The knee is the most commonly injured joint across all age groups.The knee joint 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. Do visit a Doctor or Physiotherapist to ascertain the problem that you have with your knee joint. Never work through pain, just work within your comfort levels. Below you will find a number of knee stretches and some strengthening exercises. Pilates classes are also a perfect support system of exercises to keep your body mobile and strong.
Knee Mobility a) Sit upright on the floor with the left leg bent. Start with your right leg extended and slowly draw the right leg towards you, in a straight line, bending at the knee joint until the right foot is as close to your bottom as is comfortable. Slide the right leg along the floor away from you. Repeat this leg in and out movement, 10 times, increasing the knee bend as you work. Swap sides.
b) Sit upright on the floor with the left leg bent. Lengthen the right leg forward along the ground, relax your leg (wiggle it about to relax) with a flexed foot. Use your hands to very gently and slowly move your patella a tiny bit, side to side and then forward and back a few times. Swap knees. The knee can feel a bit tight, the quadriceps and patella tendons if tight can limit knee motion.
Seated Calf Stretch Sit upright with your right leg extended in front of you and place a band or a towel around the ball of your right foot. Draw the ball of your foot towards you, keeping your leg on the floor but slightly raising your heel off the floor as you stretch for 20s to 30s. Swap sides.
Standing Calf Stretch/ Achilles Tendon Stretch Stand on the bottom step of a flight of stairs. Hold on to the stair rail and hang your heels over the edge of the bottom step. Press your weight into your heels to increase the stretch. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then release. Alternatively hang your left heel over the step for 10 seconds, swap to the right foot for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times for each foot.
Seated Hamstring Stretch Sit upright on the floor with one leg bent and close in to your pelvis and the other leg straight out in front of you, heel flexed and toes pointing upward. Lean forward by hinging forward from your hips rather than leaning down and rounding or bending your back. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Swap sides.
Supine Hamstring Stretch Lie on your back with straight legs. Bend your right knee and pull the knee into your chest. Then raise your right leg into the air, straightening the leg as much as possible without strain or pain. Hold your leg, above or below the knee, with both hands gently pulling the leg towards your chest for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Quadricep Stretch Lie on your right side with your legs straight and resting on top of each other. Bend your left leg back, bringing your foot towards your buttocks. Reach around for your left foot with your left hand, pulling the foot closer to your buttocks. Do not twist your knee; keep it in line with your thigh. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then release and repeat on your opposite leg.
StandingQuadricep Stretch 1) While standing, hold onto a support to assist in balance. 2) Bend your knee back by grasping your ankle with one hand. 3) Increase the stretch by taking your knee back as far as possible, within comfort levels, keeping your hips in neutral spine and facing forwards. 4) Maintain this position for 20 to 30 seconds. 5) Return to standing position. 6) Switch legs and repeat.
Wall Squat Stand with your back against a wall. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips and slowly bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall as though you're about to sit down in a chair. Stop when your knees reach a 90-degree angle with the floor (or as close as you can reach). Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then return to a standing position.
Ilitotibial Band Stretch 1) Stand upright. 2) Cross the right leg behind the left leg. 3) Lean your hips to the right and your upper body and arms to the left side, until a stretch is felt across the outside of your thigh region. 4) Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.Swap sides.
Straight Leg Raises Sit up tall on a chair. Straighten and raise your right leg upwards until your leg is straight with your foot very slightly pointed outwards. Keeping your leg raised, move your leg 10cms up and 10cms down whilst keep your quad muscles engaged and active. 3 sets of 10 and then swap sides. For a more intense exercise you can add ankle weights. Start with 0.5k and then work up to 1kg and more, when you can.