Knee pain is often a major barrier to leading an active lifestyle because it may seem impossible to exercise without irritating your sore joints. Last week, exercise physiologist Lauren Conley explained ways for people with knee pain to stay active. This week, she shares some stretches to help people experiencing knee pain avoid injury.
“Warm, flexible muscles are much less likely to become injured. It’s important that you take a few minutes to stretch the quadriceps and hamstrings before your workout,” said Conley.
The muscles around the knee help to stabilize the knee and absorb shock, so it’s important to keep those muscles active and protect them from injury by stretching.
Try these Lower Body Stretches
Calf Stretch. Stand with your left foot in front of the right in a lunge position. With feet facing forward in a straight line, bend the knee, keeping the back heel flat on the floor. Hold this position, feeling a stretch in the right calf. Switch legs and repeat.
Hip Abduction. Sitting, with your feet flat on the floor, bring your right foot across to your left knee. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the hip that is crossed. Return to resting. Repeat with the other leg.
Hip Flexion. Sitting, slowly raise the right leg in a bent position, hugging it close to your chest and hold. Lower, then repeat, with the left leg.
If you continue experiencing pain or find that your pain interferes with your regular activities, you should see your doctor.