Injuries that sideline your workout efforts can be frustrating. Runner's knee -- pain around your kneecap -- will eventually interfere with your daily life as well, making it difficult to walk down stairs or on sloped surfaces. Don't give up -- do strengthening exercises to help your kneecap move smoothly while you run. As a bonus, you don't even have to leave your house to do them.
Strengthen your leg muscles with four-way hip exercises with a resistance band. Tie a knot at one end of the band and a loop at the other end. Close the knotted end of the band in a door frame near the bottom hinge. Tug gently to make sure it is secure.
Face the door and loop the other end of the band around your right ankle. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, squeeze your right butt muscle and kick your leg backward -- do not lean forward. Hold this position for two to three seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Turn the right side of your body toward the door. Stand on your left leg and bring your right foot in front of your body against the resistance of the band. Hold for two to three seconds, then relax. Repeat this direction 10 times.
Rotate your body to face away from the door. Stand on your left leg and kick your right leg forward against the resistance of the band. Hold for two to three seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Turn the left side of your body toward the door. Kick your right leg out to the side and hold for two to three seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times. Switch legs and repeat all four directions. Work up to three sets in a row for each exercise.
Squats with Resistance Band
Do squats with a resistance band to strengthen your leg muscles. Tie the resistance band into a 12-inch loop.
Loop the band around your thighs, just above your knees. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider until you feel tension from the band.
Stick your butt out backward, rest your arms at your sides or hold them out straight in front of you to help keep your balance. Bend your knees as if you were going to sit in a chair.
Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for two to three seconds, then stand back up. Repeat this exercise 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.
Do crab walks to make your legs stronger to reduce pain from runner's knee. Tie the resistance band into a 12-inch loop.
Loop the band around your ankles. Keeping your toes pointed forward and your knees slightly bent, take a large step to the right with your right leg.
Bring your left leg in toward the right leg, maintaining tension on the band throughout the movement. Repeat 10 times to the right, then switch directions.
- Have your feet assessed at a running shoe store; improper footwear can cause knee pain.
- See your doctor if your knee pain lasts more than a week, or if it hurts even when you are not running.
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.