PREVENT KNEE PAIN WITH THESE 4 STRETCHES
Knee pain is one of the more common injuries to tennis players, but it's not just tennis players that get knee pain. We demand a lot from our knee joints just through day to day tasks, through in sports or workouts and we require more of them!
It's surprising to think that knee pain can actually be easily prevented with a correct warm up and cool down before and after sports and exercise.
Work these 5 stretches into your cool down and they will help prevent knee pain in the long run.
There are deep muscles in your quad that are attached to your knee joint - they help move the joint. If these become tight, meaning they are still contracting when you are in a relaxed state - they can pull on your knee joint and cause pain/injury. By doing this stretch after exercising you are encouraging the lactic acid to release causing your muscles recover quicker.
Believe it or not your whole body is connected in one way or the other and your hips play a huge part to how your legs can feel. Specially your knee. If your butt muscles are tight they can pull on your IT band which can in turn pull on your knee causing knee pain. Practicing this hip stretch will loosen up the muscles in your hip that attach to your IT band and hopefully prevent any tension onto the knee joint.
Similar to the quadricep, the hamstring is attached to tendons that run behind the back of the knee down to the shinbone. So it controls a lot of the motion needed for the leg to walk/run etc. If this gets tight it can pull on these tendons and cause inflammation, pain and/or injury! So doing this stretch encourages the muscles to relax and less tension to the knee joint.
IT Band Stretch
It's actually impossible to stretch the IT band. Why? Because the ITB is a connective tissue it is not a muscle! It starts at the end of the tensor fascia latae muscle (which is on the outside of your hip), runs along the outside of your thigh and ends just below the knee on your shin. It is connected to your gluts muscles, your hamstring, quadricep and calve. So, when any of those muscles are tight they will cause the tissue to shorten and possible cause knee pain. One sure way to loosen and tightness in the muscles attached to the ITB is by using a foam roller and rolling along the outside of your leg along where your ITB runs, stopping where it's tight and allowing the surrounding muscles to relax as you breathe.
Please note these are stretches and exercises to do if you don't already have knee pain! Please do not attempt these exercises if you do have knee pain. If you are currently suffering from knee pain consult your doctor before undertaking the content in this post and any form of physical exercise.