Did you know that knee soreness is commonly attributed to weakness in the hips?
Sore knees is common for runners, but can affect anyone. Even if you do not currently suffer from sore knees, the best cure is always prevention.
You need to work on two areas when preventing or healing sore knees.
Strengthening the muscles that support your knee reduces stress on the knee joint. Focus on strengthening the front of your thigh (quadriceps) and back of your thigh (hamstrings) help your knee joint absorb shock. Strengthening the hips is also important.
The less strain you put on your knee, the better your chances are for preventing further injury and relieving pain.
Stretching is an important part of injury prevention. Strengthening exercises can tighten the muscles, making them prone to injury. Stretching reduces muscle soreness and keeps them long and flexible.
Here are a few stretches to improve flexibility in your hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
1. Quadricep Side Stretch lay on your side, resting on your forearm. Pull your top leg behind you. Tuck pelvis under to increase stretch. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes. Repeat on other side.
If you are having trouble reaching your foot, use a yoga strap to assist you.
Gaiam Organic Yoga Strap 6′ (Natural)
2. Quadricep and front hip stretch kneel next to a chair or couch. Place one foot on top of the chair. Step the alternate foot out at a 90 degree angle. The closer to the chair, the more intense a stretch you will feel. Tuck the pelvis under, roll your shoulders back and hold for 1 to 3 minutes on each leg.
3. Hamstring Stretch Extend both legs while seated. Extend one foot and place the alternate foot against your knee or thigh. Roll your shoulders back and stretch forward at the hips, reaching for your shin, ankle or toe.
If you are having difficulties reaching your toe, use a yoga strap to assist you.
4. Lying Hamstring Stretch Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Raise one foot in the air toward the ceiling. Grab beneath the knee and gently pull the knee towards your chest.
If you feel it is to difficult to reach your knee, use a yoga strap around the thigh or toe to assist you.
5. Hip Opener Stretch Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your left ankle on top of your right legs thigh. Grab your right thigh and gently pull towards your chest. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes, then repeat on opposite leg.
Place a yoga strap around your thigh and pull towards your chest if you have any difficulties reaching your thigh.
6. Cow Pose Begin in a seated position. Bend your left leg towards your right butt at a 45 degree angle. Place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Gently begin to move your right leg until both knees are on top of one another. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes then repeat on alternate side.
7. Pigeon Pose Place a large pillow or blanket under your right thigh. Place your right leg at a 90 degree angle. Lean forward on to your forearms. Gently extend your left leg until straight. Slowly lift your torso to an upright position. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes. Repeat on alternate side.
Pigeon pose too difficult? Try a forward lunge. Step forward with your right foot. Place your hands on the ground and slowly extend your left leg until straight.
Article Credit: ConsiderMeFit.com
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