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11 runner knee exercises and stretches for relaxation



Created for Greatist by Healthline experts. Continue reading

Knee killing yourself after doing these miles or a brisk walk? It could be a runner’s knee. You do not do that indeed have to run to get the runner’s knee – you might feel the pain after walking or doing some kind of exercise with your knees.

“Runner’s knee” is a common name for pain around the kneecap (also known as patella). In medicine, the runner’s knee is called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). There is an irritation of the soft tissues of the knee, which may include the patellar tendon, fat pads and the synovial tissue that lines the knee joint.

Pain often occurs around or behind the kneecap. The disease is more common in women and affects 1

9 to 30 percent of female runners and 13 to 25 percent of male runners.

Fortunately, there are knee stretches, exercises, and treatments for runners to help you recover and get back on your feet.

Do you think you have a runner’s knee?

It is important to note that the runner’s knee is often used as an umbrella term, which means that it is a diagnosis of * what * your symptoms are, but it does not always * determine * why * you have a runner’s knee .

Some causes of the runner’s knee:

  • Kneecaps that are too high in the knee joint
  • weak core, hip, leg and / or calf muscles
  • tense leg muscles (hamstrings, hips, quadriceps, calves)
  • restricted joint movement on hips, knees or ankles
  • unsupported feet (over poorly fitting shoes)
  • bad shape when running
  • Overuse or excessive training (running too many kilometers)
  • direct injury to the knee

If you have a running knee, you are likely to be in pain if:

  • Walk or run
  • Go up or down stairs (especially if you go down)
  • crouch or kneel
  • sit or stand
  • sit long

You may also notice that your knee bursts, crunches, or swells (ouch!).

Rest is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to lie on the couch for the next week. Try doing the following exercises 3 to 5 times a week for 6 weeks.

Know Before You Move: These exercises are general suggestions that can help your knee. However, a physical therapist can give you an adequate assessment, determine why you have a running knee, and develop the best course of action for your pain and injury.

1. Stretch the hamstring

Target area: Hamstrings

Representative: 3 per leg

  1. Lie on your back and stretch your left leg out in front of you.
  2. Bend your right leg slightly and place your hands behind your right thigh.
  3. Slowly start pulling your right leg towards you and feel the stretch on the back of your thigh.
  4. Pull the leg as close to you as possible to keep the leg as straight as possible and the heel bent and towards the ceiling.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch to the left leg.

Pro type: “I also like standing the hamstring on a step or in a chair with the foot upright,” says physiotherapist Austin Win. “This allows for deeper stretching and emphasizes more hip stability if it is tolerated.”

2. Lateral leg lift

Target area: gluteus medius

Representative: 2 or 3 sets of 15 reps per leg

  1. Lie on your right side with your legs straight and your feet stacked.
  2. Either bend your right arm or keep it straight and rest your head on it. Hold your left hand in front for extra grip.
  3. Carefully lift the left leg from the right leg. Bend in your side butt area (right where your jeans pocket would be). (You shouldn’t feel this much on your slopes. If you do, you’re targeting the wrong muscle.)
  4. Bring the leg back down and repeat.

Pro type: If you feel the urge to take a nap while lying down, you can easily do this exercise while standing! Stand with your feet forward and your hands on your hips. Lift your right leg off the floor and let the weight go to your left leg. Bring the right leg back down and repeat on the other leg.

3. Lifting / lifting the straight leg

Target areas:: Quads and hip flexors

Representative: 2 or 3 sets of 15 reps per leg

  1. Lie on your back and keep one leg at a 90 degree angle and the other straight on the floor.
  2. Place your quads in the extended leg and lift the leg until it is approximately parallel to the curved leg (approximately a 45 degree angle).
  3. Press and hold the button for about 2 seconds, then slowly lower it to the floor. To repeat.

Pro type: Don’t hold your breath. Exhale as you raise your leg, and inhale as you lower it.

4. Shell exercise

Target area: gluteus medius

Representative: 2 or 3 sets of 15 reps per side

  1. Lie on your side with your knees bent and your legs stacked.
  2. Hold your heels together and open your upper leg to the ceiling to form the shell shape.
  3. Hold for 2 seconds and then lower. To repeat.

Pro type: If you can handle it, you can put a resistance band around your legs. Also make sure your neck is in a neutral position so you don’t strain it. You don’t want knee pain and Neck!

