Many people experience some type of knee pain. In fact it accounts for a third of doctor’s visits for issues related to muscle and bone pain. Over half of all athletes will suffer from knee pain every year. “Runner’s knee” is one of the most common complaints, and somewhere between 16-25% of runners will deal with it. It is typified by stiffness in the knee joint, a dull achy pain, pain or tenderness when climbing or descending stairs, or when sitting in a certain position for a long time.
While there are many possible contributing factors that could lead to knee pain, and particularly Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), we are going to focus on hip strength and strengthening the adductors, and internal rotators, since they play a role in PFPS. Whether you have experienced knee pain or not you can still benefit from keeping your hip adductors strong .
The focus of the exercises I will be showing you over the next couple of days will focus on hip adduction, the working leg moving toward the body’s midline, as opposed to hip abduction where the leg moves away from the body’s midline. It is also important to note these are strengthening exercises and not part of any specific rehab protocol, and also does not replace seeing your doctor regarding knee pain, but is rather a sampling of exercises that can be added into an existing well rounded strength training program.
Lastly with these exercises we will be focusing in on the eccentric (lowering or deceleration) portion of the movements, by slowing down the tempo of the exercises. For example with a bench press the eccentric portion of the movement is where the barbell is lowered to the chest.
Niemuth, P. E.; Johnson, R. J.; Myers, M. J.; Thieman, T. J., Hip Muscle Weakness and Overuse Injuries in Recreational Runners. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine 2005, (15), 14-21.