Now that the Spartan Race is over and I have toned down my training sessions, I find that I am still having trouble with my knee. To manage the problem, I have been doing a little rehab on the side. I must confess that knee exercises are extremely tedious and terribly boring. I really wish there was a “fun-er” way of rehabilitating that is also good for my knees.
I digress… Aside from doing exercises to strengthen your knees, according to Dr Halpern, author of the Knee Crisis Handbook, stretching is also another important component for preventing knee pain. As if knee exercises wasn’t enough, I now have to add these six stretches to the routine:
- Hamstring Stretch
- Quadricep Stretch
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Piriformis Stretch
- Calf Stretch
- Iliotibial Band Stretch
Note: All stretches should be held for 20 to 30 seconds and repeated twice on both sides.
To help me lock some of these in my head, I looked up a few different stretches for each that I can practice at home without killing myself from boredom. I thought it would be handy to keep them all easily accessible here.
Pop Sugar shows 5 ways you can stretch your Quads, but here’s the easiest one:
There are also the:
- lying quad stretch
- kneeling quad stretch
- pigeon twist
- frog pose
For a bit more variation, try these yoga poses for stretching your quads – although some of them look quite hard if you ask me:
- Crescent Lunge: Anjaneyasana
- Hero Pose: Virasana
- Pigeon Pose: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
- Sugarcane Pose: Ardha Chandra Chapasana
- King Dancer: Natarajasana
- Camel Pose: Ustrasana
- Bow Pose: Dhanurasana
- Little Thunderbolt Pose: Laghu Vajrasana
There are several ways to stretch your hamstrings. Some of them are shown below. Verywell Fit provides some explanations for how to do each one.
Hip Flexor Stretch
For more variation, try these:
Then there are also these Yoga Poses from Sensational Yoga Poses:
The piriformis muscle sits in your backside under the gluteus maximus. These are the exercises that will help stretch that muscle:
- Double wall calf stretch
- Wall lunge
- Curb hang or wall flex
- Seated-single leg calf stretch
- Single leg downward dog (shown below)
In Yoga, the pose for this stretch should be a familiar one – the Down Dog pose.
Iliotibial Band Stretch
There’s a good article on Knee-Pain Explained that talks about the ITB (Iliotibial Band) and offers 5 accompanying ITB stretches. The most basic ITB stretch is this one:
In pilates, we also do an ITB stretch on the reformer which is similar to this one which can be done at home with a strap:
And that’s it. If you do them properly, it should take about 20 minutes to complete.