5 Best Knee Stretches for Women

Knee stretches offer great pain relief. (Image via Pexels/ Ketut Subiyanto)
Knee stretches offer great pain relief. (Image via Pexels/ Ketut Subiyanto)

Strong knee joints are undoubtedly important, as they help with daily mobility, including walking, running, sitting, and more. However, if your knees are hurt or tight, even regular movements can be difficult.

The good news is that doing a few gentle knee stretches can offer you relief by loosening the muscles around the knees, reducing pressure on the knee joints. As the knees are joints located between the shin bone, thigh bone, and knee cap, regular knee stretches should target each surrounding knee muscle. That includes the hamstring, quadriceps, calves, iliotibial band, hip adductors, and hip flexors.

Top Knee Stretches for Women

If your knee discomfort is due to surgery, injury, or arthritis, simple knee stretches can help alleviate pain.

They can also improve the overall range of motion and flexibility of the knee joints and the surrounding muscles. Having stronger and toned muscles from stretches during recuperation prepares the knees for regular movement.

Here’s a look at five effective knee stretches for women to strengthen their knees, reduce pain and discomfort, and enhance the flexibility and stability of the surrounding muscles:

1) Standing Calf Stretch

Tight calf muscles can put more tension on the back of the knee and feet, leading to issues like plantar fasciitis. The standing calf stretch is one of the best knee stretches to help ease the calves and improve their flexibility.

How should you do it?

  • Stand straight facing a wall.
  • Extend both arms to shoulder height, and position your hands on the wall.
  • Step your right leg forward, and bend your right knee slightly. Make sure to keep your left leg straight and stable.
  • Push your body into the stretch while keeping your hands on the wall for support.
  • Push down on your left foot as you lean towards the stretch. As you do that, you should feel a gentle stretch in your left leg.
  • Hold the stretch for a few seconds, and switch legs to repeat the move.

2) Wall Slide

A wall slide is another great stretching exercise for the knees. Just be careful while performing it, and do not go too low or fast, as that could exacerbate the pain.

How should you do it?

  • Stand tall with your buttocks and back pressing flat against a wall.
  • Keep your feet a few inches apart and at least five inches away from the wall.
  • Slowly bend your knees, and lower your hips.
  • Start to slide down the wall, maintaining this position.
  • Bend your knees to a 45-degree angle, and hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly slide back up the wall to the starting position, and repeat.

3) Figure Four Stretch

Tight glutes can put stress on your quadriceps, leading to pressure on the knees. The figure four stretch can help prevent tightness in the glutes, improving the knee joints and their functions.

How should you do it?

  • Lie down on your back, and cross your left foot over your right quad. Bend your right knee at the same time.
  • Hold the back of your right leg, and slowly pull it near your chest.
  • Hold the stretch for a few breaths, and switch sides.
  • Repeat.

4) Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Tight hips can cause excessive pressure in the quads, stressing the knees. The hip flexor stretch is one of the easiest and most effective knee stretches to help open up the hips by loosening the stiff muscles.

How should you do it?

  • Kneel on your right knee, and rest your right shin on the mat or floor.
  • Extend your left leg forward while keeping your left knee bent and left foot on the floor.
  • Rest your hands on your left knee, and slowly lean your body forward. Make sure the left knee doesn't extend forward more than the left toe.
  • Keep your spine straight and pelvis tucked to protect your back.
  • Engage your core to keep your body stable and straight.
  • Repeat the stretch on each side a few times, holding each leg for at least 30 seconds.

5) Standing Quad Stretch

The standing quad stretch is another productive knee stretch that helps loosen up tight quad muscles, improves balance, and strengthens the knee joints.

How should you do it?

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold your right ankle with your right hand, and gently pull it towards your hips. Keep your left hand on your side.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, and lower your leg.
  • Hold your left ankle with your left hand, and stretch it towards your butt.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, and release.
  • Repeat a few times on each side.

Bottom Line

Before you start doing the aforementioned knee stretches, make sure to consult your doctor to determine that these movements are safe for you. You may be recommended modifications, depending on your health and the level of pain permissible.

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Edited by Bhargav
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