Zenith Performance Physical Therapy


Unlocking the Potential: Strengthening Exercises for Runners to Combat Knee Pain

April 30, 2024

Discover effective exercises to strengthen key muscles and reduce knee pain while running.

Dealing with knee pain while running? You might be experiencing what’s commonly referred to as “runner’s knee” or patellofemoral pain syndrome. Essentially, it’s knee pain resulting from how your body handles stress in that area during physical activities.

While it’s often attributed to weakness or lack of mobility around the knee, solely focusing on local treatment may not provide a long-term solution. It’s crucial to assess the entire kinetic chain, from the hips down to the feet, to address any underlying issues. Here are a few exercises to help identify and strengthen potential weak links related to your knee pain:

1. Single Leg Wall Sit Isometric: This exercise targets the quadriceps muscles and helps isolate and strengthen them effectively. Maintaining contact between your lower and upper back and the wall, slide down to a challenging but manageable position. Note any differences in strength or stability between your legs, and remember that these isometric exercises can alleviate pain while improving strength and load capacity.

2. Copenhagen Holds: The Copenhagen plank is an excellent method for testing stability on the medial side of the knee. Since your legs work together as a unit during running, it’s essential to assess and strengthen all relevant muscles. Compensations due to injury can lead to mobility deficits and muscle weaknesses, hindering efficient movement. Check out both short and long lever variations to target different aspects of stability.

3. Single Leg Elevated Long Lever Bridge: Address posterior stability and hamstring strength with this exercise, which mimics the midstance position during running. The hamstrings play a vital role in controlling knee flexion, which can help alleviate stress on the knee joint. This exercise is particularly beneficial if you’ve had previous hamstring injuries that weren’t fully rehabilitated.

Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help improve strength, stability, and overall performance while reducing the risk of knee pain during running. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you’re dealing with persistent pain or injuries.

If you’re interested in working with our team, schedule a free consult call here!! This helps us to learn more about you, and your goals, and to know that we can get you there!

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