Hamstring Stretching and Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises

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Anterior knee pain is very common. It may be caused by tendonitis of the patellar or quadriceps tendon, patellar instability, or chondromalacia of the patella, amongst other causes. A common, basic treatment regimen involves hamstring stretching and quadriceps strengthening.


  • Daily in morning and at night
  • Also before any sports activity
Preparation (see photo below)
  • Sit on floor or mat with legs apart and knees straight.
  • Reach toward one foot or bring torso toward one leg. Hold stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with opposite leg. Stretch each leg twice at a sitting. Do twice a day.
Alternatively, the leg not being stretched can be bent so the sole of the foot is next to the stretched thigh. Keep knee of stretched leg straight by tensing Quadriceps. Knees may inadvertently bend if feet are extended off of thick mat or bench. Spine may be kept straight.

Quadriceps strengthening:
2 to 3 times per week
Leg sled machine
or Leg press or Squats
Focus on negatives:
- Use 1/2 your usual weight
- For leg press or sled, push away with both legs and slowly return to start, focusing on the negative
Alternate legs
Keep toes turned out slightly / heels together
Do 20 to 30 repetitions each set
Do 2 to 3 sets

  • Common hamstring stretching exercise for anterior knee pain.