We are starting a month focused on knee health. A lot of the tweaks and discomfort felt across the top of the knee is due to increased tension put on the patellar tendon due to tight quadriceps. Use this first exercise to release some tension in the quads and free up some space for the patellar tendon.
Weakness in the lateral hip, specifically the glute medius, can also lead to pain on the sides of the knees. Use this exercise to strengthen the side of the hip and helps support the knees.
Let’s move on to the 2nd biggest complaint among runners and walkers, knee pain (if you have the 1st, foot pain, please see my last post). I know “knee pain” is such a broad term, but let’s start big picture and then move into the details.
Pain in the knee, if not caused by trauma (getting side-tackled for example), comes from a dysfunction of your biomechanics, or movements. The movement I am talking about most is your gait, whether walking or running. When you have a breakdown in the mechanics of your gait, that deficiency gets highlighted over thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of repetitions with each training session.
It is important to have a professional assess your walking and running patterns to identify any inefficiencies you may have in your stride. But for now, we are going to focus on one of the more common points of pain, patellofemoral pain. This is the pain commonly felt just below the kneecap and is usually a signal of over-used quadriceps and an under-utilized posterior kinetic chain (arch, calves, hamstrings, and glutes).
Try the exercises below to help prevent the onset of patellofemoral pain and keep your knees happy!