Knees - strengthening exercises?

Need help!

1 to 20 of 44 messages
03/12/2002 at 11:55
Hi Folks,

Can anyone offer any advice to strengthen my knees? I can run over 1/2 hour at a time ok, and regularly go out for hour long runs, which I am increasing now. Got a half marathon in January...

But, my knees are really bad. I find I have to walk for short bursts and really flex my knees, otherwise they feel like they are going to cease up.

They really crunch if I happen to have kneel down too. (I know I am not so young anymore but this is ridiculous!)

Are there any easy exercises I can do at home, not necessarily in a gym, to improve muscle strength? I figure that will help support my knees whilst running.


03/12/2002 at 13:09
Thanks Johnny J!

Got a long way to go to be over 60 - but I will check the thread anyway!

I have been doing short bursts on the rowing machines at the gym, at the end of my treadmill sessions. I am hoping that will help a bit with the creaky knees!!

03/12/2002 at 13:49
Hi Go-Slow, I have one creaky knee which I've strenghtened using the weight machines at the gym. I do lots or rowing, some cross-trainer or eliptical running machine and then leg presses, leg curls etc. I just looked at all the machines and chose the ones which worked on the muscles surrounding the knees. So far (touch wood) my gammy knee is behaving itself well and I'm up to 27 miles a week.
Good luck.
03/12/2002 at 13:56
I have just started taking tablets to improove the joints (bought them from Bourne Sports). You take five each day with food. They are natural (fish oils and the like) Ill let you know if they work for me as knee problems cost me 30 minutes in this years FLM
03/12/2002 at 14:24
AS - What are they called and what are they meant to do? This is a particular Achilles heel of mine (in all 4 knees) if you know what I mean.
03/12/2002 at 14:58
Lunges are good. Start with one set of ten after every run and build up over 4 or so weeks to 3 sets of twenty. Works for me.
03/12/2002 at 15:03
I had problems with my knees when I did gymnastics many moons ago now and the physio recommended that I sit on the kitchen worktop or some raised platform at home, put a few tins in a carrier bag, hook the bag over my foot and bend and straighten that leg for several repetitions. Sounds a bit DIY but it worked for me and thankfully have never had any knee-trouble when running.
03/12/2002 at 15:30
Cross train - I have had a knee injury and strengthened legs by cycling to work, swimming etc would also be really good.

Also watch what surfaces you run on - avoid pavements as they will shock your knees and are not good.

Good luck with it all!
03/12/2002 at 20:51
Thanks for all the suggestions - I shall give them a go, see what works for me. I am taking cod liver oil capsules (Yuck), in the hope that they will help. The doctor didn't seem to think they make any difference.. but I sometimes wonder if they really know what works or not! I would rather find the causes and deal with them, than pop pills after the event...

Thanks again, will post any progress as I find it.


03/01/2004 at 12:55
Hi Go slow
I suffer with post run tenderness in both knees, particularly going up stairs or walking more than a couple of miles. I find it helpfull to run one day and rest the next, two days running consequatively causes much hurt!
Have also just started taking Condroitin & glucosamine complex gels (extra strength!) as recommended by my chiropractor (very pricey!) but may take a few months probably to see benefits, it allegedly helps repair joints & lubricate etc. Will let you know if it works.
But I,m definatetly going to give M's carrier bag excercises a go.
03/01/2004 at 15:01
Glucosamine Sulphate maybe worth a try.

The "Wall Chair" is a good exercise - you "sit down" against a wall and let yourknees take the strain. I can do 5 minutes.
15/03/2004 at 18:42
Could also try a couple of sqirts of GTX on each joint ;)
15/03/2004 at 19:05
i take the high stregth cod liver oil tablets and have had no problems with slightly stiff knees and shoulder since. They are cheap from Wilkinsons or Superdrug etc (I haven't tried the dearer ones with glucosamine etc so don't know if they are any better)
Swallow it quick with a good slurp of orange or somehting and you'll never know (just don't leave it lurking in the mouth too long while you pour said orange ...)
16/03/2004 at 10:18
Another thing possibly worth considering is sorbothame (or similar) insoles to absorb most of the impact as you run.
16/03/2004 at 18:31
They had some warm up excercises in the mag about 3 months ago that I found worked.

Basically just before you set out on a run lye down flat on you're front and slowly at first lift your leg until it's just about to touch your buttock, lower it back down and then do the same with the other leg. Repeat this over and over slowly increase the speed until you're legs are kicking quite quicky. After 3 mins or 60 (prone kicks I think they're called) on each and you're done.

The theory is it warms up the knee joint fully and a protective fluid lines you're knee which protects against impact while running.

I did them thinking I look like an idiot, but they work. I don't need to do them any more as knees are fixed and it's free!
16/03/2004 at 22:35
Chances are - you don't have full extension of the knee joints - so as well as feeling as tho you need to flex the knees - the VMO muscle isn't being 'triggered' so the patella isn't tracking right hence creaky knees - which will become arthritic if you don't sort it.

Can be sorted - takes dedication and a heck of a lot of work plus physio to make sure the knee is 100% 'loose' otherwise any knee / vmo exercises you do won't be helping as much as they could / might even be making the problem worse

Cruise thro both the injuries forum and the Best of Injury and Health for more info - or e-mail me if teh e-mail is working now
16/03/2004 at 23:05
maybe worth seeing a physio or other (sports massage) for an assessment and preventative advice and therapy

knees are complicated and can be very problematic .. you might have muscle strength imbalance (quads v hamstrings is common) as is underdeveloped vastus medialis , as well as underlying ACL or patella tracking problems and wear and tear

an ounce of prevention might save many quids if you need to find a cure later

17/03/2004 at 12:29
I have sore knees too at the moment. They came on gradually as I started running longer distances.

Trouble is I have such humungous muscles in the front of my thigh anyway, it cant be them that are too weak! Maybe they are too strong and thats the problem. I dont need to build them up anymore anyway they already look like Im wearing jodphurs!

Which exercises would help me build the other muscles around the knee?

07/04/2004 at 11:23
Ive just run the Paris marathon and my knees are agony. Will the pain go away by elavating the knee and applying ice or should I seek medical attention?
29/08/2004 at 21:37
I've just taken a few weeks off following problems with my achilles tendons and have gone out for a couple of easy runs. Achilles feel great but both runs I have done I have had to stop as the outside of my right knee has started aching after 25 minutes or so.The pain goes away as soon as I stop running.

Before my lay off I had been training hard all summer and never had any problems with my knees so I'm a bit baffled as to what the problem could be as why wasn't my knee hurting when I was training hard?

Could it be related to my time off from running, a bit of a shock to the system if you like, that will go away soon as long as i just ease my way back into training? Or should I be more concerned? My knee does not hurt to touch
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