If you’re a runner you’ll probably end up with runners knee, a pain in the outside of your knee. The usual cause is a tight IT Band/Quads and weak VMO muscle. The following exercises combat that (and stretch your hip flexors as well!!!)
Start by lying on your side, stack your hips vertically with one leg on top of the other, with the foam roller underneath your upper thigh. With the assistance of your legs and arms, roll the length of your IT band along the foam roller from the outside, hip to just above your knee. Use your arms to move along the roller.
Begin in a press-up position with a foam roller positioned across and underneath your quads at your hips. Roll over both quads together, from the hip down to the knee. Pause and hold on any tight knotted painful areas to work out the tension, repeat this over all the muscle. Then slowly roll back once again stopping on tight areas.
Progression: Roll one leg at a time (hold one leg on top of the other) to increase the amount of pressure applied to the individual quad, maximizing the effect of your bodyweight. Make sure you angle to each side to cover all parts of the muscle.
- From your standard stance take your right leg around in front of your left leg, finishing across and parallel to it. Both feet planted firmly and flat on the floor.
- Raise your left arm above your left shoulder. Next stretch out your left arm over and across your body to feel the stretch from hip to knee.
- Keep both feet flatly planted on the ground throughout.
- Your hip flexors attach your hips to your thigh bone, at the front of your thighs.
- Squat and place your hands 6 inches in front of your parallel toes.
- Take your right leg back as far as you comfortably can with your left leg in front.
- Now drop your right knee onto the ground. (a cushion for this knee may be helpful).
- Push your hips forward until you feel resistance at the top of your quads.
- Pick up your right ankle with your left hand. Pull your right heel into your right buttock and face forward.
- Keep your trunk tall.
- You should now have a great quad stretch as well as hip flexor stretch.
Exercises to Strengthen VMO
VMO Isometric Contraction
Sit on a chair and feel the VMO muscle. Slowly straighten the knee keeping the VMO muscle contracting. Hold this contraction as you extend the leg. Repeat this twice daily x 10 making sure you can maintain the contraction.
Stand on a step on the right (injured) leg drop your left heel forwards off the step to slightly bend your right knee, drop just far enough to feel the VMO contracting. Keep the knee descending over the 2nd toe and maintain horizontal hips.