Skip to main content

Important Message for Runners with Pain at the Front of your Knees

Recent research has shown that you are able to make two subtle changes to your running technique to reduce the peak force through your knee-cap joints (patella-femoral joints) and therefore the pain.


  1. Trunk Lean

Leaning your trunk forwards (just a small amount) basically transfers some of the force from the front of your knees to the posterior muscles of your hip like your hamstrings and gluteals. 


  1. Cadence

Increasing your cadence or step frequency can happen naturally with a small increase in forward trunk lean.  But you can also consciously just increase your cadence but taking faster steps but not increasing your speed.  Increased cadence means a decrease in stride length. You land with your foot underneath your hip more, rather than out in front.  The breaking forces into the front of the knee decreases.  The quickest way to check your cadence is to count your right foot steps for 15 seconds then times by 8.  Do this while running naturally and then try and increase your step rate and compare.  Aim for 180 or a minimum of 170.


It is advised that technical changes in running is done very slowly because your muscles and connective tissues need time to adjust.  Start by just playing around with your trunk lean and cadence and see how you feel.  Find out what is comfortable, then gradually increase the time you are doing it for.  Because you can get a transference of load onto your hamstrings and gluteals, it is also advised that your start some basic additional strengthening exercises for these muscles which you can find below.


Single leg bridges



Single leg RDLs

(Here is learning version with a stick but then you can add weight with barbell or DBs being held in front once you can keep your spine straight with the stick)




Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl


If you would like to discuss further, need advice on strengthening or biomechanics, or have an injury you need taken care of, please contact us on 38701861,,