The knee is one of the most important and the largest joint in our body. It’s connected to a number of ligaments and tendons that flex when we bend our knees while walking, sitting, running, or climbing. It’s also one of the most common joints of the body to get affected by arthritis. In order to maintain the mobility and flexibility of the knee muscles, it’s important to stretch it on a regular basis.
What Causes Knee Pain?
People who suffer from knee pain are aware of the negative impact it has on their fitness routines and their life in general. The main cause of t knee pain is a tightness of the muscles due to reasons such as:
- Poor posture
- Sedentary lifestyle
The pain and associated discomfort cause joint dysfunction and muscle imbalance. If ignored for long, it can lead to serious injuries or muscular problems.
Benefits of Stretching
Most people are tempted to rest and take it easy when any part of their body hurts. However, it’s important to keep your muscles moving in order to maintain proper joint function. Stretching your muscles with joint-friendly exercises can not only help you recover from pain quicker, but it can also strengthen your muscles. This makes your joints less susceptible to future injuries and can even slow down the effects of Osteoarthritis. Stretching knee muscles is also important for optimal function of the joint and build up supporting muscles.
Here are three light joint-friendly knee stretches that you should incorporate into your daily workout.
Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
This is a simple stretching exercise that opens up your hip muscles to decrease the pressure on your knees. Here’s how it works:
STEP 1: Kneel on one knee with the opposite foot flat on the ground in front of you. The front of the thigh should be parallel to the floor.
STEP 2: Stretch your hip towards the floor by leaning forward.
STEP 3: Tighten your buttocks to stretch your hip flexor muscles more
STEP 4: Lift your arm reaching up to deepen the stretch
STEP 5: Switch to the other side and repeat a few times.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Most common knee injuries are caused by a strained hamstring. The ligament helps support knees and hips so it’s important to keep it loose and flexible. Try the stretch with the following steps.
STEP 1: Stand up straight on your right foot.
STEP 2: Stretch your left leg forward and put the heel on the floor with toes pointing upwards.
STEP 3: Sit back a bit by bending your right knee and hinging forward at the hips.
STEP 4: The weight should be on the edge of the heel while keeping the left leg completely straight as you add some pressure to it.
STEP 5: Switch legs and repeat.
If the calf muscles are tight it puts unwanted pressure on the knees. Tight calves also add pressure on the feet causing pain in the heels. Simply stretch your calf muscles with the following steps:
STEP 1: Stand in front of the wall. Keep one leg in front of you, slightly bent while the other is straight behind you.
STEP 2: Place your hands flat against the wall and try pushing it.
STEP 3: Make sure the leg behind you has its foot firmly on the floor including the heel. You’ll feel your calf muscles stretching.
STEP 4: Switch and repeat on the other leg.
Contact SEMI Sports Clinic!
Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute in the greater Toronto area offers expert treatments for sports injuries and recovery. Our services include regenerative therapy, physiotherapy, PRP injections, shockwave therapy, and custom-made medical braces for knees. Get in touch with us today by calling us at 1-844-223-7364.