Top exercises that can reduce fat on the sides of your knees

Have you ever woke up one day and noticed some nagging fat on the sides of your knees when you looked in the mirror?

You are not alone, we get a lot of visitors to with a similar issue.  

It seems quite common for people to gradually develop what seems to be excess fat in problem areas, especially as we age.  

While some areas are more resistant to exercise-induced fat loss than others, every area of your body can be targeted with specific exercises for fat loss or reduction.

These are some exercises that I have found beneficial to implement into my fitness plan to target fat to the sides of my knees.  

While I am not a fitness expert, I am a woman who had a hard time getting rid of my flab in areas that were bothering me.  So I started trying different exercises and have seen an improvement in the appearance of my knees.

While I didn’t use calipers to actually measure the amount of fat around my knees before and after my workout program (wish I would have though!) I can tell you for sure that my knees do look better.

Three exercises that melt knee fat.

I don’t feel so self-conscious about wearing knee-bearing shorts or skirts anymore.  The only bad thing about it is that I can’t tell you exactly which specific exercise gave me specific results.  But I don’t think that would help you anyway because everyone’s body is unique and responds to different exercises a bit differently.

This is why I believe it is so important to experiment with different types of exercises or workout programs.  Over time, you will learn what does and doesn’t work for your body.  Just ensure that you stick with whatever program you decide to follow or design for 3 – 4 weeks before you switch.  

This is just a rule of thumb, but generally, it takes that amount of time for your body to adapt so you can’t be sure whether or not it is working unless you stick with it for a bit.

Also, take pictures and measure the circumference of the area around your knee so that you can have some solid data or proof about your progress.  When you see an improvement in your photos or a lessening of circumference… it is very motivating!

So with all that said, let get to the good stuff.  The exercises that will help you lose fat on the sides of your knees!

7 Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Fat On The Sides Of Your Knees

  1. Squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Biking
  4. Stair Stepping
  5. Walking Backwards… Uphill!

Squats and lunges are two of the best exercises to get rid of fat on the sides of the knees.  But there is something else awesome about squats and lunges… they help you lose stomach fat, thigh fat, back fat, and guess where else?  

Squats especially, but lunges as well, help you lose fat everywhere.  That’s right, they can help you lose fat around your whole body because squatting and lunging utilize so many large muscles in your body that they burn a ton of calories compared to isolation-type exercises that focus on one muscle at a time.

Additionally, bicycling and the stair-stepper are two great cardio exercises that can focus the body’s effort on your fat knees.  When biking, I would suggest putting the bike or the machine into the highest resistance you can handle and go at a slower speed.

Check out her before and after results from stair stepping.

If you are riding a real bike you can really up the ante by not sitting down while you peddle for as long as you can handle.  You should feel your quads burning real good if you do this for more than a minute.  When you can no longer take it anymore, sit down and peddle at a slower rate until your legs are ready for another round.  

Then get off that seat and peddle standing up for another iteration of as much as you can take and keep repeating the process.  This is like a bike version of the fartlek run (alternating sprinting with a slower jog or walk).

This will make the difficulty quite difficult and could even turn it into a slightly anaerobic fat knee exercise rather than a solely aerobic exercise.  You should “feel the burn” pretty good by doing this and may not be able to go as long as if you used less resistance… but it will be better to get rid of fat around the knees.  So if that is your goal, focus on exercises that will take you closer to your goal for at least 3 – 4 weeks.  Then try something else.

Hold to the same principle for the stair-stepper.  Use the highest resistance you can handle to achieve a slightly anaerobic exercise.

Spot Reduce Fat Knees?

Just to be clear, by doing any exercise you cannot spot reduce fat.  Localized fat loss can only be accomplished via surgery.  However, by focusing your exercise regimen on a certain problem area you can increase the muscle strength, size, and shape in that area.

This in turn will make fat less noticeable.  For example, by performing an increasingly difficult squat workout every other day for a month you will begin to strengthen your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and even your calves to a lesser degree.

The result will make you seem and appear more toned due to the same amount of fat now being stretched over a larger surface area.  You will also feel much better!  Being strong feels great!

Why Do Squats and Lunges for Fat Knees?

Why are squats and lunges the best exercises to get rid of fat on the sides of knees? 

What about leg extensions and leg curls? 

Well, lunges and squats work nearly your entire legs and as an added bonus they also work your stabilizing muscles including your core (back and abs).  Because squats and lunges do this, they end up being two of the most efficient exercises.  They will show the most results in the least amount of time.

Squat and lunges build muscle around the knees, making them look more toned even without losing fat

It Takes Some Time

Always remember throughout this process that adipose tissue did not gather around the knees overnight so it is going to take a while to lose it.  Keep at it because it is definitely possible to get rid of fat knees but you will have to shed some adipose tissue all over to do so.  Keep at it!





