Fix Your Hips, Hamstrings and Glutes For Healthy Knees
Global Stretches For Knee Health
The muscles above the knee have a big effect on the health of the knee joint and surrounding connective tissues.
These muscles have the unfortunate combination of doing a lot of work, but also being sat on and glued down for long periods. This leads to tightness that has a knock on effect throughout the body.
Here are two exercises to help reverse this and start creating a bit of slack in this area.
Upstream Exercise 1
Posterior Chain Stretch
This posterior chain stretch is a great way to target any tight areas down the back of the entire leg. Hitting the calf muscle, hamstring and working across the back of the knee at the same time to stretch any tight areas long the back of the leg.
- Start with your foot on a block, weight plate or step, just past the ball of your foot.
- Press your heel into the floor, tense the quad and think about pressing the knee backwards to ensure the lead leg stays straight through the exercise.
- Your support leg should also be straight and remain under the hips.
- Keeping your lower back flat, lean forward until you feel the stretch. Find your limit (keeping your back flat) and support your weight with your hands if required.
- Spend some time in this position, to loosen the muscles at the back of your leg. Constantly remind yourself of the above cues.
- As your tight muscles open up, you can lean forward. Be careful not to sacrifice coming forward for bending the knee or rounding your lower back.
Upstream Exercise 2
Hip & Glutes Mobilisation
Glutes are a powerful muscle group that have an effect on the knee. This mobilisation gives us an opportunity to hunt for and mobilise tight areas in the glutes and lower back, and improve the positioning of the thigh bone in the hip capsule.
- Start by placing your left foot up on a box or chair, and hold it there with your left hand. Keep your foot straight and shin vertical.
- When you find tight areas or hot spots during this mobilisation, make sure you spend some time in that position. You can make small circles or movements, or try to contract and relax the muscles to mobilise the area and loosen the tissues.
- Slide your rear leg back to lower your hips. Keep your hand on your foot, and allow your knee to drop to the outside.
- Lean your chest forward and start searching for those tight areas. When you find one, spend some time in that position.
- You can rotate your torso to the right and drop your chest to explore different areas for tight spots.
- Then rotate your body to your knee, pushing your left knee further out, and opening your right hip.
- To capture the back of hip and hamstring, drive your hips backwards. Again look for tight areas and spend some time mobilising them.
- Once you’ve created some new space around your hips, slide back to the start position and begin the process over again to hunt for other tight areas and start working on those.
Time to get serious about sorting your knees
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