Patella strengthening exercises?

When I started running (about 8 months ago) I ran too far too soon and hurt my patella. Since then I have been running with a strap below them and have ran a HM last month. Few weeks after that I again ran too far (you think I would learn...) and discomfort is back.

I would like to put in some significant months of dedicated exercises for strengthening the legs in general and specifically the relevant muscles for the patella.

Any suggestions please?




  • Squats and lunges, the mistake people make with a squat is that your knees should not come in front of toes, I do it against a chair to make sure this does not happen, 

  • Thanks Zoe. How long would you say to do this? (months). And how many sets?


  • No expert but I  try to do 3 sets of ten 3 times a week, also looking a getting a big band to help, can't remember what their called, also walking lunges and then can add holding dumbells too, you can do one legged squats too, you will find loads on youtube 

  • Agree with lunges.....started doing these to help with generally strengthening/conditioning legs to help with recurring achilles problems....but I have noticed that since doing them, the old patella/infrapatella fat pad problem I used to have hasn't raised it's head since. I did some squats as well, but felt the most burn from doing the the lunges.I majored in walking lunges, while I was injured I just walked round the park doing 150 per session, 3 or 4 times a week, in sets of 10 to start, then 15, then 20. Just doing them with bodyweight was enough to make a great difference, now doing them with weights once a week to get stronger still. Don't overdo it at the start though, ramp up gradually over the first couple of weeks to make sure nothing else gets injured.

  • I do dozens of both squals and lunges per week to keep me running true including keeping the patellas where they should be. One exercise I found particularly useful is the single leg squat i.e. without shoes balance on one foot and then squat down as far as comfortable and push back up to standing. Repeat for 12 without letting the raised foot touch the floor at any time. 3 x 12 three times a week does me fine.

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