I want develop the muscles in the area around my patellar ligament. I am injured in this area. What program would be best, or what should I look for in a program, for me to strengthen this area in order to prevent more injury?

Lower leg muscles

  • -1. The meniscus is the cartilage pad between the femur and the bones of the lower leg. Can you relate the muscle damage to the meniscus, and what you want to correct?
    – JohnP
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 15:55
  • The site doesn't really prescribe programs for people. Since we can't meet you (obviously) we would not have the detailed information we would need to provide a full regimen. What we can do is give you a starting point and enough information to start your rehabilitation...if your question gives enough information about your injury.
    – tmesser
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 18:12
  • 2
    Guys, we absolutely do recommend (though not "prescribe") programs for questions here. And I'm a grammar stickler as much as anyone, but let's not insult someone whose English isn't as good as ours. (However, I agree with JohnP--there's some ambiguity w/r/t the specific injury.) To me, the charitable interpretation of this question is fairly obvious: "what program will keep this area strong and healthy?" I edited the OP in that direction. Let's try to make something good out of this. Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 20:21
  • 3
    So, user1796528, can you give us some more details on your injury please? Knowing your injury better will allow for better answers. Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 20:22
  • 2
    This question and answers about patello-femoral problems may be of some help. Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 9:23

2 Answers 2


What you need is a rehab program to get you back to good shape, followed by a proper program to prevent the condition from happening again. I have to qualify my answer by the fact I am not a physical therapist, and I highly recommend you see one.

In general, rehab programs involve ridiculously light weight with ridiculously high repetitions. You will be living with very light weights or resistance bands for a while. You will also need to work on the supporting muscles which the connecting tissue connects to. This article on T Nation has a good bit of information:

  • Common prescription is Terminal Knee Extensions and Peterson Step-Ups, although research is showing they don't quite solve the problem
  • You will have to stop all exercises that aggravate the issue for a few weeks until you get it sorted out.
  • Find lower body exercises you can do that don't hurt your knee in the interim
  • People with knee pain usually have poor hip control--focus on exercising the hips with a joint friendly amount of volume.
  • Hip exercises that will likely work for you: Glute bridges, hip thrusts, bird dogs, back extensions, and reverse hypers
  • When you can finally do squats again, make sure your knee tracks over your 2nd or 3rd toe.
  • Use a lacrosse ball on your rectus femoris (see the picture in the article)

Once you've rehabbed the knee, you can resume a nice balanced program that incorporates both anterior and posterior work for your legs like squats. Just make sure that your form isn't going to reintroduce the problem. Post rehab you'll want to make sure of the following things:

  • Form is as important as function. Knees are meant to track over the 2nd to 3rd toe during any squatting motion.
  • Do not neglect hips, hamstring, and other posterior chain work
  • Soft tissue work and mobility (proper stretching) are just as important as the other work you do.

Mike Reinold is the sports Physical Therapist for this - check out "Solving the Patellofemoral Mystery" for a starting point. It leads you to seven heavy duty articles aimed at PTs in clinical practice. It might encourage you to seek out professional guidance as an informed client who can actively participate in his own recovery. Don't forget that in addition to things you should do, you need to know what NOT to do. To be honest, I've always diagnosed myself and ignored those disclaimers about "seeing a doctor before embarking on any exercise program" and have only been wrong once in 45 years. That resulted in rotator cuff surgery, but that was a complete success. I'm telling you this to show that bad things can happen if you self-diagnose, they usually don't, but they only have to happen once. Reinold says that a coach or PT can only "rule things in" - it takes a specialist with test and scan results to rule things out. I wish you all the best in whatever decision you make.

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