Knee pain in new mums is very common. It is a culmination of several factors;

  • Increasing exercise volume.
  • Deconditioned compared to last time you exercised.
  • Slightly more mobility and movement in joints since your pregnancy.
  • Slightly reduced strength in hip, knee and core muscles.

All these factors can combine do give you pain just beneath or around the outside of your knee cap.


My number 1 tip would be work very closely with a trainer. This will help you avoid loading your knee too quickly. It is very easy to get caught up in returning to exercise and do 30 squats, 30 lunges and 30 step ups in a session. This may not seem like a huge volume but on a knee that is moving differently and hasn’t done those movements for 6-9 months we need to build up much slower.

Secondly, we need to start training the key muscles that control our hip, knee and core. Check out our plank variation video to get started on these;

We also want to be doing basic gluteal exercises like bridging, single leg bridging and clams. We would preference these in your first 4-6 weeks back rather than a large volume of squats and lunges.

Your goal should be to do 30 single leg bridges on each leg. This is a great marker of strength and a good indicator you will be OK to return to harder exercise or running.

Lastly, a simple solution is to reduce your depth and hold for longer. This works really well in squats, lunges and step ups. Instead of going parallel to the ground you can just go to one quarter depth. This will focus on controlling and stabilizing your hip and knee. Instead of short, sharp reps, focus on longer 6-10 second holds in that position. That will really burn and will help avoid knee pain.


If you’re getting knee pain with running there is a very simple solution to reducing the load that goes through your knee joint. Increasing your cadence by 5% can reduce the ground reaction forces in your knee by up to 20%. Increasing your cadence quite simply means taking shorter, faster steps. I would recommend jumping in and seeing someone to help you with this however on your next run trial, ‘shorter, faster steps’ or the ‘run quietly’ cue. These have both been shown to be fantastic cues whilst running to take pressure off the knee joint.


If you’re still struggling you definitely should be seeing a physio. They are fantastic in the treatment of knee pain. At the start we may trial a light brace or K-tape. K-tape is a soft elasticated tape that can help take some pressure off your knee cap and make it more comfortable to exercise. Feel free to email us or book in online at 1 of our 3 locations in Sydney;

iMove Physio Miranda: (

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iMove Physio Rozelle: (