7 Effective Patellar Tendonitis Stretches

Whether you run marathons or simply want to get out of your car without pain, working on knee flexibility remains crucial to living a healthy, active life. Patellar tendonitis stretches can help keep this joint and its surrounding muscles healthy, as well as offer health benefits.

Were you just starting to get into plyometric training, or back into your favorite sport, when the front of your knee began hurting? There’s a good chance your patellar tendon is inflamed. Patellar tendinopathy (commonly known as patellar tendonitis or tendinitis) is an overuse injury affecting your knee. It’s the result of your patellar tendon being overstressed.

A common name for it is Jumper’s Knee. Jumper’s knee is inflammation of your patellar tendon, the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shin bone (tibia).

Patellar tendonitis usually affects athletes involved in sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, track and field (running, high and long jump), tennis, dancing, gymnastics and skiing. If you suffer from patellar tendonitis, it is essential to do some patellar tendonitis stretches in order to strengthen the leg and improve flexibility in the muscles and tendons. Doing patellar tendonitis exercises will increase the recovery rate of the condition, allowing you to enjoy the activities you have always enjoyed, without feeling the pain. Here are 7 of the best patellar tendonitis stretches:

7 Effective Patellar Tendonitis Stretches

Patellar Tendonitis Exercises & Stretches for Pain Relief - Ask Doctor Jo

Rectus Femoris Stretch

This is one of our favorite patellar tendonitis stretches. Start in a half-kneeling position with one foot forward and one knee down. Place your back foot up on the wall or on a bench. Tighten your abs and push your pelvis forward without excessively arching your back. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3x.

Ankle Stretch

Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds on each leg.

Poor ankle mobility can lead to poor form up the kinetic chain. Properly stretch the ankle with this stretch prior to doing any activity where your knees may go in front of your toes.

Just like your squat and lunge mechanics, this stretch should be done with optimal alignment of the knees and toes.


Start by facing the box in a standing position. With one leg, step on the platform. Then bring the second leg to the platform. Step down with the second leg and repeat. Do three sets of 10 repetitions with each leg. If you need more of a challenge, add dumbbells or increase the height of the step.

Shin Stretch

Lay on your back with the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the floor. Slowly raise the injured leg up into the air, keeping the knee slightly bent. Drape a towel or band around the ball of the foot and hold onto the handles with each hand. Gently push with the ball of the foot until you feel a good stretch along the shin. Hold for 30 seconds, release, and repeat 5-10 times.

Quad Stretch

Lay on your side with the injured leg on top. Bend the injured leg back so the foot is aiming for the head. Drape a towel or band around the top of the foot, holding the handles both with your top hand, which should reach up and back, behind your head. Gently pull down on the towel or band until you feel a gentle stretch in your quads. Hold for 30 seconds, release, and repeat 5-10 times.


Practice lunges in varying positions and angles, paying extra close attention to your form. Perform forward lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges, and diagonal lunges. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Side-lying Leg Lift

Lie on your uninjured side. Tighten the front thigh muscles on your injured leg and lift that leg 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) away from the other leg. Keep the leg straight and lower it slowly. Do 2 sets of 15.

It is very important to have your tendinopathy professionally assessed to find your most effective treatment since certain modalities or exercises should only be applied or undertaken in specific tendon healing phases.