Petella Injury - best exercises to avoid a repeat?

Hi. I’ve had petella tendinitis, leading to bursitis of the bursa in the knee. Has to be surgically drained to get all the fluid and hunk out. Haven’t been in the bike or run for 2 months now.
So - tips for rebuilding strength and maintenance of this weakness going forward ?
Dr Google usually talks about weak VMO causing petella problems … but I wonder what the cycling community has experienced and has found helpful to prevent it from ever happening again.
Thanks I’m advance :slightly_smiling_face:

@Rensford I’m nto convinced about the VMO helping to track the patella. Sure, the fibres of the VMO are oblique and look like they ‘may’ pull the patella, but we generally don’t really see that. In addition, its really hard to target the VMO specifically.

You may want to do some terminal knee extension work - sit with legs out in front and heel on a yoga block (elevated on something) and then do isometric contractions of your quadriceps. In addition, some basic strength training will help.

I’m a big fan of Dan John’s books Intervention & Can You Go for the basics of strength programming:
Squat - specifically the goblet squat (youtube search Dan John and goblet squat for a great video) - this is a ‘magic’ movement

Focus on strength prescription (3-5 sets of a load you can lift 5 times) as you’ll get the endurance stimulus on the bike.

Also check your bike fit. This could play a big role.

Disclaimer: I’ve edited one of Dan’s books, but I don’t make a cent from the sales

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I had knee issues similar but to a lesser degree. Make sure you’re pain free before you start any weight bearing exercises, even the odd niggle as mine took forever to completely go. Frustrating but important to recover

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Found this thread. Struggling with patella issues currently and have been for a few months. I only have issues the night after a workout and the next day. No pain during. Should I take some time away from the bike? I neglected strength training and stretching really for a long time and I feel now I am paying for it. Have an appt with a physio in 3 weeks. Do you have a recommendation on some stuff I can do until then? I have started stretching and this is definitely helping with the soreness the next day.


I broke my patella earlier this summer, and it was immobilized for several weeks. When I took the brace off for good I lost a tremendous amount of strength. Once I got range of motion back below are the exercises the physical therapist gave me. This may have nothing to do with your injury, but the muscles around my knee were very week, and it wan’t tracking totally normal at first.

wall squats hold for 10 seconds build up to 30sec.
single leg variation of a wall squat (shorter hold time)
walking lunges
foam stability pad balancing

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