Hi! Hector Estrada from Aztec Athletics, and in
today’s video, Knee Strengthening Exercises for Runners: Avoid Runner’s Knee. You’re going
to learn: what is runner’s knee, causes, prevention, and finally, knee strengthening exercises. Okay! Let’s jump into it. You started running, and GREAT SUCCESS! You’re consistent with your running. But then, a couple of days or weeks down the
road, you start to notice that your knees are starting to hurt. This is typically known as Runner’s Knee. Now, you may be wondering “What is Runner’s
Knee?” It’s Epic Drawing Time! What is runner’s knee? Well, this is your leg and the main bones
are the femur in your thigh, the tibia and the fibula in the lower leg, and the patella,
which is in your knee cap. When you have any kind of knee pain, it’s
always going to be associated with your patella. Here’s the reason why: Imagine, that this
is your femur, and this is your tibia, and this here is your patella. So, the patella here sits on top on the knee
cap, and it’s lose. So, what ends up happening, is that as you’re
running, as you’re jumping, as you’re walking. Any kind of movement. It’s bouncing. If your knee isn’t healthy, this bouncing
motion is going to cause knee pain or runner’s knee. Okay, you know what runner’s knee is, but
now, what are some causes. It can be all summed up into 2 main causes. The first one is your patella is not tracking
properly, and the second one is that you have reduced impact cushioning. So, what do I mean by your patella or your knee not tracking in alignment? Basically, when you’re running. Your knees should be tracking in a consistently
straight pattern. But, when your knees start tracking in a side-to-side
movement, that’s going to put a lot of stress on your knee cap. One of the causes of this side-to-side movement
could be: you either have tight quads, tight hamstrings, or tight calves. This is the reason why foam rolling or stretching
is really beneficial to keep your knees in alignment while running. The second is that you may be over-pronating,
which just means you’re flat footed. So, when you’re taking a step, your foot will
tend to cave inward, and as you can see here in the knee, it tends to track inward or sideways. Finally, you might have weak quads. Your quads consists of 4 big thigh muscles,
and if there’s any kind of imbalance or weakness, this will also, cause your knee to track sideways. So, you want to make sure to keep your quads
nice and strong. Which we’ll actually get to with the knee
strengthening exercises. Alright, and the second category of causes
to runner’s knee is reduced impact cushioning. Basically, around your knee, you have a lot
of cartilage that helps to protect against any kind of impact. But, if it’s worn down, such as, from aging
or some kind of injury. you won’t have that cushioning to help protect
your patella. Also, if you have high arches, this can lead
to less cushioning for your knees. What a high arch will do is shorten your calf
muscle, and with a shortened calf muscle, you have less impact reduction. Because, that’s one of the main jobs of your
calves: to absorb the impacts when your feet land. And typically, this is an issue that women
encounter, because of high heels. So again, foam rolling and stretching come
into play to help out with this issue. Now, if you have the pain over a long time. I highly recommend you get it checked out
by a specialist. Because, runner’s knee is actually a very
general term. Depending on where exactly the pain is in
your knee, will determine the issue. For example, it could be causes by arthritis,
it could be caused by tendons that are swollen, it could be caused by patella femoral pain
syndrome, it could be caused by a meniscus tear. Honestly, the list is really endless. Okay, let’s jump into prevention. So, when should you take preventative measures? The moment you start feeling any kind of discomfort
in your knees! If your knees start hurting during or after
your runs, you have to start taking steps to alleviate and eliminate the pain. Because, it’s only going to get worse. The first thing you want to do is run on softer
surfaces, such as, asphalt or grass. Secondly, you want to get some running specific
shoes. Especially, if you tend to be flat-footed
or have high arches. Thirdly, you want to make sure that you’re
stretching your quads, hamstrings, and calves after your run, or on your off days. So that, your knees are able to track properly. Fourthly, you want to make sure that you’re
doing strength training for your quads and hips. Which again, will help with your knee alignment,
and we’ll actually get to this in the last part of this video of knee strengthening exercises. The fifth preventative step is to cut back
on your mileage. If all those miles you’re running are hurting
your knees, it only makes sense to cut back a little bit. And then, finally. Build your weekly miles back up steadily. Remember, the goal is to alleviate and eliminate
the pain. As an example, let’s say you’re running 30
miles a week. Your knees are starting to bother you a bit. So, you decide to cut your miles in half. Now, you’re running 15 miles a week. Using the 10% rule, you’re increasing your
miles by 10% each week. So, in the third week you’re running 16.5
miles. And in the fourth week you’re running 18.1
miles. Progressively, over the course of a couple
of weeks you’ll be able to build back up to your previous mileage. Let’s jump into the final segment of this
video: Knee Strengthening Exercises. We’re going to cover 15 exercises, that are
broken down into 5 categories: the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and finally balance. Let me explain why each of these categories
is important to strengthen your knees. So that, you’re not wondering, why aren’t
we just focusing on the quads? Here’s a little anatomy lesson on how each
of these muscle groups affects your knees, and why you should be strength training each
one. Again, your quads help with your knee alignment
to straighten your knee out. Whereas, the hamstrings on the back of your
thigh, function to flex your leg at your knee. Your glutes, also known as your booty, has
a very interesting function. It works to bring you leg out to the side. It also functions to rotate your knee inward
and outward. The importance of having strong glutes, is
that it enables you to have more control over your leg and knee rotation. For example, if you’re running curves, if
you’re making a tight turn, or if you’re in a unsteady environment, such as running on
a trail, where you have to quickly jump and re-balance yourself. If your glutes aren’t strong enough, your
knees are going to become more irritated, and you could also potentially sprain your ankle. Which leads into the next muscle group: your
calves. Your calves primarily control your feet. So, if these are weak, your ankle will be
unsteady, which will put a lot more tension on your knee. Which can lead to more knee pain. And the final one: balance training. Well, it ties everything together. You have to remember, that 100% of running
is always done on one leg. In other words, you only have one leg at a
time in contact with the ground. Having good balance enables you to have better
control over your entire leg musculature; from your calves, to your quads, to your hamstrings,
to your glutes. That way you’ll be able to prevent or reduce
any kind of knee pain from runner’s knee. Without further ado, let’s jump into the 15
knee strengthening exercises to avoid runner’s knee. After I demonstrate all these exercises for
you, I’ll put a quick little recommendations portion on how you can mix and match these
exercises to create a workout program specifically for you. And I’ll also include that in the description
below. Let’s jump into it! And there you have it. The 15 knee strengthening exercises to avoid
runner’s knee. If you found this video helpful, give it a
big like and share it with all of your running buddies. Also, if you have any video requests, put it
in the comments section below. This video was created because a viewer asked
me for it. Ask and you shall receive! Make sure to hit that subscribe button or
down below, to get updated when our new weekly videos come out. Are you ready for it? Are you ready for it? Knock it out champ, and keep on running!