17 responses to “Top exercises that can reduce fat on the sides of your knees”

  1. Alyna Avatar

    I am 22 years of age, I am 5 foot and 5 inches and my weight is 58 kg. I try all exercises squats, lunges, high knees etc but i have a very stubborn fat around my inner knee which doesnt seem to go away no matter what i do. Please help!

  2. Amelia Avatar


    I’m 15 and I have fat on the inside of my legs beside my knees. Will these workouts help? Is there anything else I can do to speed up the process?

  3. Vivian Avatar

    I am 60 years old with bad balance. I cannot do squats and lunges. My knees are so big that I cannot wear even wide leg jeans. I am dieting. What kind of exercises can I do for my legs and thighs other than squats and lunges. Oh and I cannot kneel on my knees.

  4. Julie Harris Avatar
    Julie Harris

    I am 60 years old, 130 pounds & I walk all day through the house, caregiver to a parent. I don’t exercise but I eat a clean diet. My knees have fat in the inside, that isn’t pretty, my knees hurt some though I can still dance. With sore knees is it ok to do lunges and squats to reduce this fat at the knees? Ty

  5. Akanksha Avatar

    Hi.. I am 25, 5 foot and 47kg. I have fat knees and calves, will stairs work for me if i do 1000 stairs a day?

    1. Emily Newman Avatar

      Hi Akansha, walking 1000 stairs a day will certainly help! The important thing is to progressively increase your exercises to become more and more difficult. This will force your muscles to adapt and get stronger which will help you tone these areas.

  6. Gene Avatar

    How many lunges and squats should one do a day for quicker results?

    1. Emily Newman Avatar

      Gene, it depends on your condition levels. What I like to do is 3 – 5 sets every day or every other day. For the sets, I try to gradually to more and more. Your muscles respond to increased demand, so keep increasing the intensity by increasing the number of repetitions. I like to do as many as I can per set without going to muscle failure. For example, if I get to 20 squats and I feel like I can do 2 more squats, then I will stop at 20. If I feel like I can do 25 repetitions then I will stop at 23. I want to feel like I can always complete 2 – 3 more reps. Hope that makes sense. Keep track of your workouts by writing it down or typing it so you can see your progress.

  7. Finola Avatar

    Hi I have been doing lots of HIIT weight training cardio etc. Lots of squats lunges etc 6 days a week for a few months. (Lots of exercise programs “30 day challenges ” etc.) My legs are now more muscular and too bulky especially around the knees. Everywhere I look for advice I’m told to do squats lunges etc which I’m continuing to do, but I fear they are making my legs even bulkier! I’m also afraid to stop in case I gain weight elsewhere! Help!!

    1. Emily Newman Avatar

      Finola, you could back off the HIIT training a bit a mix in some longer low intensity endurance activities like 30 minute or more jogs, bike rides, rowing, walks, or swims. Second, I wouldn’t worry about having “too bulky” of legs, it is much better to have strong solid legs than weak legs coated with a layer of fat! You have a good “problem” you are getting too strong and muscular for your liking, just switch up some of the HIIT sessions for low intensity longer endurance activities. Let us know how that works, I’m sure you could your experience will help some other readers out as well. Thanks for sharing you current challenge with us all and best of luck!

  8. Fatima Arcaro Avatar
    Fatima Arcaro

    Hi, I am 54 and I have very fat knees whats going on? Please help me, I am 5 foot one 60 kgs. What can I do to reduce the fat?

    1. Emily Newman Avatar

      Hi Fatima, I would recommend starting to clean up your diet. Start with one thing a day. Build a positive habit a day, the first step I recommend is drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water every day. Next, start going for a 30-minute walk every day. Then start implementing some of the exercises I discussed above that help focus on building muscle at your quadriceps and calf muscles. This will give you better tone above and below your knees and will help you burn more calories even when you are not exercising.

  9. Cian Avatar

    This worked for me once, but since my pre-op weight gain I put on around my knees and lost muscles, even my bum muscles reduced. These exercises worked once for me,I just hope they work again. I’m planning on doing these exercises daily for a month plus attending the gym for Cardio and Cycling. So happy I’m back exercising!

    1. Emily Newman Avatar


      I’m glad you are exercising again too. It can be hard to get started sometimes, but almost everyone feels better when they do! Keep on trying to get a little bit better everyday!

  10. debbie Avatar

    Thank you so much for the tips on side knee fat. After losing a tremendous amount of weight, that’s one area I am left with flab and didn’t know what exercises to do to help. In addition, I have a bum knee, so will have to gradually make the squats and lunges more strenuous. Hey, maybe it will help my bum knee!

  11. Theresa Avatar

    I will try this, to me it seems very realistic

    1. Emily Newman Avatar

      Thanks Theresa, let us all know in a month what kind of results you see. It may not get perfect results, but this is all about progress. As long as we move in the right direction, that’s what matters!

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