Flexibility Is Important

Stretching improves flexibility, which helps muscles to work most effectively, leading to improved performance. But more importantly, stretching and flexibility increases range of motion and helps to protect the knee from injury. As an additional benefit, stretching can help to prevent or alleviate knee pain.

City Place Surgery Center 3 Stretches To Prevent Knee Injuries Warming Up Before Exercise

Correct stretching

Stretching may seem to be the easy part of exercising but must be done properly. If poor technique is used, stretching can be harmful. Warming up the muscles with low-intensity activity will help prevent pain or injury to cold muscles. Light walking or a short simulation of the planned exercise works well as a warm-up.
Proper and effective stretching must be done equally for both sides as well as for the upper and lower body. Generally, each stretch should be held for 15-30 seconds without bouncing and repeated 2-3 times. Stretching after exercise may also be helpful to avoid muscle soreness. 3 stretches to prevent knee injury include step-ups, hamstring curls, and straight leg lifts.

1. Step-ups

A simple yet effective stretching and warm-up exercise to protect the knee is the step-up. Using a step stool or stairs, step up with one leg then back down with the same leg. Repeat 10-15 times then do the same with the other leg.

2. Hamstring curls

Warming up before stretching hamstring muscles is important. Hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles in the back of the upper leg and are prone to tightness. Stretching when these muscles are cold could cause a painful strain, so a quick warm-up is important. Hamstrings can be stretched in 2 ways, lying face-up or face-down.
One method is to lie flat, face-up, gently pulling one knee toward the chest and keeping the other leg straight. Raise the straight leg about 12 inches, hold, then slowly lower to the ground. The second method is done while lying face-down with legs straight. Slowly bend one knee, bringing the heel toward the buttocks. With either method, stretches should be held 10-30 seconds and repeated 10-15 times for each leg.

3. Straight leg lifts

Lying flat and facing upward, keep one leg straight and bend the other by pulling the heel toward buttocks. Slowly raise the straight leg about 12 inches while keeping toes pointed upward. Hold up to 5 seconds, then slowly lower the leg. Repeat 5-15 times with each leg.

Warm-up, stretch, exercise, stretch

Because time is short, there is a tendency to skip the warm-up and stretching, but don’t make that mistake. Muscles surrounding knees need to be prepared to take on the strain and impact of exercise to avoid joint injury. After exercise, cool down with a few more stretches to decrease muscle soreness. All this will help to protect the knees from painful injury. For more information about preventing knee injuries, speak with an orthopedic specialist.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!