About 1 in 4 Americans suffers from knee pain, according to a 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Rather than ignore that wincing discomfort until it’s unbearable, see if you can ease the ouch with these three simple strengthening exercises from Sonima’s pain and anatomy advisor, Pete Egoscue. You may be surprised to find that the pain you feel in your knee is due to weakness and instability in other areas of the body. The exercises demonstrated in this video—sitting knee pillow squeezes, supine foot circles and point flexes, and sitting abductor press—build strength and mobility in the lower body, particularly the ankles, calves, and thighs, to better support the joints’ movements and thereby eliminate knee pain.

Related: How to Fix Chronic Knee Pain