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Home Work: Side Step Down

If you're a runner, you're not alone if you worry about knee injuries. The repetitive movements and constant jarring of your joints are the exact ingredients for runner's knee. Weak thighs are also a contributing factor, so it's a good idea to include strength training exercises that target your lower body. This exercise, called side step down, will build strength in your knees and quads.

To find out how to do it,


  • Stand on a step with all your weight on your right foot. You can use aerobic step equipment, a sturdy stack of books, or an actual step. Make sure the step is not too high; you don't want to have to bend your right knee past 90 degrees as you lower your left leg to the ground.
  • Now slowly bend your right knee and lower your left foot down to the ground, making sure your right knee is centered over your right foot. Try not to slam your left foot as you step down. Lower it with control.
  • Then straighten your right leg and lift your left toes back up on the step.
  • Do two sets of 10 reps on each leg.
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