How To Tackle Runner’s Knee
As previously mentioned in the last article today we will be discussing the best exercises for optimal knee health. One of the most common problems people face is they get too focussed on the symptoms. They complete endless exercises to strengthen around the knee joint however there is no targeting of other structures such as the glutes and core. A lot of the time the knee joint takes pressure because other structures are weak around it. Below are 4 exercises to strengthen the knee and the surrounding muscles/joints. You should be completing these on a daily basis.
Exercise 1: Lateral Band Walks (Crab Walks)
This is a great exercise to strengthen the glute muscles and get some movement through the knee joint as well. All you will need is a resistance band and you can complete this anywhere.
- Place the band around the ankles – Use a strength of band that you find is comfortable for you
- Have the feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knee
- Take a large step to the side and ensure the movement is slow/controlled
- Continue this process and complete 10 steps on that side. Ensure the back leg is also controlled and not allowed to snap back in too quickly
- Overall you should be completing 10 steps on each leg x3
Exercise 2: Clams
Similar to exercise 1 this targets the glutes primarily. You can either perform this exercise with or without a band.
- Get into a side lying position – ensure your body is in a straight position from the shoulders down to the hips
- Place one leg on top of the other and have a slight bend in the knees
- Bring the top leg up into the position shown below. Make sure your feet always stay in contact
- Complete the movement nice and slow
- Complete 10 reps 3x on each side
- If you want to make the exercise harder place a resistance band around the knees and follow the same steps
Exercise 3: Wall sits with exercise ball
This exercise focusses on strengthening the quad muscles along with correct movement patterns at the hips and knee.
- Perform against a wall
- Place an exercise ball along your back and press back into it
- Start in an upright position with your hands on hips
- Slowly bend down into a squat position – Hold this position and keep a 90 degree angle between your hips and knees.
- Ensure the core muscles are engaged
- Push your knees outwards and stop them collapsing inwards
- Hold the squat position for 30secs x 5
Exercise 4: Hip Flexor/quad stretch
This last exercise focusses on stretching out the hip flexor and quad muscles. These areas often become tight and pull on the knee joint, resulting in pain.
- Perform on the floor or gym mat
- Step one foot forwards and get into a lunge position
- Keep the front knee facing forwards and the other flat against the floor
- Tuck your pelvis under and slowly begin to bend the front knee forwards
- Raise one or both arms up into the air to increase the stretch
- You should feel the stretch along the front of the hip and into the front of the leg
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and complete 3x on each leg