My Favourite PFPS Exercise

Numerous papers have associated gluteal weakness with knee pain. This 3x3x3 gluteal strengthening exercise may be done using a simple resistance Loop Band that is placed around the feet or the ankle.

The focus of this exercise is to SLOWLY control the eccentric phase of the contraction. The lunges must be performed with no pain or minimal discomfort as the knees are to flex only to 30°.

Step #1: Antero-lateral lunges

(i.e. 2 o’clock on the STARmat)

Step #2: Lateral lunges

(i.e. 3 o’clock on the STARmat)

Step #3: Postero-lateral lunges

(i.e. 4 o’clock on the STARmat)

Perform the 3 lunges with one leg, then with the other leg. I call this exercise 3x3x3 as it involves lunging into 3 direction, 3 reps and 3 sets and the whole routine takes only 3 minutes.


I have found that a gluteal “burn” is inevitable with this routine. I suggest to my patients to do this exercise on a daily basis or at least 5 times a week. I also tell them to wait 6 weeks before they notice a significant improvement in their lower extremity strength.


If they feel up to it, they may also do side lunge walks, 10 side steps to the left and 10 side steps back to the right.


You may order the Loop Bands on for less than $2. I promise you that your patients will love them. I suggest they start with the green then progress to the blue after 3 weeks.

Reference: Personal


A 3x3x3
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