Knee exercises aren’t just necessary after injury, but to keep you from injury!
I’ve been on the PT bandwagon, since I realized it would keep me running injury free in 2007. Prior to that I was running care free, until my IT Band took me down for a few years.
Now I’m always doing something for hips and stability, but unfortunately those don’t do much for stepping in a hole and twisting your body so that it tears your meniscus…or let’s go with a bolder story…flying down a technical trail, catching your toe and superwomaning to the ground with a resounding AGGGHHHHH.
After a few months of working with my Chiropractor for endless graston to regain full extension of my knee, I got an MRI which showed a slew of issues caused by trauma. I won’t rehash that here, you can read about it, why it’s not caused my running and my rehab plan here >>
Now it’s time to add some new moves to my physical therapy plan, which is to say my daily routine. I’ll be doing most of these 3 times per day until the knee is back to 100% and after that still including them as part of my ongoing routine.
The goal of these moves is to create stability, improve range of motion and create better patterns for long term running.Here is a short description of each move, but you can see them in action with full explanations in the video below.
Knee Press: Using a rolled up towel or blanket, place below the knee and work on pressing the knee cap down in to it. For someone who can’t fully extend their knee like me right now, this is bizarrely hard!
Heel Pull: Can be done sitting or lying on the floor. Flex your foot and slowing focus on dragging the heel towards your butt while keeping the knee in line with toes and then push back out.
45 Degree Lift: Laying on your back with one knee bent on the floor, raise your straightened leg only to the height of your other knee.Pre-hab and re-hab look the same and both keep you running, checkout these knee strength exercises Click To Tweet
Ball Tension Smash: If you don’t like the foam roller, you really won’t like this one. When injured our muscles contract trying to protect that area, but unfortunately causing more issues. Here I’m placing a ball in the meat of my calf to find a knot (a pain point), then holding for 30 seconds and trying to relax. After that continue to hold, but point and flex the foot 10 times. Then move on to the next awful spot.
Resistance Band March: (not pictured above, but in video) Placing the looped band around your knee and the other end in a firmly shut door, bend knee then press back engaging your quad. Then engage the core to raise the other knee to 90 degrees and pause.
Resistance Band Pull: (not pictured above, but in video) Sit on the floor and loop band around the foot, then scoot back until you’ve created tension on the leg. Try to relax and hold for 90 seconds, allowing space to be created in the joint.
If you test these out, let me know how things go! Your feedback helps me know what’s beneficial and of course know that while I do my research, I talk to lots of different doctors, physical therapists and recovered runners, I’m not a doctor of any sort.
Any physical therapy moves you use all the time?
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