I am looking for an efficient exercise that will strengthen the VMO area (inner front thigh).
My kneecap is prone to dislocation, and the main problem seems to be that the VMO is weak, pulling the patella outwards. I'm finding it difficult to strengthen this part of my leg, as these muscles are much too weak.
The only exercise that doesn't cause pain so far is swimming... is there anything else I can do?
I have a similar condition with my right knee, the underlying cause was flat feet causing my ankle to roll in for nearly 40 years. My outer quads were stonger than the inners which was pulling the patella out or alignment. My physio said to strengthen the inner quads and get orthotics for my shoes.
I got the orthotics and started doing wall squats and hack squats targeting the quads, then after a while I changed to pointing my toes out to target the Vastus Medialis. Simply turn your feet about 40-45 degrees from being parallel so your heels are closer together than your toes. You really feel the VM muscle working when you do this and I now have a lot less trouble with my knee (it has been less than a year). I tried doing leg extensions but that hurt too much, I also do some cycling which can also help strengthen the VM.
A physio should be able to help with some non weight bearing exercises to start with if needed. Exercises like lying on your back with your legs straight and lifting your foot up while trying to keep your knee still. Or standing on one leg on a step and lowering and raising yourself by bending at the knee without letting the knee turn in or out. You may find that some strapping or taping will help to stabilize the knees in the beginning.