A man running on a race track

Exercise Tips for Helping Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is a painful condition in which overworking the knee leads to inflammation and pain, typically around the kneecap. Complications from runner’s knee can make it difficult to participate in your usual activities. Following these exercise tips can help reduce the symptoms of runner’s knee and help prevent it from recurring.

Wear Proper Sports Attire

A man running on a race track

Regardless of which exercises you do, you should always wear appropriate exercise gear. Shoes and socks that fit you properly are essential for keeping your knees healthy. By having adequate arch support, you can reduce the strain and pressure that’s placed on your knees while running. Knee braces can also help stabilize your knee by preventing you from making awkward movements.

Keep Lunging

Low lunges and side lunges are great exercises to help rehabilitate and prevent runner’s knee. Along with stretching, strengthening the muscles in your leg can help take pressure off of your knees. Low lunges are done by extending one foot out in front of you and driving forward. At full extension, your front knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle; your back leg should also be bent with your knee almost touching the ground. Side lunges involve spreading your legs out. One knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle within the width of your shoulders, and the other should be extended straight out to the side.

Wall Sits

A wall sit involves leaning your back against a wall and bending both of your knees at a 90-degree angle as if you were sitting in a chair. Then, you hold this position for 30-60 seconds or until you feel a burn in your quadriceps.


Squats can be performed with or without weights based on your level of pain. You should stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Then, squat down while making sure that your knees don’t bend past your toes. Squats develop muscles throughout your lower body, including your core, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

Runner’s knee can be very frustrating for athletes of all levels. When the pain makes exercising uncomfortable, trying to strengthen your lower body can help with your symptoms. If the pain in your knee persists or gets worse, you should consider seeing a sports medicine specialist. K. Mathew Warnock, MD is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has helped patients with a variety of knee issues. He can evaluate any structural damage that your knee has sustained and outline the best treatment options for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Warnock, call our office at 281-807-4380.

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