The ache often starts underneath your kneecap or on the front of your knee. But the solution to knee pain may lie higher, in the hips.
Strengthening hips using tools like the TheraBand CLX could ease runner’s knee and similar conditions, research shows. In one study, two simple hip-focused moves relieved women’s kneecap pain in eight weeks. In another, 85 percent of women sidelined with knee pain returned to their sports after a 12-week hip-strengthening program.
Why? Especially in women, weak muscles turn the hips inward. As a result, your knees cave and knock when you run, putting extra pressure on the joint. On the flip side, strong stabilizing muscles align your hips and knees properly—so you can move pain-free.
Don’t wait until you’re hurt to shore up strength. Use these moves anytime to prevent knee pain and even reduce your risk of injuring your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
- Kneel down to one knee as you place your foot through one of the center Easy Grip loops anchoring the CLX at your thighs just above your knee. Carefully switch to the other knee and place that foot into the other center easy grip loop. Then slowly stand and adjust the loops to be sure the CLX is anchored just above the knees. Grab the remaining CLX and either hold in hand or place hands inside the easy grip loops. Maintaining an athletic stance with knees and hips slightly bent take 3 steps laterally against the band while keeping your back straight. Return to your starting position and repeat.
- Begin standing with your feet hip width apart. Place your feet in the middle 2 Easy Grip Loops separated by one seal. Cross the CLX to form an X feeding the ends of the CLX behind your knees. Before you pull the CLX around the outside of your knees anchor your hands in the end easy grip loops. Stand up and pull the CLX around the outside of your hips and cross your hands in front of your waist. With a slight bend in your knees and maintaining your balance, kick one straight leg out to the side, bring your foot to the ground and then kick the opposite leg. Keep your trunk upright and your back in a neutral position. Don't lean your hips or trunk to either side. For an optional combo, perform a mini-squat movement between leg kicks.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Wrap the CLX loosely once around your knees and place each end of the CLX through one if its own loops, forming one large loop. There is no need to tie the CLX. It will stay in place. Slowly spread your knees apart against the CLX. Hold and slowly return.
- Place each foot into an Easy Grip Loop with one seal between. With your feet about hip width apart, lean to one side and gain your balance on that foot, use a chair for added safety if needed. Keep your knees straight use the other foot to kick outwards. Continue to kick outward without letting that leg touch the ground. Keep your back straight and avoid leaning or bending over. Once finished place leg back into starting position and repeat with other leg.
- Place each foot into an Easy Grip Loop with one seal between them. With your feet hip width apart center your balance onto one leg. Keeping the opposite leg straight slowly raise and kick backwards. Continue to kick backwards without letting that leg touch the ground. Once finished place leg back into starting position and repeat with other leg. Keep your back straight and avoid leaning or bending over.
*Do not exceed 300% elongation. Some exercises may require longer lengths of CLX.