Eccentric Exercises for Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendinitis affects the tendon that connects your knee cap -- the patella -- to your shin bone, according to The patella is responsible for extension of your lower leg. Patellar tendinitis is frequently seen in athletes who do a lot of jumping, including basketball and volleyball players. Eccentric knee exercises are frequently used to treat patellar tendinitis. Eccentric exercises stimulate muscle growth and primarily focus on the shortening -- or contraction -- of a muscle, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Consult your doctor before beginning eccentric exercises with patellar tendinitis.

Eccentric Squats

Eccentric squats are frequently used in treating patellar tendinitis. Perform squats on a hard surface. Stand up tall and keep both feet planted on the floor. Bend your knees slowly and squat as if you are about to sit in a chair. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs have become parallel to the floor, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine- NASM. Hold this position for a count of 10 seconds. If you need to, transfer more of your weight on to your healthy leg. Slowly return to the starting position. Relax and complete three sets of 10 repetitions. Take a 60-second break between sets.

Leg Presses

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Leg presses strengthen the knees and their surrounding muscles. This movement works in a downward direction, which makes it eccentric, according to NASM. Position yourself on the leg press machine with your back straight against the padded back of the machine. Stand flat against the machine, feet positioned about 1 foot apart, with knees slightly bent. Slowly bring your knees inward to your chest. This will decrease the the weight felt on your legs. Then slowly partly to fully extend your legs: the eccentric motion. Never lock your knees. Repeat three sets of 10 repetitions of this exercise. Take a 1-minute break between sets.

Slant Board Exercise

Purchase or find a slant board at a sporting goods store or your gym or physical therapy office. Obtain a small backpack and place 5 to 10 pounds worth of weights inside. Place the pack on your shoulders using both straps. Stand behind the slant board at the elevated end. Step on the slant board using your leg affected with patellar tendinitis. Bend your knee forward in a lunge-like position. Raise your unaffected leg in the air behind you. You will be balancing on your affected leg. The force placed on your leg makes this an eccentric exercise, according to NASM. Hold this position for a count of five. Relax and repeat for one set of 10 repetitions.