges and squats, put more stress on the knee joint, making it difficult to correct the imbalance.

Luckily, there are several safe exercises that you can do right at home that will help strengthen your knees, instead of hurt them. With these moves to work your lower body, you’ll never need to complete a single squat or lunge while your knees are bothering you.

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To start, grab a stable chair and one loop resistance band. We’ll start with resistance band-assisted kickbacks and then wrap it up with gentle and effective moves.

I recommend a light resistance band if you are a beginner. If you want more of a challenge, try a medium resistance band.

6 Butt Exercises for Knee Pain

Side-Lying Kickback | 10 reps per side


  1. Lie on your left side on a mat and prop yourself up on your elbow.
  2. Loop the stretch band around your bottom thigh, just above your knee, and keep that knee slightly bent in a comfortable position.
  3. Loop your top foot through the other end of the stretch band.
  4. Place your top hand on the ground in front of you for balance support.
  5. Exhale to kick your top foot straight back and slightly up to flex your butt muscles.
  6. Inhale to bend your knee and return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.

Banded Standing Kickbacks with Chair | 15 reps per side


  1. Loop the resistance band around both legs and position it just above your knees.
  2. Hold onto the back of a chair for balance support.
  3. Lean forward and flatten your lower back so you are hinged at the hips.
  4. Kick one leg up behind you and flex your glute.
  5. Maintain a slight bend in your standing leg.
  6. Flex hard at the top then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for 15 reps, then switch sides.

Banded Clam Shell | 15 reps per side


  1. Sit on the floor and loop the resistance band around your knees, just above the kneecaps.
  2. Lie down on your side and support your head with the bottom arm.
  3. Place your top arm on your hips.
  4. Bend your knees and tuck your feet in so they are in line with your hips.
  5. Keeping your feet together, stretch the band apart by opening your knees, then slowly close to the starting position.
  6. Complete 15 reps.

Side-Lying Straight Leg Lift | 10 reps per side


  1. Start by lying on your side with the resistance band looped around your ankles.
  2. Prop your head up with your bottom arm and rest your top hand on your hip.
  3. Make sure your core is tight, and your legs are straight with feet flexed. Take an inhale.
  4. Lift your top leg up until you feel some resistance on the band and exhale at the top.
  5. Inhale to lower it with control, keeping about five inches of resistance to keep the band in place.
  6. Complete 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Banded Lateral Step | 10 steps per side


  1. Start standing with the resistance band looped around your knees, just below the kneecaps.
  2. Take your feet out just wide enough so that the band has some tension. Keep a slight bend in the knees and put your hands on your hips.
  3. Take a big right step to the side, pressing your knees apart to stretch the resistance band.
  4. Step back to the position of slight tension, keeping the band in place.
  5. Continue stepping out to the right side and back together for 10 reps.
  6. Repeat on the left side.

Banded Hamstring Curl with Chair | 10 per side


  1. Place the resistance band on the ground behind a chair. Step on it with one heel, securing it to the ground.
  2. Loop your other foot through the free end of the band.
  3. Hold onto the back of the chair for support and lean slightly forward so that you are hinged at the hips. Keep a slight bend in your standing leg.
  4. Point the toes of the foot that’s looped into the band and inhale to bend the knee, curling it towards your butt.
  5. Flex your hamstrings and exhale.
  6. Slowly lower those pointed toes back to the ground, being sure to maintain some tension on the band so it doesn’t fall off your foot.
  7. Complete 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.


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