Fix Patellar Tendinitis For Olympic Weightlifting

Let me preface this by reminding you that I’m not a medical professional—I’m just a guy with well-used knees who’s coached a lot of athletes with well-used knees. If you have a serious injury or severe tendinopathy, go see a professional.

Don’t sit around and wait for your tendinitis to get worse—start taking care of it the day you notice it. Prevention is always best, but immediate correction will save you a lot of time, pain and lost training.

The first step when you start feeling patellar tendinitis is to figure out what changed—did you jump into way too much training volume and/or intensity too quickly? Did you add unfamiliar exercises you’re not conditioned for, especially jump training? Did you change the way you’re squatting or switch shoes?

Temporarily eliminate or reduce the cause, and once healed, reintroduce it at a more gradual rate that prevents recurrence.

As part of your warm-up, spend a few minutes on a bike, do plenty of leg swings, knee circles and unloaded squats, and foam roll the quads, especially along the midline. Get and keep the joint warmer with knee sleeves.

Stretch the quads and hip flexors, especially together, before, during and after training.

Strengthen and heal the tissue with 3 sets of 10 unilateral leg extensions with a 5-6 second eccentric, on a machine or with a band, 3 days/week. Add in 3 sets of 10-15 hamstring curls 2-3 days/week.

Do some cross-friction massage daily for 3-5 minutes using moderate pressure at the painful area of the tendon.

Do contrast daily with hot and cold water, or ice and heat packs, for a few courses of 1-2 minutes of cold and 2-4 minutes of heat.

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