knee injury? Stretches for your knee tendons and muscles can help you feel better and keep your legs moving freely. To keep your knees stay strong and healthy, follow this workout routine to increase knees’ stability and mobility.
This stretch works the adductors, the muscles on the inside of your thighs that help stabilize your hips. Tight adductors can cause instability in your hips, pelvis, and knees.
START: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed straight forward. Step out with your right foot as wide as possible.
FINISH: Engage through the right heel as you drop your hips down and back while keeping the left leg straight, stretching the groin on the left leg and keeping both soles of the feet on the ground and toes pointed straight forward. Make sure your right knee is tracking over your right foot the whole motion. Powerfully “punch” your right heel into the floor to push yourself back to the full standing start position. That’s one rep. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.
Figure Four Stretch
Tight glutes can also cause the quads to take too much impact, consequently putting more pressure on the knees. It can also cause back pain and pain down the leg. The figure-4 stretch is also a commonly used hip stretch that targets the internal rotators of the hip. You’ll be amazed by how much easier you’re able to move — and deeper you can squat!
START: Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee as if making a figure “4”. Keeping your hips grounded and your lower back pressing into the mat, pull the left knee in towards the chest, threading your right hand between your legs.
FINISH: Clasp your hands underneath your left knee to help pull the knee deeper into the stretch. Focus on keeping the right knee open to stretch the hip. Breathe deeply and hold for at least 30 seconds on each side. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This exercise is a must for those who suffer from knee tightness. By strengthening and stretching your hamstring muscles as part of your everyday fitness routine, you can achieve strong knees and thighs that will support the rest of your muscle groups, preventing injuries and improving your physical abilities.
START: Take a short stride forward keeping the heel firmly on the ground. Keep the front leg straight and bend the back knee sinking your bottom towards the ground as though you’re about to sit in a chair.
FINISH: At the same time as keeping the front leg straight, sweep down with your hands towards the ground creating a dynamic stretch on the hamstring group. Each movement should take two to three seconds on alternating legs over a 20-meter (60 ft.) distance at a slow walking pace. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.
The calves are one of the most overused and overlooked muscles in the body. Tight calves will put pressure on the back of your knee. This can also put pressure on your feet and contribute to injuries like plantar fasciitis, which causes pain near the heel. If you run regularly, stretching your calves is necessary, since tight, shortened calves can lead to a shin injury. This stretch can be a great post-exercise for reducing muscle pain after a long run.
START: Stand facing a wall with your arms straight in front of you and your hands flat against the wall.
FINISH: Keep your right leg forward, foot flat on the floor, and extend your left leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Do not bend your back knee. Lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps. Perform this stretch daily and up to three times a day if you are tight.
The Quad Stretch stretches the quads, groin, hip flexors and glutes, and strengthens the knees. This exercise also helps to improve balance and concentration and alleviates lower back pain.
START: Get into a lunge position with your back knee down, facing away from the wall. Position yourself so that your back toes are against the wall.
FINISH: Frame your front foot with your hands and bend your back knee to pick the foot up off the ground. Place the top of your back foot against the wall and then use your hands to scoot your back knee closer to the wall so that you are feeling a stretch through the quadriceps and hip flexors of the back leg. Engage your abs to deepen the stretch and hold for 30 seconds. Then, switch sides. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.