When training for a marathon a common symptom after running is Patellofemoral knee pain, or runner’s knee. Some symptoms are pain under the kneecap and aggregation from walking up or down stairs. Runner’s knee can quickly put a damper on any running routine and can even cause permanent damage.
One of the causes is injury to the cartilage around the kneecap. The kneecap, also known as the patella, is surrounded by cartilage instead of being connected to another bone. Weak and tight muscles will cause your pelvis to wobble while running instead of staying steady and level. As a result, the knees will be put under extra stress and cause runner’s knee.
Prevent runner’s knee by properly stretching before and after your training. The following stretches have proven to effectively prevent runner’s knee and strengthen your knees all together.
Prisoner Squat helps stretch the hip muscles as well as the quadriceps and knees. Stand tall with your feet placed a shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the back of your head with your chest sticking out to keep good posture. Then lower your body by bending your knees and keeping your hips pushed back. Hold the pose for a few seconds and then pull yourself up to a stand, and repeat. Repeating this stretch multiple times will yield the best results.
Quadriceps-And-Hip-Flexors Roll says it all in the name. Lie on the ground, facedown, with a foam roller placed above your knee. Then roll your body back and forth so that the roller goes from your knee up to the top of your thigh.
Cross training with cycling also helps build your knee strength. Cycling has a lot less impact on the knee since your weight is being held up by the bike and not putting pressure on the knees. Cycling is also a great way to strengthen the cartilage in the knee by rounding off the cartilage called meniscus. By rounding off the meniscus, the bones and cartilage in the knee will fit together better and work together with less injury.
Another great cross training for your knees is water aerobics. The buoyancy of the water will absorb most of the impact while your workout is still strengthening your hips, legs, and knees. By stretching before and after running along with cross training, runners knees will be strengthened and will be less prone to injury such as runner’s knee.