We most commonly tend to injure our knee because it is a large and complex joint. There are four strong ligaments that connect the femur and tibia and a number of muscles that attach to the patella and maintain overall knee balance.
With just a few simple stretches you can dramatically reduce the risk of knee injury and keep it strong and healthy.
Each of these stretches should be done 3-5 times on each side before and after exercise. If you are unable to go through these in the standing position, please let us know and we can offer suggestions on how to modify them to suit your needs.
Iliotibial (IT) Band Stretch:
Stand straight and cross the right leg behind the left. Using a wall for support on your right, slide your hips towards it or bend forward at the waist towards your toes. You should feel the stretch along the side of your thigh to your knee. Hold the stretch for 8 seconds and switch to repeat on the other side.
Stand straight and bend your right leg at the knee so your heel touches your backside. Hold this heel in place with your right hand and stabilize yourself with your left hand on an stationary object. You should feel the stretch in the front of your thigh Hold this for 8 seconds and repeat on the left side.
Stand upright and place your right heel on a stationary object and bend towards the knee until you feel a good stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold this for 8 seconds and repeat on the left side.
Stand in front of a wall, put your right leg back keeping it straight and lean in on the left leg bending the knee towards the wall. You should feel the stretch in the back of your right leg. Hold this for 8 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Feeling mild discomfort during these activities is okay, but you should never feel pain or have the discomfort linger. Please check with your doctor before starting any new routines—especially if you have been inactive for awhile.