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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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fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I did a lot of biking over the summer and strained my knee... My doc will be happy to know I'm incorporating a move like this into my workout! Thanks!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
thank you for sharing this. i'm not a runner, but i used to be before i broke my knee and i'm always a bit anxious about hurting it again, so this exercise should really do me a lot of good. if it's use it to build up the muscles in my legs and knee then i'm going to have to try it. (i should have thought of this before since when i was in phyiscal therapy, they made me do something like this)
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