About the author


  1. i have a total flat foot and like a flat flat one …. and easily get my ankles sprained and recently started getting knee pain its getting difficult for me on staircases …. will these exercises work for me!

  2. thanks for sharing the video and very helfpful. i would like to seek suggestion on the right sides of both knees. when ever i run, i get that pain and it takes time to go away, what can i do to avoid having that pain?

  3. Your content is really excellent but your way of presenting is not so convincing. Don't try to imitate Alpha M style. Be natural. You have a channel realted to health and not style, fashion etc.

  4. My knee feels like the plateta is going back.Like my left knee when I straighten standing it backs backwards it feel loose compared to my left knee.But it's not necessarily painful just imbalanced and stiff

  5. I have a right leg that is 2cm shorter than my left leg. I wear an insole corrector but I'm still getting pain on the outside of my right knee. Any suggestions?

  6. Good stuff… Very informative and full of insightful pointers. Thank you so much. You my friend, now have yourself a new subscriber. And yes, I clicked on the "Notification Bell". Look forward to future episodes.

  7. I love you Aztec Athletics,you dont just give informative vedios about exercises but your sense of humour helps me to laugh out laud hehehe with tears.😂😂😂😂

  8. I have played soccer since I was 4. I’m now 13. So 9 almost 10 years of playing soccer. I started playing academy at age 7.

    Age 4-6 I would play spring season from the End of February-the middle of June. And then for fall season I would play middle of August-the middle of November. 2 times a week.

    So then when I was 7 I joined a higher league called academy. Age 7-8. Which was spring: middle of February-Middle of June. Fall season: beginning of August- middle of November. 2 times a week.

    And then 8-13 I would play indoor soccer during winter. Which was: beginning of December-middle of January. Once a week.

    Then 9-13. I was moved up to classic. Which the training is really intense for my team, since we are 25th in the state. We practice in spring: beginning of January-end of June. Fall season: middle of July-middle of December. Three days a week.

    Also 10-13. I have done cross country and my fastest mile is 5:32.

    So due to all of that my knees are messed up.

  9. Do you have any exercise or training to strengthen legs, knee when you already have a ACL grade 2 injury? Please help me! Thanks!

  10. Boss, perfect explanation, recently i corrected walking posture & struck with knee pain, do i need to change back old walking position, or continue corrected version? usually pain at day & at night heal. Please advice.

