Knee Exercise Stretches

Fitness

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STRETCHES

TFL Stretch

Place palm of hand on wall at shoulder height, elbow straight.
Cross outer foot over inner foot, leaning the hip towards the wall as trunk leans away from the wall.
Stretch is felt at the side of the hip and leg closest to the wall.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then switch to the opposite side.

Caution

Foot that crosses over supports the weight of the body, allowing the other hip and leg to stretch without muscle tension.
Trunk remains leaning sideways during the stretch hold versus bending forward.

Quadriceps Stretch

In standing, bend your knee while grasping the foot. Heel comes up towards your buttock.
Tilt the pelvis up and back towards the spine to increase the stretch along the front of the thigh.
Hold 45-60 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then switch to the opposite side.

Caution

With the free hand, hold on to a stable support during the stretch to  increase balance as needed.
Keep knee being stretched pointing towards the floor.
Discontinue if knee pain or discomfort is present and consult with your  therapist for modifications.

Hamstring Stretch

In back-lying, both knees are bent.
Grasp a thigh with both hands and straighten the knee, lifting the foot towards the ceiling until a stretch is felt in the middle of the back thigh muscle.
Hold for 45-60 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then switch to the opposite side.

Caution

Head and shoulders remain on the floor during the stretch hold.
If muscles at the front of the thigh are shaking during the stretch, lower the leg until the muscles are relaxed.
While stretching the thigh, keep the knee as straight as possible.

Gastroc

Stand facing a wall, lunge one leg backward keeping the back leg straight with heel on the floor. Hands against the wall, lean forward.
Stretch is felt at the top-to-mid muscle of the back lower leg.
Hold 45-60 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then switch to the opposite side.

Caution

Weight is supported by forward thigh and heel to allow  back leg muscle to stretch versus tighten.
To increase the stretch, step back foot out further.
Keep hips level and facing toward the wall.

Soleus

Stand facing a wall, step one leg backward, bend the back knee, heel on the floor. Forward knee is bent. Hands against the wall.
Lower the body to feel the stretch in the mid-to-lower muscle of the back lower leg.
Hold 45-60 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then switch to the opposite side.

Caution

Feet are staggered forward yet positioned under the body.
Weight is supported by forward thigh and heel to allow back leg muscle to stretch versus tighten.
Keep hips level and facing toward the wall.

Piriformis

In back-lying, both knees bent, lift the right thigh and place the ankle on the left knee.
With both hands clasped around the back of the left thigh, gently pull the thigh towards the chest until a stretch is felt in the right buttock.
Hold 45-60 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then switch to the opposite side.

Caution

Head and shoulders remain on the floor during the stretch hold.
Keep spine straight.

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