I have known for years now that my knee pain while running is caused by reasons other than my previous injuries. (I fractured and dislocated my patella back in 2006 – ouch!) Last summer I went through a couple months of physical therapy which was spent mostly strengthening my hips.
During physical therapy they video taped me running on a treadmill and outside, and what was discovered was that I was internally rotating my hip and my knee bent inwards every time I landed. Funny part is – my right knee did this more than my left knee, but my left knee was the one that hurt more.
Recently, I have been slacking on doing the exercises the physical therapist told me to do, and my pain has returned. Yesterday I read an awesome article on RunnersWorld about how to determine if your hips may be weak, as well as how to strengthen them and it reminded me that I should start doing my strengthening exercises again.
Read the article for more information, especially on how to test if your hips are weak.
Here’s the exercises my physical therapist recommended I do: (And videos on how to do them)
1. Side step with a theraband around the ankles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By3DGFrBHHA
I like this one ^ because it pushes you to keep your keeps out, not turning them in.
2. “Monster Walk” with a theraband: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtpJ-A7A-V4
3. Clam Shells: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo57lPfOCik
I usually do these laying on my back, letting one knee drop to the floor, then returning to the starting position, and lowering the other knee. It works doing it on your side like this too, but I feel like I have more control when I lay on my back.
I also LOVE doing these when I’m at the gym and have a bar. They are just squats on your knees, isolating the hip flexors. The site does an awesome job describing how to do it, so be sure to read the description. I take NO credit for these!