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Knee VMO Exercises

Rujuta Borkar Jul 22, 2020
Knee VMO exercises are targeted at gaining strength and flexibility in the knee muscles and thereby helping in healthy knee functioning. In this story, we will look through some of the exercises that can be adopted for the same.
The knee is an important organ in our body, such that all the basic functions that we carry through with the help of our legs like walking, running and jumping, as well as certain others are dependent on the knees. That is why it becomes important to have strong and flexible legs and as an extension of the same, the knees as well.
The VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique) aka the Obliquus which is a part of the thigh muscle is situated in the inner side of the knee cap. This muscle is responsible for the complete stretching of the knees till they are locked and fully straight. In individuals with strong knees, the VMO fibers are active through the complete range of motion.
But when there is trouble in the contraction of these muscles, such that the fibers contract in phases, it can lead to instability in knee actions. This comes about due to weakened fibers and may be caused due to an injury or fall. This comprise the proper functioning of the knee by affecting the other parts as well, resulting in pain and discomfort.
In a case as this one, certain specialized knee VMO exercises need to be adopted to strengthen the VMO and thereby the knee. In this following section, we will focus on certain knee strengthening exercises that will help prevent as well as treat any harm to the VMO.

Knee VMO Activities

Here are some of the exercises that one needs to put on their list when treating an injury to the VMO.

Quadriceps Contraction

  • Sit straight with your legs straight out, stretched in front of you.
  • Roll a towel and place it under your knees.
  • Now tighten the quadriceps (the muscles at the front of your thigh) and push the knee into the towel.
  • Hold your fingers at the sides of your knees (above the VMO) and feel the contraction.
  • Hold each contraction for a count of 5 and then release.
  • Repeat 10 times each on both legs.


  • Lunges are another great exercise to strengthen the VMO fibers.
  • Stand straight and distribute the weight equally on both legs.
  • Put the right leg forward and bend it at the knee at a 90 degree angle so that the leg is parallel to the floor.
  • The left leg will be bent at a 90 degree angle as well, with the leg parallel to the floor.
  • The left knee will be very close to the ground. Do not let the knee touch the ground or it will lead to pressure on the knees.
  • Slowly rise and alternate the legs, bringing about the same position.
  • Try to bring in 16 repetitions for each leg and do 3 sets in total.

Knee Extension

  • Sit on a stool or a chair that has a considerable height so that your feet do not touch the ground.
  • Sit straight with your back erect and your hands on the sides.
  • Bend your knees and tighten your quadriceps while raising your leg, to bring it in the line of the knees.
  • To make the exercise more effective, tie a resistant belt around your ankle and to the stool/chair that you're sitting on and then carry forth the same exercise.
  • Do 10 repetitions in sets of 3.
  • Repeat on both sides.
  • Ensure that there is no pain when doing this exercise.

Medicine Ball Squats

  • Stand against a wall with a medicine ball supported with your back.
  • Ensure that the legs are shoulder width apart and the feet are absolutely straight.
  • Without letting the ball slip, slowly lower yourself down to a squat by bending your knees.
  • Ensure that the knees do not cross the line of toes.
  • Hold the position for a count of 5 and slowly come up.
  • Perform 10 repetitions in sets of 3.
  • Make sure that there is no pain.
It has been argued many times whether of the several knee VMO exercises, cycling, either on a stationary bike or a real one or even imitating the action of riding a bike while lying on the back, helps the condition.
This query can only be answered by one's therapist because it depends from one individual to the other and the intensity of the injury suffered. For some, it can be beneficial while for others it can cause for a worsening of the situation.
Thus, one has to consult a therapist before starting out on any of these exercises on their own.