Ease your Knee Pain with these Stretches

That sharp pain you feel in your knee as you squat or dead lift can be troubling. But if you experience minor knee pain, the good news is that stretching can make a huge difference.

Knee pain often develops because of weakness or tightness in the muscles and tendons that connect to the knee — specifically in your hips, butt and upper and lower legs. These all work together to support your joints as you move.

And because they’re all linked, when one is compromised it can affect all the others.

Practice the following exercises every day and each time you work out. Of course, get medical advice to make sure you aren’t dealing with a knee injury if you feel intense pain or prolonged discomfort.

Banded ankle dorsiflexion

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Loop a resistance band around the center of both feet.
  2. Keep one foot planted on the floor and bend the other ankle to bring your toes toward your shin, keeping your heel on the floor.
  3. Slowly bring toes back to the floor for 1 rep. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch feet.

Lying figure four stretch

  1. Lie on your back, bending your knees with both feet on the floor in front of you.
  2. Cross your right foot over your left quad.
  3. Hold the back of your left leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
  4. When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

IT (iliotibial tract) band stretch

  1. Sit with both legs extended in front of you.
  2. Cross your right leg over your left and place your right foot flat on the floor.
  3. Place your right hand on the floor behind your body. Place your left elbow on your right knee and press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right. Hold for at least 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Standing quad stretch

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grab your left ankle from behind with your left hand and pull it toward your butt. You can raise your right hand or keep it at your side. You should feel the stretch in your left quad. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.