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When I take a step with my left leg my knee falls outward as I lower my foot after heel strike. What muscles do I need to exercise to keep my knee straight? I am also having slight upper lateral thigh/hip pain. Not sure if they are related.

Your body is  a system of alternating joints -- one used for mobility, then STABILITY, then mobility. Your knee is a stability joint, so the joints above (your hip) and the joint below (your ankle) are both meant to be very mobile. The fact that you have a LACK OF STABILITY in your knee is very likely caused by a LACK OF MOBILITY in your hip, where you are having the associated pain, or vice versa. Either way, it's time to start working on both sides of this issue. Incorportating some mobility exercises for your hip, in order to gain range of motion, as well as gaining strength throughout the full range of motion of your hip. It's important to note that your hip moves in many directions, not just flexion and extension - so make sure you are moving in every direction. Please visit a physical therapist for a complete list of exercises for both your hip and knee -- generally speaking, you will want to purchase a set of exercise bands, and start working on squats, lateral steps, monster walks, and other exercises to help build stability in the knees WHILE gaining mobility in the hip. Good luck!

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