Runner’s Knee | Top 5 Exercises

RUNNER’S KNEE EXERCISES SHOULD ALWAYS INCLUDE STABILITY & STRENGTH EXERCISES. As we discussed in our previous blog Runner’s Knee | Treatment REST AND STRETCHING WILL NOT CURE RUNNER’S KNEE…NEITHER WILL FOCUSING ON THE KNEE ALONE.

Historically Runner’s Knee exercises have focused on stretching and thigh muscle strengthening alone, with additional aids such as insoles and knee supports. Commonly these will give short term relief BUT will not get to the root cause of the problem. The following 5 Runner’s Knee exercises incorporate a range of mobility, stability and strength work. Targeting both the foot and ankle, as well as the trunk and pelvic control. This is a key area where lack of control can have a knock on effect causing overload to the kneecap joint. Ensuring all the pieces of the puzzle are tested allows us to get a full picture as to the root cause of ‘WHY?’ you may get Runner’s Knee in the first place,  as discussed in our RUN EDUCATION blog on Functional Movement Screening. This is an essential part of our RUN LAB assessments.

Take a look at the videos below for the top 5 Runner’s Knee exercises. It is recommended you perform these exercises for a period of 6-12 weeks even if your symptoms are feeling better. We are aiming to make a lasting change!

*If you experience any pain during or after each exercise then stop immediately and consult a Physiotherapist*


RUNNER’S KNEE EXERCISES

QUADS RELEASE WITH FOAM ROLLER

Goal: Improve quadriceps muscle group mobility & reduce stiffness of the kneecap joint

How often?: Daily for a few minutes at a time. Either before, in-between or after exercise

Instructions: Lying on your front propped on your elbows. Allow your weight to sink into the roller. Slowly roll up and down the length of the thigh muscles pivoting from the arms. Start on 2 legs then progress to 1 if you’re able to. **This will always be tender to some degree whether you have a problem or not. Over the first week or 2 this should gradually get easier** 


ITB RELEASE WITH FOAM ROLLER

Goal: Improve Ilio-tibial Band mobility & reduce stiffness of the kneecap joint

How often?: Daily for a few minutes at a time. Either before, in-between or after exercise

Instructions: Lying on your side propped on your elbow with opposite hand and foot placed for support. Allow your weight to sink into the roller. Slowly roll up and down the length of the ITB pivoting from the arms. Progress to no foot support if you’re able. **This will always be tender to some degree whether you have a problem or not. Over the first week or 2 this should gradually get easier**


SIDE LEG LIFT WITH KICK

Goal: Isolate & strengthen the glut med muscle to Improve lateral pelvic stability

How often?: Aim for x4 sets of x8 repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day

Instructions: Lying on your side with your lower knee bent towards the chest. Starting with the top leg straight. Slowly lift to level with the hip, bend the knee up to the chest, straighten the knee to kick, then bend back, straighten the leg out, and REPEAT. **You can add a loop band around the knees to make this harder**


SINGLE LEG GLUT MED

Goal: Improve static trunk & lateral hip stability on 1 leg

How often?: Aim for x4 sets of x12 repetitions on each leg. Twice a day. Every other day

Instructions: Standing on 1 leg with a loop band above the knees (using a hand on the wall for support if needed). Slightly bend the knee of the standing leg and lean the chest forwards from the hips. Keeping the body controlled slowly squeeze the opposite leg out to the side and back


CRAB WALKS

Goal: Improve dynamic trunk & lateral hip stability along with thigh strength

How often?: (1 rep is 2 steps left, and back) Aim for x4 sets of x8 repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day

Instructions: Standing with a loop band above the knees. Take 2 side steps to the right, then back to the left, squatting down as you do so. **You can bring the loop band around the ankles to make this harder**


When it comes to treating and curing Runner’s Knee don’t just take our word for it. Our next blog ‘Runner’s Knee | My Story’ includes a personal encounter from one of our patients who followed these steps to recovery.


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Remember…

Running is Evolving. Keep up with the pace!