Running and jumping sports often result in jumper’s knee, a condition that causes discomfort around the knee. Lower body exercises can help to minimize pain, build strength, and prevent a recurrence.

Jumper’s knee — also known as patellar tendonitis or patellar tendinopathy — can weaken the patellar tendon linking your kneecap to your shinbone, causing mild to severe pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Often, it occurs from overuse in athletes playing jumping or running sports, including skiing, basketball, and volleyball.

The following exercises for jumper’s knee can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Begin with the most accessible and least painful exercises, gradually progressing to a more challenging routine.

Listen to your body and avoid exercises that cause discomfort. While you may feel slightly sore after each session, your overall pain should decrease daily.

Rest in between sets and long-hold repetitions as necessary. When doing exercises that target both sides, begin with your injured side.

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To avoid straining your lower back, make sure to keep your spine straight and shoulders back while hinging from the hips.

  1. Place your heel on a step or stool around 15 inches (38 cm) high.
  2. Keep your leg straight and slowly hinge forward at your hips until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your thigh.
  3. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3 times.
  5. Then do the opposite side.
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Maintain good posture by elongating your spine while keeping your low back flat.

  1. Stand near a wall or chair for support.
  2. Place your hand against the wall or the back of the chair for balance.
  3. Use your opposite hand to grasp your ankle.
  4. Draw your heel toward your buttocks.
  5. Hold this position for up to 15–30 seconds.
  6. Repeat 2–3 times.
  7. Then do the opposite side.
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Keep your leg top straight with a slight bend in the knee.

  1. Lie on your side.
  2. Engage the front thigh muscles of your top leg.
  3. Slowly raise your leg 8–10 inches (20–25 cm).
  4. Lower your leg to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
  6. Then do the opposite side.
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Sit on the edge of a cushion to help maintain hip alignment and keep your spine straight.

  1. Sit on the floor and extend your injured leg in front of you.
  2. Bend your opposite knee toward your chest.
  3. Lift the heel of your injured leg as you press your knee toward the floor.
  4. Hold this position for up to 10–20 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10–15 times.
  6. Then do the opposite side.
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To maintain alignment and avoid strain, ensure your spine is straight and your hips are level.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your toes touching a wall.
  2. Raise your injured leg and place your foot flat against the wall.
  3. Press your foot into the wall, engaging your thigh muscles.
  4. Hold this position for up to 45 seconds.
  5. Repeat 5 times.
  6. Then do the opposite side.

At-home exercises for jumper’s knee can provide several benefits for your recovery and overall outlook. They can help to restore flexibility, mobility, and strength while reducing pain and inflammation.

Although you may experience some discomfort and stiffness, your range of motion will likely return to its previous state.

Consult with a healthcare professional before returning to athletic activities. Usually, you’ll be able to return to your previous activities once you recover.

The healing period can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity and factors such as your overall health.

Does jumper’s knee ever heal completely or go away entirely?

Jumper’s knee can heal completely with time and appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity, the recovery process can take several weeks or months.

Rest is essential, along with home treatments such as icing, wearing a knee brace, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Strengthening exercises can help restore function and reduce your chance of further injury.

What’s the fastest way to heal jumper’s knee?

To speed up the healing of jumper’s knee, it’s essential to prioritize rest and take a break from high impact activities.

To alleviate pain and inflammation, ice your knee for 15–20 minutes several times a day. Work with a physical therapist to learn exercises to strengthen your knee and reduce further injury.

What exercises should you avoid if you have jumper’s knee?

If you have jumper’s knee, avoid any movements and exercises that stress your knee and aggravate your injury, such as deep squats or lunges.

This includes running and high impact activities involving lots of jumping and abrupt movements, such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball.

How do you prevent jumper’s knee from recurring?

To prevent jumper’s knee from recurring or affecting your other knee, gradually ease back into athletic and strenuous activities. Take a break from any activities that cause pain and discomfort.

Even after you recover from jumper’s knee, it’s important to keep up with exercises that stretch and strengthen your knees.

Consider working with a physical therapist or fitness professional to learn proper form and to determine the most effective exercises for your needs.

Maintaining a moderate weight and wearing supportive shoes with good shock absorption can also be helpful. Wearing a knee brace is also an option.

Jumper’s knee is common among athletes who participate in strenuous sports involving running and jumping.

Rest and home exercises are essential for recovery. You can also stay active with low impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or elliptical machine workouts as long as they don’t cause discomfort.

Overall, with appropriate treatment and management, you’ll likely be able to recover fully and resume your usual activities.