If you just started learning forefoot running and you have experienced lateral knee pain when running, also known as ITBS, the source of the condition is not your form, but rather weak abductor muscles.
How to Prevent Lateral Knee Pain When Running
Abductor weakness allows for a narrow step-width running pattern, or a crossover running gait, which causes the iliotibial band (IT band) to compress the fat pad beneath it.
To relieve compressive forces on the fat pad, do the exercises (shown below) to strengthen hip abductors as doing so will widen your step-width when you run.
Below shows the effects of weak abductors on gait and lower leg alignment in a runner:
Below, is how your thighs and knees should be spaced apart in the stance phase of running:
The thighs should have a straighter alignment as shown above with Ryan Hall who demonstrates this perfectly!
Abductor Strengthening Exercises
To end ITBS, the following hip strengthening exercises increase step-width. Training yourself to run with a slightly wider step-width reduces tissue loads as well.
Remember, no stretching! Only strengthening! Stretching aggravates muscle soreness and tearing.
Below, are key abductors strengthening exercises that will widen step-width and eliminate crossover running.
More From Run Forefoot:
- Warm-Ups Better Than Stretching
- Heel Striking is Dangerous
- A More Durable Barefoot Running Shoe
- Forefoot Strike Prevents Lower Leg Injury
- Treadmill Running Not the Same
~Run forefoot, you are faster than you think!~
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.