Sunday, February 26, 2012

Knee Stretches - Prevent Injuries

I had a ski accident when I was a teenager. Since then, even after several treatments, my right knee stayed weak... Getting older & running doesn't help... but with stretches exercises, I can manage to run a little bit more without pain...

The knee is the most commonly injured joint in all age groups. It is especially susceptible to damage during athletic activities and exercise. However, stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons of the knee joint can help reduce risk of injury. 

Stretching is not warming up! It is, however, a very important part of warming up. Warming up is divided into three phases:

  1. general warm-up
  2. stretching
  3. sport-specific activity
It is very important that you perform the general warm-up before you stretch. It is not a good idea to attempt to stretch before your muscles are warm (something which the general warm-up accomplishes).
Warming up can do more than just loosen stiff muscles; when done properly, it can actually improve performance. On the other hand, an improper warm-up, or no warm-up at all, can greatly increase your risk of injury from engaging in athletic activities.

Quadriceps Stretch

Stretch the front of your knee. Do a quadriceps stretch by sitting in a rocking chair. Keep your feet firmly on the ground. Gently rock back and forth. This knee stretching exercise stretches both knees at the same time. You can also do this exercise in a four-legged chair. While sitting in the chair, slide your body forward until you feel a stretch along the front of your knee. Slide back into the chair. Repeat.
Do a standing stretch. Hold onto the back of a chair. Lift your leg up, as if touching your heel to your butt. Grab your foot. Stretch your thigh muscle as far as you can. Hold this position for as long as you can. Return to original position. Repeat. Do the same with your opposite leg.

Do a side stretch. Lay on your side with your legs together. Bend your upper leg and grab your ankle. Gently pull your leg up and away from your other leg. Pull until you feel your thigh muscles stretch. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to original position. Roll over and repeat with other side.


Hamstring Stretch

Sit on a flat surface. Extend your legs in front of you. Gently lower your abdomen and attempt to touch your nose to your knees. To further the stretch, hold onto the bottom of your feet.

Do a vertical hamstring stretch. While standing, bend over and touch your toes. Stretch as far as you can and let your hands touch the floor. To increase your knee stretch, step onto a stair, then bend over and stretch as far as you can.

Calf Stretch

Stand and face a wall. Place your hands against the wall with your arms outstretched and your elbows straight. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, turn the toes of your right foot slightly inward. Take a step back about one to two feet with your right leg. Keep your heel and foot flat on the floor. Your right leg calf muscle should be stretched at this point. Hold for 20 seconds. Then, bend your right knee. Keep your heel and foot flat on floor. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise with your left leg.

1 comment:

  1. Undergoing therapy, whenever you are injured badly, will surely help you recover fast. However, if that is just an acute injury and you have knowledge of the therapy, you can do it by yourself or with the help of your family and friends.