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Here are three different exercises that will help strengthen your hips in order to reduce your kneecap pain. We suggest these three exercises: 1/3 drop squats, hip side lying leg lifts and hip rotator muscle exercises.

1/3 Drop Squats

1-3-squat

To strengthen hips and knees: This is beginner level 1 strengthening; you will need to progress to level 2 strengthening to fully resolve the muscle imbalances and fix the kneecap pain. Perform 1/3 to 1/4 squats daily, 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

 

5 Rules For Doing Squats:

  1. Alignment – middle of kneecap over 2nd toe (plumb line)
  2. Depth – down until knees covers toes
  3. Inside thigh muscle tight throughout full range of motion
  4. Toes pointing forward, feet hip width apart
  5. Never push to the point of pain

1st Month – Daily

2nd Month – Three times weekly

3rd Month – Twice weekly

Option 1: (all exercises double leg)

 

Slow drop, slow up – double leg 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – double leg 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – 5 lbs in each hand 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – 10 lbs in each hand 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – 15 lbs in each hand 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – 20 lbs in each hand 5 days

Option 2: (progression from double leg to 1 leg)

 

Slow drop, slow up – double leg 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – double leg 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – walk stance position 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – single leg only 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – single leg, 5 lbs each hand 5 days
Fast drop, slow up – single leg, 10 lbs each hand 5 days

Hip Rotator Muscle “Clamshell” Exercise

clamshell-fnal

  • Lie on your side with your spine aligned with the edge of your mat.
  • Stack your legs one on top of the other and align your shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line.
  • Exhale as you lift the top knee up, keeping your feet stacked.
  • Your legs should look like an open clamshell. Inhale as you close your legs.
  • Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, keeping your pelvis steady throughout the movement.
  • Perform all of the side clam exercises before switching to your other hip and leg.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Hip Side Lying Leg Lifts – Hip Abduction Exercise

hip-ex

  • Lie on your side with the legs straight.
  • Lift your top leg with your toes down, leading with the heel.
  • Ensure you keep the top leg back and in line with the body.
  • Return to start position and repeat.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
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