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3 Exercises To Strengthen Muscles Around Your Knees

Avoid Knee Pain

Want to keep knee pain at bay? Rebecca Johnson, a Chicago-based physical therapist, recommends practicing these three exercises that help build full-body strength and challenge runners’ weak spots.

Related: Why Do So Many Runners Have Knee Pain?

Plank With Donkey Kicks

Start in a plank position on your hands, with feet at hip-width. Lift your right foot off the ground and inhale as you draw your right knee in toward your chest, without tucking your tailbone. Exhale, then extend your right hip to “kick” yourself in the butt. Keep your knee bent. Repeat eight to 10 times before switching sides.

Side Plank With Leg Swing

Lie on your left side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Lift your hips to a side plank. From this position, inhale as you lift your right leg and draw your knee in toward your chest. Exhale as you extend your hip to “kick” yourself in the butt. Keep your knee bent. Focus on maintaining a neutral spine and hips stacked. Repeat five times before switching sides.

Side Plank With Arm Swing

From a side-plank position, pump your right arm, emphasizing the backward movement and letting it gently return forward. Focus on keeping your elbow close to your side and shoulder relaxed. Breathe regularly. Focus on maintaining a neutral spine and keeping hips stacked. Repeat for 30 seconds before switching sides.


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