top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobin R Varghese, PT.

5 best exercises and 5 best stretches to prevent Runner’s knee

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

1. Hamstring stretch (lying)

Area targeted: Hamstrings

Reps: 3 per leg

Lie on your back and extend left leg in front of you.

Slightly bend right leg and wrap your hands behind right thigh.

Slowly begin to pull right leg toward you, feeling the stretch in back of thigh.

Pull leg as close to you as you can, aiming to keep leg as straight as possible and heel flexed and toward the ceiling.

Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to your left leg.

2. Standing quadriceps stretch

Areas targeted: Quads and hip flexors

Reps: 2 or 3 per leg

Use a chair or a wall for balance standing. Bend your right leg and bring heel toward glutes. Reach back with right hand to grab right foot. Bring right heel as close to glutes as you can without causing pain.

As you stretch, keep right knee in close and stay upright — don’t lean forward.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

3. Standing calf stretch

Areas targeted: Calves

Reps: 3 per leg

Stand facing a wall and put your hands against the wall at eye level. Stagger your legs so one foot is in front of the other at a comfortable distance.

Keep heels on the floor and move front leg forward with knee bent.

Turn unbent knee slightly inward and lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle.

Hold for 30 seconds.

4. IT band Stretch

Areas targeted: Glutes, hips

Reps: 2 or 3 per leg

Stand with right leg crossed over left leg.

Raise right hand over your head and keep left hand on left hip for support.

Slowly lean to the left until you feel a stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

5. Straight leg raise

Areas targeted: Quads and hip flexors

Reps: 2 or 3 sets of 15 reps per leg

Lie on your back, keeping one leg bent at a 90-degree angle and the other straight out on the floor.

Engage your quads in the extended leg and raise leg until it’s about parallel to bent leg (about a 45-degree angle).

Hold for about 10-15 seconds, then slowly lower it to the floor. Repeat.


1. Clam exercise

Area targeted: Gluteus medias

Reps: 2 or 3 sets of 15 reps per side

Lie on your side with knees bent and legs stacked. Keeping heels together, open your top leg toward the ceiling to form the “clam” shape.


2. Side lying leg lift

Area targeted: Gluteus Medius

Reps: 2 or 3 sets of 15 reps per leg

Lie on your right side with legs extended and feet stacked.

Either bend right arm or keep it straight, and rest head on it. Keep left hand in front for extra support.

Gently raise left leg off right leg. Flex in your side back butt region (right where your jeans pocket would be). (You shouldn’t feel this significantly in your obliques. If you do, you’re targeting the wrong muscle.)

Bring leg back down and repeat.

3. Wall slide

Areas targeted: Quads and glutes

Reps: 2 or 3 sets of 10–15 reps

Stand with back against a wall. Keep feet about shoulder-width apart and about 6 inches in front of hips.

Gradually slide your back and hips down the wall until knees are at a 45-degree angle.

Hold for about 5 seconds, then stand back up.

4. Bridge kick

Areas targeted: Glutes and hamstrings

Reps: 1–3 sets of 6–10 reps per leg

Lie on your back with knees bent toward the ceiling and arms at your sides.

Lift hips and back off the floor so your body weight is in your feet and shoulder blades.

Shift your weight onto left foot and slowly raise right foot off the floor until right leg is at a 45-degree angle. Avoid locking your knee.

Bring right foot back down without touching the floor.

Repeat, then switch to the other leg.

5. Single leg kick back

Area targeted: Glutes

Reps: 2 sets of 10 reps per leg

Start on all fours on the floor, cushioning your knees and hands with a yoga mat, blanket, or towel. Keep arms straight, knees under hips, and wrists under shoulders.

Slowly lift right leg and extend it behind you. Raise it to about hip height, keeping foot flexed.

Press your heel up toward the ceiling for a second, then lower it back down. Repeat.

Pro tip: Keep your back flat. If it arches, that means you’re relying on your back muscles instead of your glutes.

5. Step up

Areas targeted: Glutes and quads

Reps: 2 sets of 10 reps per leg

1. Place right foot up on a step or box.

2. Press all your weight into right leg, stepping up so left foot is lifted off the floor.

3. Hold for a few seconds as right leg straightens and tightens. Step back down and repeat.

Pro tip: If this exercise causes too much pain, skip it. But once you recover, doing this movement will help keep your legs and glutes strong.

We, at Valley Healing Hands provide the best physical therapy exercises for Runners knee in Brownsville, Texas. Our super qualified physical therapist will be happy to help you get over your pain and to get back to your daily routine at ease.

23 views0 comments


bottom of page