If you have knee pain the answer is usually not to do more knee dominate movements. This includes things like, squats, lunges, and step ups. When you perform knee dominate movements when you already have knee pain, it can cause more knee problems.
So what can you do for lower body? Focus on hip dominate movements instead. This can actually help alleviate some of your knee pain. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Good mornings
This includes banded and weighted variations.
2. Glute Bridge / Hip Thrust Variations
This includes single leg variations, elevated variations, and weighted variations.
3. Deadlift variations
This includes romanian deadlifts, single leg rdls, barbell conventional deadlifts, and sumo deadlifts.
4. Cable pull throughs
5. Glute targeted exercises
This includes things like side laying clams, lateral band walks, and reverse hypers.