5 Great Balance Exercises to Do After Knee Replacement

knee replacement balance exercises

Knee replacements help relieve the pain and stiffness associated with damaged or worn-out knee joints. After knee replacement surgery, it’s crucial to do balance exercises after knee replacement to maintain your stability and help prevent another knee injury. Knee pain can often be due to weakness in surrounding muscles and other issues such as inflammation or misalignment of the kneecap. When you work on balance exercises after knee replacement, you can simultaneously avoid further injury and improve your posture!

1. Single-Leg Balance

The single-leg balance exercise is excellent for strengthening the leg after knee replacement. Start by standing with your hands on your hips, balancing on one leg while keeping your other foot raised off of the ground. Move slowly back and forth, trying not to let either foot touch down. The exercise builds strength in both legs and improves your sense of balance. Hold for 30 seconds before switching legs. 

Your physical therapist can help you set goals for how long you want to work on these exercises each day. Balance also depends upon where you live and work; some environments are easier than others when it comes to staying steady on your feet! You can talk with your physical therapist about setting up an appointment; they may be able to recommend a suitable physical therapy practice you can do at home.

2. Parallel Stance

When you’re in a parallel stance, your feet are shoulder-width apart, knees and hips bent at 90 degrees. Push up onto your toes like you would if you were going to jump. Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly return to starting position. Perform three sets of 8 repetitions each day. The first week, perform them twice daily; work up to three times per day by week two. A parallel stance is crucial because it helps simulate standing on one leg—which is necessary following knee replacement surgery. And as always, make sure you consult with your physician before beginning any physical therapy regimen.

3. Arm Raises

While in a sitting position, hold your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to each other. Raise your arms up and down for a total of five reps. Repeat. The exercise helps strengthen your chest muscles, which can aid in maintaining a good balance on your feet. It’s also useful as part of a routine focused on strengthening your abs, lower back, and hips—all are essential parts of keeping your balance steady. Again, start with five repetitions per set. Over time build until you reach 10-15 repetitions per set.

4. Dynamic Push-Ups

Try a dynamic push-up to balance after knee replacement. Start in a regular push-up position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and both feet on the ground. Lower yourself as if you’re doing a standard push-up until your chest nearly touches your knees.

Then push back up by extending your arms as quickly as possible while raising one leg into midair and lowering it again, then lift your other leg while lowering yourself back down into a full push-up position. That’s one rep; repeat for six to eight reps for three sets. As you get stronger, lower your hips so that they’re hovering above the floor.

5. Water Bottle Pickup

Let’s face it: standing on one leg is tough—and if you have a balance issue after a knee replacement. The exercise helps you build up your ability to stay upright even when you’re off-balance after a knee replacement surgery, which can translate into safer daily life overall. Practice picking up a water bottle from an uneven surface by just lifting one foot at a time; once you get comfortable with that trick, try balancing on just one foot while reaching across your body with both arms at once.


It is essential to follow form by not bouncing or swinging during movement as with all exercises. Focus on slow controlled movements without letting your form break. If you haven’t exercised in some time, it is best to talk with your physical therapy experts before attempting any new workout regime or strength training program. You may even want to ask for an exercise prescription depending on your situation or condition.


In summary, balance exercises after knee replacement should focus on quads, calves, thighs, and hips. When you incorporate these balance exercises into your post-knee replacement rehabilitation routine, you will quickly regain strength and agility. Good luck! I hope that you are feeling better soon. As always, feel free to reach out to Guidance Physical Therapy if you have any questions about these exercises or anything else related to balance issues after a surgery like a hip or a knee replacement.

About the Author

Dr. Tony
Hi, I’m Dr. Tony and I provide at-home, mobile, and telehealth physical therapy in Phoenix Arizona to patients with needs ranging from Parkinson's treatment to athletic recovery! Whether I am working with elite NBA athletes, Boston Marathoners, or MS patients with heavily limited mobility
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