At some point in life, you have probably experienced knee pain. Whether it was after a run, a hard breaststroke kick, or from attempting to dunk a basketball, we all come across this nagging pain at some point in training.
Knee pain can be caused by form limitations, high volume movements, muscle imbalances, and much more. Neglect the knee region too long and that little twinge will turn into a reoccurring pain.
Let’s look at some strategies you can implement today to help get the knee to optimal health.
Step #1: Mobilize Fascia
Do you struggle to straighten your leg? Do you have pain in the lower leg and also the hamstrings? Start by smoothing out fascia attachment around the knee joint. These may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but that most likely means you need to do it more often.
Select one of the following movements to begin. Tuck a PVC pipe or lacrosse ball directly behind the knee. Then squat down and allow the ball to dig into the back of the leg. You can also do this from the floor if you can’t get into a squat position without additional pain.
Standing Variations: Advanced
Floor Variations: Beginner
Step #2: Mobilize Muscle
Now that we have worked on the fascia, let’s target some surrounding muscle groups and make sure we have a baseline amount of length available. If a muscle is shortened too much, it can pull on the knee joint in an unfair way!
Complete three rounds of the following exercises. You can either pick an amount of time or repetitions to complete. Some of these exercises might seem like they are targeting areas that seem far removed from the knee. Keep in mind that everything is connected and regions further up or down the body can cause pain to the knee region.
Step #3: Strengthen
Now that we have worked towards proper range of motion, let’s get a little strength added to the muscles around the knee joint.
Add these exercises to your routine to keep strength at a performing level. You can do the exercises for sets/reps or time intervals. They can be done with just your bodyweight or with external load. Progress slowly and focus on maintaining proper form throughout.
Strengthen: Advanced +
Try to lift leg without any momentum or push off of ground for False Start Lunges.
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