Elastic Band Walks

Elastic band walks are just one of many hip strengthening exercises for the hip abductors and external rotators. Hip strengthening must be a focus for successful patella femoral syndrome treatment, but is unfortunately often overlooked by therapists.

I use elastic band walks in multiple directions with all of my patients, even those I am treating for shoulder or upper body injuries. This exercise is a great way to improve lower body function, muscle balance, endurance, and control. This is just one of many hip and core exercises featured in Patella Femoral Solutions

Sideways Elastic Band Walks

For the sideways walks, the important thing to remember is to keep your knees from coming together as you step. You should always be pushing your knees out against the band, feeling a muscle contraction and burn in your outside hips.

STEP 1: Place the band around your legs just below the knees and then step out to the side so the band becomes taut.

Elastic Band Walk

STEP 2: Keeping your knees slightly bent, take a step to the side, and then step with your trail leg.

Take 10 steps sideways, rest for 30 seconds, and then take 10 steps in the other direction, leading with the opposite leg.

You can vary how much you bend your knees and squat with this exercise - start out with just a little bit of bend in your knees, and as you become stronger, try to squat down farther - eventually you want to be able to perform this exercise in a squatted position, similiar to a defensive basketball position.

Forward Elastic Band Walks

The forward walks are a little more challenging, but can really help to improve your hip strength and control. Start off with a small amount of bend in your knees.

STEP 1: Place the elastic band around your legs just below your knees and then spread your feet out a little wider than your shoulders to make the band tight.

Elastic Band Walk

STEP 2: Keep the band tight, knees slightly bent, and take a step forward with one foot, then the other. Make sure to push your knees out as you step.

Try to keep your hips square so you are walking forward rather than waddling.

Take 20 steps total, 10 with each leg.

As with the sideways elastic band walks, you can progressively bend your knees more and squat down. Imagine the defensive basketball position as you work through these exercises.

A Complete Program for PFS

Strengthening of the hips is the most important part of any patella femoral syndrome exercise program. Band walks are just one example of a great exercise to strengthen the hips.

Band walks are one of the 17 strengthening and balance exercises included in my complete patella femoral syndrome exercise program,Patella Femoral Solutions.

Even if you don't have patella femoral syndrome, Patella Femoral Solutions is a great hip strengthening program that focuses on improving your overall lower body strength, mobility, and balance.


Band walks are a mid level hip strengthening exercise. They require only an open space and an elastic band, which you can get at a sporting goods store or even at Wal-Mart. Adding this exercise to your work out program can help improve your hip strength, as well as your muscle control and endurance.

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