Patellofemoral pain is the most common type of knee pain I see in my sports-medicine practice. Sufferers usually experience pain beneath the kneecap (patella) that's worst after a workout. For many runners weak or tight muscles are the culprit: If your upper-leg and core muscles are underconditioned, your pelvis will wobble as you run. This stresses the knees and can cause runner's knee. These moves target those areas, helping make your knees more stable and less prone to injury. (Search: More tips for avoiding running injuries).
Lie facedown on the floor with a foam roller positioned above your knees. Place your elbows on the floor for support. Roll your body backward until the roller reaches the top of your thighs. Then slowly roll back and forth.
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Stand with your feet apart. Push your hips back and bend your knees. As you squat down, place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward, so that you're now in a push-up position. Quickly bring your legs back to the squat position. Stand up and repeat the movement. Do for 40 seconds, rest, and repeat.
Stand with your feet far apart, toes forward. Shift your weight to your right leg as you push your hips back (pictured). Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor. Your left heel should be down. Without raising yourself back up, lunge to the left. Alternate back and forth for 40 seconds, rest, and repeat.
This article is adapted from The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies (Rodale, March 2012), by JORDAN D. METZL, M.D., a sports-medicine physician at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery who has completed 29 marathons and nine Ironmans.