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Knee Tendonitis Exercises

author image Jennifer M. Roberts
Jennifer M. Roberts is an experienced writer of health and wellness articles. A creator of a school-based curriculum to help prevent and reduce obesity in children, Roberts has been focusing on obesity in youth for more than 10 years. A graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in health promotion, she lives with her husband and three children in Texas.
Knee Tendonitis Exercises
Knee stretches for tendonitis

Knee tendonitis is an inflammation of the knee tendons. The knee is the most vital joint in your body. If the tendons are inflamed, it can cause pain and hinder movement. There are a variety of exercises you can do to relieve the pain of knee tendonitis. These exercises work by improving the strength and flexibility of your knee tendons and surrounding muscles. It is important to seek the advice of your physician when you are having knee pain before beginning an exercise routine.

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Stability Routines

Improving your stability is the foundation of knee tendonitis exercises. Knee tendonitis can cause muscle imbalances that affect your stability and range of motion. Reducing these imbalances will strengthen the tendons, thereby increasing the overall mobility of your knee. The stronger your knee is, the less likely you are to have recurring tendonitis. These exercises can include simple stretching of the knee joint in all directions of motion and standing on one leg. Use a chair to help balance during these stability exercises. When you are ready to progress, sit on a stability ball and gently roll front to back and side to side. Once you are comfortable on the ball, add leg extensions and leg curls to your routine.

Strength Routines

Once knee stability is not an issue, you can progress to strength exercises. Begin by adding strength exercises to your routine using your own body weight before gradually adding weights. For instance, single leg squats and wall squats are staple exercises to improve your knee joint and the muscles around your knee. As you become stronger, try leg extensions and leg curls on a machine with no weight before gradually adding weights to the machines.

Flexibility Routines

After your baseline knee strength has returned, you can add flexibility exercises to help your tendonitis. Advanced versions of your basic stretches will help you achieve this. Try doing quadricep and hamstring stretches while standing up or join a Pilates class led by a certified instructor. Reformer Pilates uses machines with pulleys and ropes in advanced flexibility routines. According to Joseph Pilates, founder of Pilates, "A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."

Water Exercises

Swelling caused by tendonitis can make traditional exercises extremely painful. Doing water exercises are a viable alternative to help you complete the exercises with less pain. The feel and temperature of the water can also be soothing to muscle aches and strains. Using a kickboard, alternate doing flutter, backstroke and breaststroke kicks to loosen and strengthen the tendons around your knee. According to Brad Walker, founder of The Stretching Institute, water aerobics can be used to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength and postural alignment, which are all extremely beneficial in alleviating knee tendonitis.


Knee tendonitis is primarily an overuse injury resulting from the biomechanics of your knee. With the help of an advanced trainer or therapist, you can adjust the biomechanics of knee movement to help alleviate your tendonitis. This may include strengthening targeted muscles around your knee and using advanced stretching to loosen others. You may also be fitted for orthotics. Altering biomechanics is an advanced technique and requires medical direction.

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