A well-rounded training plan includes more than just the main course: warming up, cooling down, “pre-hab” and recovery are also crucial. And knee extensions are a simple component that many people skip even if they have knee pain.
Knee pain stretches can be important to include in your fitness routine. That’s because knee pain is common due to weakness in the hips, glutes, and lower extremities.
Knee pain is common (or gets worse) due to weakness or tension in the muscles and tendons associated with the knees – especially the hips, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads, Dan Giordano, DPT, CSCS, Co-Founders of Custom Made Treatments Physiotherapy Says SELF. Since they are all interconnected and working together, if one is compromised, this affects the other. Think of the muscles from your hips to your toes as parts of a long assembly line that all work together to help your joints move.
Of course, knee pain can also occur due to injury. For example, runners tend to develop patellofemoral pain syndrome (known as runner̵
Building strength in the areas that support the knee joint is important as these muscles can help reduce stress on the knee and reduce shock to the joint. Strength exercises – especially one-legged work – can help you focus on strengthening one hip at a time to protect yourself from strength imbalances, as SELF previously reported. Try exercises like the banded clamshell and banded monster walks. (This glute workout, for example, includes special emphasis on the often neglected hip abduction muscles, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus.)
But it’s not just about building strength: improving your flexibility in this area can also help, which is why knee extensions are important to include in your fitness routine as well. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, stretching the areas you strengthen improves your range of motion and can help prevent injuries.
“Most of the muscles that connect in the knee start at the hip,” explains Giordano. “So you have to keep your hips loose and strong first.”
The following stretches target the hips and the other major muscles that are involved in supporting your knees. Regardless of the exercise routine of your choice, these stretches will keep muscles supple, loose, and ready to get their job done. As a result, your knees are better protected from excessive impacts and loads.
If you are prone to knee pain or discomfort due to tension, Giordano recommends doing the following routes every day and after every workout. Hold them down for 30 seconds to a minute at a time, depending on how tight you are.
Demo the movements are below Jessica Rihal (Photos 1, 2, 3 and 7), an oversized yoga teacher (200 HR) and a strong proponent of fitness / wellness for all bodies and Stefanie Steel (Photos 4 and 5), a fitness trainer.