Knee Exercises

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Knee Stretching Exercises continued...

Standing Hamstring Stretch:

Stand.
Keep one leg on ground; put one foot on chair or a step with leg straight. Bend forward at the hip. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side. *Do not attempt to touch your toes as this will stretch your back, and the goal of this exercise is to isolate your hamstring muscles in the leg that is being supported by the chair.

standing hamstring stretch

Sitting Hamstring Stretch:

Sit in chair. Straighten one leg, keeping heel on floor. Lean forward at hips, keeping back straight. Don't try to touch your toes. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Gluteal Stretch (also stretches lower back):

Lie on back. Bend left knee.
Grasp left leg behind the knee/back of thigh and pull knee towards chest.
Hold 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

single knee to chest glute and lower back stretch
Glute Stretch II:

Sit in chair.
Cross your left ankle over right thigh (just above right knee).
Lean forward (bend from hips - do not round back) while gently pushing left side of knee towards ground until you feel a gentle stretch in the left glute.
Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

seated glute stretch
Hip Abductors (Upper Outer Thigh and outer Hip) and Glute Stretch:

Sit on the floor, legs extended in front of you.
Bend right leg and place right foot on floor on outside the left knee.
Twist upper body to right and use left elbow to gently push against outside of right knee until you feel a gentle stretch in the right hips, buttocks, and lower back.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

hip abductor stretch
Iliotibial Band Stretch:

Stand up.
To stretch the right side, cross right leg behind left leg.
Bending from the hip, lean torso to the left - pushing hips to the right.
The stretch is felt on the outer right hip and thigh.
Keep right leg straight, left knee slightly bent.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

iliotibial band stretch
Hip Adductors (Upper Inner Thigh) Stretch - Standing:

Stand. Step off to the side with the right leg.
Bend left knee slightly (do not extend knee beyond toe) and move your right foot further to right until your feel a stretch in your right inner thigh.
Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

hip adducto rstretch
Hip Adductors (Upper Inner Thigh) Stretch - Sitting:

Sit on floor with legs spread into a V position. Slowly lean forward from your hips, keeping your back straight, until you feel the stretch. (You may feel a stretch without leaning forward - do not force the stretch). Do not bounce. Next, lean toward the right foot and then the left foot. Hold each position for 30 seconds.

Hip Flexors (front of hips) Stretch:

Tightness in these muscles can affect the alignment of the knee bones.
Standing Exercise: Step forward with the right leg, bending right knee (to increase the stretch, take a larger step). Do not extend right knee past toes. Keep left knee slightly bent with heel off the ground. Keep back upright. This stretches the front of the hip on the left side. Push the left hip forward to increase the stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

hip flexor stretch

*Of all the knee exercises, the quadriceps strengthening contraction is probably the easiest, safest and most important exercise you can do to prevent knee pain and injury. Those who have trouble fitting in exercises into their schedule can always do this exercise while watching television.

Also see Knee-Safe Aerobics. Low-impact exercises with minimal risk to the knee joint.