6 Easy Stretches To Keep Your Knees Pain-Free

Knees are probably one of the most important joints in your body. They’re engaged pretty much all the time which means they also get worn out faster than other joints. This is why you see many men and women above the age of 60 complaining about aches and pain in the knees.┬áKnee pain is often caused by weakness or tightness in the muscles and tendons that connect to the knees. You can reduce the tightness by doing a few simple stretches that need no equipment. These easy stretches can be done at home too. They help loosen the muscles of your knees and hips so that there is minimal strain on your knees.

1. Quad Stretch

The tighter the quad is, the more pressure there’s going to be on your kneecap. Do this stretch to relieve some of that tension.

Lie on one side.
Keep the bottom leg straight and bend the top knee so your foot is by your butt.
Hold the top foot with your hand, pulling it toward your butt.
You should feel this stretch in your quad.
Keep your hips stable so you’re not rocking back as you pull.
Switch sides and repeat.

2. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Tight hips will overwork your quads, which in turn puts more stress on the knees. You can avoid this by opening up the hips.

Kneel on one knee. Place the opposite foot flat in front of you, front thigh parallel to the floor.
Lean forward, stretching your hip toward the floor.
Tighten your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
Reach up with the arm on the same side as the knee on the floor. This will help deepen the stretch.
Switch sides and repeat.

3. Calf Stretch

Tight calves will put pressure on the back of your knee and contribute to injuries like plantar fasciitis, which causes pain near the heel. Stretch your calf muscles using this simple exercise.

Stand in front of a wall with one leg straight behind you and the other in front of you, slightly bent.
Place your hands on the wall and push against it.
Keep your back leg straight, heel planted on the floor.
You should feel this in the calf of your back leg.
Switch sides and repeat.

4. Figure Four Stretch

Tight glutes can also cause the quads to take too much impact, consequently putting more pressure on the knees. It can also cause back pain and pain down the leg. Use this stretch to work your glutes.

Lie on your back.
Cross your left foot over your right quad, and bend your right knee.
Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
Switch sides and repeat.

5. Side Lunge

This stretch works the adductors, the muscles on the inside of your thighs that help stabilize your hips. Tight adductors can cause instability in your hips and pelvis, and ultimately your knees.

Lunge out to one side, bending the knee and keeping the opposite leg straight.
Try to keep the foot of your straight leg on the floor as much as you can.
Place your fingertips on the floor in front of you to balance if you need it.
You should feel this stretch in your hips and inner thighs.
Switch sides and repeat.

6. Kneeling Quad Stretch

This stretch will also help loosen up the quads and take tension off the knees and hips.

Kneel on one knee with the opposite foot flat in front of you.
Grab your back foot and pull it in toward your butt.
Switch sides and repeat.