Your knees are one of the most important joints in your body. They help you move, and they support your entire weight. It's essential to keep them strong and flexible by doing regular exercises. This blog post will discuss six simple knee mobility exercises you can do at home to improve your knee health!
What Is Knee Mobility?
Knee mobility is essential for maintaining the quality of life and independence. Knee conditions can be caused by chronic diseases such as arthritis, previous injury, or overuse. Knee pain and reduced mobility can make everyday tasks difficult or impossible to carry out. The knee is a weight-bearing joint, so any issues with knee mobility will significantly impact your ability to move around.
Why Is Knee Mobility Important?
There are many reasons why knee mobility is essential. For one, it can help prevent injuries. Knee mobility exercises help stretch and strengthen the muscles around your knee joint, decreasing your risk of developing a knee injury. Additionally, knee mobility exercises can also improve your overall joint health and increase your range of motion. This is especially important as you age and your joints start to stiffen up.
6 Simple Knee Mobility Exercises
Now that we've discussed the importance of knee mobility let's get into the six simple knee mobility exercises that you can do at home!
Exercise 1: Passive Knee Extension
If you're struggling with knee mobility, passive knee extension is a great exercise to try. The goal is to be able to straighten your knee again, which will improve your overall performance and help ease back, knee, and hip problems.
To do the exercise:
- Sit in a chair with your injured knee elevated on a stool or another chair so that your hip and foot are at the same height or slightly lower.
- With your leg at ease, let your knee straighten.
- Apply pressure with your hands above and below your knee, and hold for a few seconds before releasing.
- Repeat several times, bending your knee slightly each time.
Exercise #2: Quad Stretch
One of the best ways to ease knee discomfort and increase flexibility is to stretch the quadriceps muscle group. The quadriceps, or quads, are a group of four muscles that run down the front of the leg and are crucial for knee mobility. By stretching the quads, you can help to relieve knee pain and prevent injuries.
To stretch the quads:
- Stand up tall and grab your foot behind you with your hand.
- Gently pull your foot towards your butt and hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side. You should feel a gentle stretch in the front of your leg.
Exercise #3: Knee Rotation Exercise
This knee mobility exercise can help you if you have pain or restriction when bending your knee. The exercise aims to increase your knee's ability to bend without pain, which will enhance your overall performance, reduce strain on one area of your knee joint, and aid in pain relief.
To do the exercise:
- Put the foot of the afflicted leg on a chair, shift your weight forward, and bend your knee until you feel pain or restriction.
- Back off a little.
- Place the opposite hand just below the knee with your palm behind the outside area of your lower leg, and rotate the leg inwards.
- Reach across and grab the front of your sore leg below the knee.
- Apply a twisting motion with both hands to stretch out the knee. You should feel a gentle stretch in the front of your knee.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release.
- Repeat 2-3 times per day.
Exercise #4: Functional Knee Flexion, Extension, and Rotation
This knee mobility exercise is a great way to improve knee function and range of motion. It targets the knee's entire range of motion and anatomy, making it a great exercise to strengthen your knee.
To do the exercise:
- Sit down and place your forearm on your thigh.
- Keep your heel off the ground.
- Extend your knee as far as it will go while rotating your foot outwards (externally turning your lower leg; you should see the bony tip under your knee rotating out).
- Spin your lower leg inward (internally rotate your tibia), and last, bend your knee.
Exercise #5: IT Band Stretch
The iliotibial (IT) band is a thickened fascia strip that runs outside your thigh. The IT band stabilizes your knee and helps you flex and extend your leg. Unfortunately, the IT band is prone to becoming tight and sore. When this happens, it can cause knee pain when you flex and extend your leg. This exercise helps stretch and lengthen the IT band, which can help to reduce knee pain and improve knee function.
To do this stretch:
- Lie down on your side with your legs extended.
- Place a resistance band around your ankles and raise your top leg towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Exercise 6: Assisted Knee Flexion
If your knee won't completely straighten, this knee mobility exercise is for you. It's crucial to carry out the exercise every day in order to reestablish complete knee flexion. The benefits include enhanced overall performance, less strain on one area of your knee joint, and pain relief.
To do the exercise:
- Sit down on the floor with both knees extended.
- Bend the knee that is having trouble with you as much as possible.
- To further flex the knee, gently press down with the arms.
- Hold the posture for a few seconds before relaxing and repeating.
Knee mobility is vital for many activities that require legs. Exercises that improve knee mobility help to prevent pain and knee injuries. They also enhance the movement of your knee, making it easier to perform daily tasks.
There are many different knee mobility exercises, and it is important to find ones that work for you. Try incorporating these simple knee mobility exercises into your daily routine and see how they improve your knee health.