  11. Great video! Simple and clear info. I totally understood what’s happen to knee and specific details on how help sort the problem out.. excellent video 👏🏾 thank you

  12. You just diagnosed my problem. I don't know how to run. And, i am weak. From zero miles in 15 years i went to 6 miles a day every day. 🙁


  14. Great video. I like that all the strength training exercises had a body weight, resistance band, and weighted variation. I like to work with body weight and resistance bands when I’m not in the gym.

  15. I have high arches and am slightly knock-kneed. I ran in the past, up to 8 miles, with minimalist shoes and a frontal strike and only got runners knee when I tried using shoes with a regular lift. Trying to get back into it after about 4 years, and after just 4 runs (10-13 minutes each) my knees are really uncomfortable. I'm so afraid I'm going to ruin my joints or have to throw in the towel. Would my knock-knees make this worse, and can that be fixed? I don't have access to specialty products or treatment in the country where I live.

  16. Hey, I was wondering if balancing on a slackline would be a good exercise to improve your stabilizing muscles and help avoid runners knee?

  17. Omg thank you so much. This was super clear and easy to follow. I REALLY appreciate the strengthening plan at the end because I always get confused on how to plan it out. THANK YOUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!

  18. That's all good and nice, but I've got runner's knee on week 12 out of 18 weeks program. And now I have marathon coming in 6 weeks and no way that I can cut out running volumes. Screw me, right?

  19. Really great video — nicely put together a comprehensive bunch of information, including what & why, and how to prevent, strengthen. Would you happen to have something similar for shoulder muscles — I know this is perhaps Athletics focussed channel, but hoping that you might have something. Looking for exercises that strength shoulder muscles for people who get shoulder pain (the ball-n-socket joint) from playing sports like badminton, tennis, vollyball.

  20. Great video. Damn. I'll have to start doing legs in the gym. I was a bit worried its something more serious but if most people get it I know I can just adjust my training and keep going. I have my first marathon in April so this helps a lot.

  21. Feel Good Knees is an easy-to-follow 5 minute daily ritual… and it actually “feels GOOD while you do it”!

  22. Just started running after an acl and meniscus tear a year and a half ago, this video explains my recent aches in my knee, great video!

  23. Hi thank you for the helpful video. My question is if you already have strong legs (I never skip leg day) but it still hurts to run even 1 mile what else can i do to strengthen my knee to where i can run more? My back story is I never ran for cardio just stair-master and incline treadmill walk. I ran a 15k in week 1. week 2 ran a 10k. week 3 got in a in hour on the treadmill mid week than ran a 13k trail run. week 4 12 mile run that killed my knees and limped home. took 2 weeks off of everything than went out for a run same pain came back. started a stretching and foam rolling routine for the last 10 days. I can walk on the treadmill no issues but when i start to run even 1 mile my knees are still bothering me. Please help

  24. I wasna professional runner and I'm very surprised your video is very informative especially for those who don't know how to protect their knees and prevent injuries

  25. Thanks for sharing. Just started noticing runners knee during my long runs and after this I think I specifically know what was the reason for my runners knee pain. I think it's because of flats footing as I have my knees more kind of inwards. I'll try some excercise as you described and try to keep my knee straight while running and see if that make any difference 👍 Thanks mate

  26. Ive got knee pain in only left leg. Running on streets doesnt help & thats how it began. Any squat or bend it hurts . Ive had it weeks now. Reverse lunge doesnt hurt tho.

  27. Although I'm not a runner, I found this video quite beneficial for myself as well. I'm getting older, and just want healthy knees as I age. Thank you, your video was quite comprehensive.

  28. Pretty great video Hector but… when you got to the quad strengthening my heartbroken a lil bit 😣 I wish I could do squats with runners knee but bending to or past 90 is excruciating. Great preventative stuff though. I'm currently legpressing from 0 to 70 degrees with little to no pain as per my physio reccomendations. Just wanted to chime in with some feedback from the depths of recovery 😁

  29. I like these excercises but I don’t have some of the equipment like the weighlifts or resistance bands . So how would I do those or should I just take them out ?

  30. I am 80 kg 16 year boy and i am new runner I was running and increasing mileage 300m daily and after I reached 3.5 km I was feeling something in my right knee and I took a break and after 1 week again I started running I was again feeling something in my knee and know it's been 15 days and I am still facing this problem plzzzzz 🙏 help me..

  31. Would you recommend minimalist sneakers if I have overpronated feet?
    Thanks in advanced! And great video! I think my slight knee problem is due to my overpronation 😔

  32. Hi sir , your video on knee cap was excellent , sir there is a request from my side can u please upload a video on medial knee pain which is a common type of pain observed in kabaddi players which is played in India as of now it has been spreading all over the world , it will be helpful and I would like to learn it from you .



  35. Hi
    What if squats and lunges were the ones that hurt my knees in the first place? I've been foam rolling and doing physiotherapy and it isn't getting better. Very frustrating!

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