5. Wall slide

Target areas: Quads and glutes

Representative: 2 or 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions

  1. Stand with your back against a wall. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart and about 6 inches from your hips.
  2. Gradually slide your back and hips along the wall until your knees are at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Press and hold the button for about 5 seconds, then get up again.

Pro type: You can also perform this movement as a wall crouch with a stability ball. Do the same steps, but place a stability ball between yourself and the wall. Let the ball roll with you while crouching so that it is always behind your back.

6. Standing quad track

Target areas: Quads and hip flexors

Representative: 2 or 3 per leg

  1. Start to stand. Bend your right leg and bring your heel towards your buttocks. Reach back with your right hand to grab your right foot. Bring the right heel as close as possible to the glutes without causing pain.
  2. Hold your right knee near you while stretching and stay upright – don’t lean forward.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Pro type: Do you feel out of balance? Use a friend’s chair, wall, or shoulder to keep yourself stable. Also: “Don’t bend your hips too much,” Austin says. “This is cheating and doesn’t give you the best stretch.”

7. Bridge kick

Target areas: Glutes and hamstrings

Representative: 1–3 sets of 6–10 repetitions per leg

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms on either side.
  2. Raise your hips and pull away from the floor so your body weight is in your feet and shoulder blades.
  3. Shift your weight to your left foot and slowly lift your right foot off the floor until your right leg is at a 45-degree angle. Avoid blocking your knee.
  4. Bring your right foot back down without touching the floor.
  5. Repeat and then switch to the other leg.

Pro type: If the kick is too strong on your knee, just raise and lower your butt off the floor. You will still strengthen these muscles!

8. Standing calf stretching

Target areas: Calves, shins

Representative: 3 per leg

  1. Stand in front of a wall and put your hands against the wall at eye level. Move your legs so that one foot is at a comfortable distance from the other.
  2. Keep your heels on the floor and move your front leg forward with your knee bent.
  3. Gently twist the unbent knee inward and lean against the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

Pro type: Do this with your injured leg in your back (so it’s the one that feels the stretch). You can also do both legs to keep your muscles strong and to prevent the runner’s knee in the opposite leg.

Step-up

Target areas: Glutes and quads

Representative: 2 sets of 10 reps per leg

  1. Place your right foot on a step or box.
  2. Push your entire weight into your right leg and step up so that your left foot is lifted off the floor.
  3. Hold for a few seconds while the right leg stretches and contracts. Stand back and repeat.

Pro type: If this exercise causes too much pain, skip it! But once you’ve recovered, this movement helps keep your legs and glutes strong.

10. Donkey kick

Target area: Glutes

Representative: 2 sets of 10 reps per leg

  1. Start on all fours on the floor and pad your knees and hands with a yoga mat, blanket, or towel. Keep your arms straight, your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders.
  2. Slowly raise your right leg and stretch it out behind you. Raise it to about waist height and keep your foot bent.
  3. Push your heel up to the ceiling for a second and then lower it again. To repeat.

Pro type: Keep your back flat. If it bulges, it means that you rely on your back muscles instead of your glutes.

11. IT tape stretching

Target areas: Glutes, hips

Representative: 2 or 3 per leg

  1. Stand with your right leg crossed over your left leg.
  2. Raise your right hand over your head and hold your left hand on your left hip for support.
  3. Lean slowly to the left until you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Pro type: Don’t want to stand? You can also sit for it. Extend one leg, cross the other leg with your knee bent and gently pull your knee towards your chest. Twist your torso and slide your arm over your bent knee. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.

Avoid knee exercises of the runner!

Some exercises can make the runner’s knee worse! Avoid exercises that bend the knee, including:

  • crouch deeply
  • Jump
  • repeated climbing stairs

If you’re a runner, also limit the time you’re on the go, or take a break and choose another exercise as you relax.

Research suggests that exercises that strengthen the knees and hips 3 to 4 times a week for 6 weeks can help relieve knee pain.

However, if nothing works after 3 weeks and you are still experiencing significant pain, the best next step is to see a doctor or physiotherapist.

“In acute pain, it is sufficient to start with the exercises listed,” says Win. “From there, I would normally develop them into more functional or runner-specific exercises. These can be jumps, jumps, and landing mechanics that are important before they run full again. “

You may need to do another scan, CT scan, X-ray, or MRI to determine if there is an underlying cause.

Win also mentions that recovery really depends on the person and the diagnosis behind the knee pain. As a rule, the recovery can take about 6 weeks.




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