Exercise guidance

There are a plenty of exercises you could do to improve your knee cap pain, but, some are better than others.

See the video below to choose the more effective exercises.

Summary of ‘exercise basics for knee cap pain’ video.


In the bookcase below you will find a simple  and a complete exercise guidance to help you progress your exercises.


Why is it important to complete exercises targeting my hip muscles?

People with knee cap pain generally have weak and poorly functioning hip muscles. It is thought that this weakness and poor function may not be the reason as to why you develop pain in the first place. Instead, your hip muscles may become weak because you have changed the way you move, or move less to avoid pain.

Weak and poorly functioning hip muscles are thought to put more stress onto your knee cap during activities like running, walking on stairs and squatting. This is because the muscles can no longer control your thigh well enough, allowing it to roll under the knee cap.

A good way to understand this, is to think of your knee cap as the train, and your thigh as the tracks. If the train (knee cap) moves or tries to derail off the tracks (thigh), this can be because your thigh muscles don’t control the train well enough. However, when the hip is not controlled well enough, the tracks (or thigh) may move underneath the train, having the same derailing effect.

A number of good research trials report that hip targeted exercises are effective in reducing knee cap pain. In the longer term, combining both thigh and hip muscle targeted exercise is the most effective approach to reduce pain.


Supporting articles

Barton 2013Gluteal muscle activity and patellofemoral pain syndrome: a systematic review.

Lack 2015. Proximal muscle rehabilitation is effective for patellofemoral pain: a systematic review with meta-analysis.