Stiff Knee Stretches

by Megan Smith

If your knee feels stiff and painful when you move it, you may be suffering from an injury like knee bursitis, a chronic condition like arthritis, or an acute condition due to overuse of the knee joint, like tendinitis. Instead of trying to walk off your pain or ignoring the condition, consult your doctor. He may recommend a variety of stretching exercises to relieve pain and stiffness associated with your particular knee injury.

One-Legged Squat

Your doctor may recommend the one-legged squat exercise if you experience pain around the kneecap. Stand next to the bottom of a staircase or steps. Put the leg with the injured knee up on top of the bottom step and put your weight on this injured leg. Bend your injured knee while keeping your other leg straight until the heel of the uninjured leg is touching the ground. Straighten your injured leg and come back up to standing.

Quadriceps Stretch

Strengthen the muscles in the legs to reduce stiffness and pain in the knees. Stand next to a wall and place your hand against it to keep your balance. Stand on your uninjured leg and bend your injured knee as you grab your shin with one hand. Hold your leg in place as you try to bring your heel to your buttocks. While you keep your knees together, push your hips forward rather than pulling your legs back. Hold this position for approximately 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side if necessary.

Calf Stretch

Stand up straight about a foot away from the wall, facing it. Take a big step backward with your injured leg, but keep both feet facing the wall. While keeping your heels down on the ground, carefully bend your uninjured knee. You should feel a stretch in the back of your injured knee and leg. Repeat on the opposite side, if desired.

Hamstring Stretch

Stretching out your hamstrings may help reduce tightness and pain in the knee joint. Lie down on a towel or yoga mat on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at about a 45-degree angle. Raise your injured leg up in the air and try to push your heel up as high as possible, toward the ceiling. If you are unable to keep your knee straight, hold the back of your thigh in position with both hands. Hold for about 30 seconds, then carefully lower your leg back to the ground. Repeat on the other leg if desired.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.