The simple squat is a key strengthening exercise for the knees and the muscles of the legs. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, clasp your hands behind your head and lower your upper body by bending your knees. Keep your upper body straight, and keep your knees behind your feet as you go down. Lower and raise up slowly and smoothly. Begin with two to three sets of 10 to 15 squats.
The quadriceps muscles have a major role in supporting and guiding the knee while cycling. To perform this simple exercise, sit on the front edge of a straight-backed chair, placing your hands on the sides of the seat to hold your upper body steady. Straighten the left leg so it extends straight out and then contract the quad muscle, holding for 10 to 15 seconds. Lower the leg and repeat with the right leg. Perform 10 to 30 repetitions, alternating legs.
This plyometric exercise will build explosive power in the muscles around the knee, providing strength and stability. Place an exercise step in front of you (start with a 2- to 3-inch box). Assume a deep squat position and place your hands behind your head. Hop onto the box, maintaining the squat position, then hop backwards to the ground. Repeat for two to three sets of 5 to 10 hops. As you improve, decrease the amount of time between hops, and make the step gradually higher.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, near a railing, wall or bar for support. Kick your left leg back and grab it with your left hand, pulling the leg up so that your heel touches or is close to touching, your buttock. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat the stretch three to four times.