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Best Patella Tendinopathy Exercises

Patella Tendinopathy exercises should predominantly involve strengthening exercises. As we discussed in our previous blog What Is the Best Treatment For Patella Tendinopathy? rest and stretching alone will not cure anything‚Ķneither will focussing on the knee alone.


The following Patella Tendinopathy exercises are based on gold-standard, evidence-based regimes that aim to progressively ‘reload’ the tendon in preparation for a return to the activities of everyday life and sports.

It is important to note that commonly when rehabbing tendons some levels of pain are expected as part of improving the loading thresholds. Read our ‘Pain | Rest Or Move’ blog to understand what levels are acceptable when exercising.


Take a look at the videos below for the best Patella Tendinopathy exercises. It is recommended you perform these exercises for a period of 6-12 weeks even if your symptoms are feeling better. We are aiming to make a lasting change!

*If you experience any excessive pain, beyond that advised, during or after each exercise then stop immediately and consult a Physiotherapist*


Patella Tendinopathy Exercises

Calf Holds On A Step

**TIP: Begin by performing this isometric exercise before progressing to the following isotonic exercises below**

Goal: Patella Tendinopathy exercises to begin strengthening the quadriceps tendon and place initial load on the tendon when sore or irritable.

How often?: x5 sets of 45 seconds holds. x2-3 lots everyday

Instructions: Standing with the ball of your foot on the edge of a step, with your knee slightly bent, and heel raised.  Begin by holding up to 10kg on the same side, using a wall/rail to balance. Hold for 45secs. Repeat x5 sets with a minute rest between. **You can increase the weight as much as you can safely, performing the full reps and sets**


Goblet Squats With Weight

**TIP: Only perform the following isotonic exercises if your pain levels are minimal (3/10 or below)**

Goal: Patella Tendinopathy exercises improve strength in the quadricep and gluteal muscles as well as increase loading tolerance for the Patella Tendon bilaterally (on 2 feet)

How often?: x4 sets of 6 reps. x1-2 lots every other day

Instructions: Standing with feet more than shoulder width apart. Begin by holding 10kg, tight into your chest, ensuring the weight stays between your feet. Slowly sit the bum back to perform a squat. Initially begin small squats to 60 degrees knee bend, upping to 90 degrees+ if comfortable enough. You can progress the weight as much as you can safely perform the reps and sets. **You can also progress to a barbell weight if you have access to a squat rack or Smith machine**


Bulgarian Split Squat

**TIP: Only perform the following isotonic exercises if your pain levels are minimal (3/10 or below)**

Goal: Patella Tendinopathy exercises improve strength in the quadricep and gluteal muscles as well as increase loading tolerance for the Patella Tendon on 1 leg

How often?: x4 sets of 6 reps. x1-2 lots every other day

Instructions: Standing on 1 leg with the toes of the other placed on a chair or box behind. Holding a weight approx 5-10kg slowly dip up and down on the front leg with control, keeping your trunk upright and not letting the front knee go past the toes. Initially begin small squats to 60 degrees knee bend, upping to 90 degrees+ if comfortable enough. **You can progress the weight as much as you can safely perform the reps and sets.**


Step Ups

**TIP: Only perform the following isotonic exercises if your pain levels are minimal (3/10 or below)**

Goal: Patella Tendinopathy exercises improve strength in the quadricep and gluteal muscles as well as increase loading tolerance for the Patella Tendon on 1 leg

How often?: x4 sets of 6 reps. x1-2 lots every other day

Instructions: Starting in a split squat position with your front foot on a step, holding a 5-10kg weight. Step up then down into a backward lunge keeping your control. Start with a small step then progress this to a larger one if comfortable. **You can progress the weight as much as you can safely perform the reps and sets**


For more information please call us on 0114 267 8181 or email [email protected].

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