February 27, 2023 3 min read

Jumper’s knee, also known as Patellar Tendinopathy, is a tendon injury that is caused by repetitive jumping movements. Do you experience pain in your patellar tendon (front part of your knee) when you run, jump, & play sports? You may be dealing with Patellar Tendinopathy. PT can be painful and debilitating for athletes who rely on their legs for their sport. This article will explain the difference between Patellar Tendinopathy & Patellar Tendinitis, & how a simple exercise can help you avoid jumper's knee, decrease knee pain, fix this common injury to preserve your bounce.

What is Patellar Tendinopathy?

Patellar Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendons in the knee joint which affects the patellar tendon. This condition occurs when too much stress is placed on the tendon due to repeated jumping activities or overuse of the knee joint over time. Patellar Tendinopathy is a degeneration of the collagen protein that forms the tendon. PT is chronic & symptoms include pain around the kneecap, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and difficulty bending or straightening your knee. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain and long-term damage to the tendon. This type of injury will not cease with proper rest & is ongoing. The good news is that Patellar Tendinopathy can be avoided, treated, & managed with a proper protocol.

Brad Becca, BB Athletics, Fitness, Performance. Jump, Injury Prevention

What Is Patellar Tendinitis?

Patellar Tendonitis oftentimes gets confused with Tendinopathy. Tendinitis, which is simply inflammation of the Patellar Tendon that typically manifests after performing lots of physical activity in a short timeframe. For example, a basketball player that just played 3 games in a row Friday, Saturday, & Sunday may experience inflammation & pain the in the knees on Monday. Tendinitis will manifest after extreme bouts exercises & then subside given proper rest!

Brad Becca, BB Athletics, Fitness, Performance. Jump, Injury Prevention, Knee

Isometric Spanish Squats For Patellar Tendinopathy, Knee Pain, & Tendon Health

Spanish squats are a type of exercise that helps strengthen the muscles around your knee joint & load the Patellar Tendon. The Isometric Spanish Squat is used to generate strength in the lower extremities without “over loading” & or increasing the compressive force in the patella femoral joint & causing the knee to “flare up”. This exercise works all the major muscle groups associated with patellar tendon injuries such as quadriceps, hamstrings, core musculature, glutes and even your lower back. The increase in tension in the patella tendon due to quadricep contraction during Isometric Spanish Squat produces an analgesic effect on the tendon, which results in a temporary decrease in pain. This study concluded A single resistance training bout of isometric contractions reduced tendon pain immediately for at least 45 min postintervention and increased MVIC (1).

How Do I Perform The Isometric Spanish Squat?

  1. The Setup - Tie a resistance band to an immovable object & place band around the back of the knee. Position your body a good distance away from the anchor point of the band.
  2. The Movement - Squat down into 90-degree & or parallel to the ground while keeping your knees in line with your toes. Maintain a good upright posture throughout the movement. Keep shins vertical & perpendicular to the ground. Ensure that the knees do NOT go over the toes.
  3. Frequency – Perform this exercise 2-3 times per week. Perform 2-4 sets of 45 second holds for proper muscle activation & tendon stress.

Check out this video HERE!

Jumper’s knee can be an uncomfortable condition that affects athletes who rely on their legs for their sport. Jumper’s knee is a chronic (long-term) condition, meaning it occurs when the knee is repeatedly exposed to loads overtime. Tendinitis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory process that occurs after a period of lots of physical activity within a short period of time. If you are someone who experiences Patellar Tendinopathy or Jumper’s Knee, the good news is that there are ways to avoid & manage it! The Spanish Squat is an effective way to strengthen major muscle groups, build tendon health, & prevent further injury at the same time! Add them into your routine to bulletproof your knees!


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25979840/
Brad Becca
Brad Becca

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