It can happen to anyone, and when you least expect it. For new runners, and experienced ones, the runner’s knee problem can suddenly hit, and be especially hard and painful. The runner’s knee is pain and inflammation that occurs around or under the kneecap when the kneecap irritates the bony groove it sits in.
If you are experiencing the runner’s knee, be sure to R.I.C.E, rest, ice, compress and elevate, especially so for those who are professional athletes, as this could force you to take a break or even retire from the sports arena. Subsequently, it is important to strengthen and stretch your quads, calves and hamstrings, and incorporate lateral moves that strengthen muscles around the knee, to prevent it from happening again.
The wall sit is very effective in strengthening the quads, and best part? It can be done almost anywhere.
To do the wall sit, stand with your back against the wall, with your feet about two feet out in front of you. Your feet should be hip-distance apart. With your knees bent, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90 degree angles. Check that your knee joints are over your ankle joints, or you may need to inch your feet slightly further from the wall to get the proper alignment. Also, your thighs should be parallel throughout the exercise. Hold the position from 30 to 60 seconds and stand up. Repeat for three reps.
Tip-over tuck hamstring stretch
With this stretch, your hamstrings and shoulders can be easily loosened.
Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and interlace your hands behind your back. While keeping your legs straight, bend forward at the hips and bring your hands over your head. Relax the back of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds before slowly rolling up to standing.
Classic calf stretch
Your calves can stay stretched and loosened with this classis calf stretch against the wall.
Stand a little less than an arm’s distance from the wall and step your left leg forward and your right leg back. Bend your left knee and press through your right heel while keeping your feet parallel. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds before switching legs.
To strengthen side muscles around the knee, alternating side lunges that can strengthen all areas of your butt, hips and thighs, can do the trick.
Start with your feet directly under your hips. Step your right foot to the side and come into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Push into your right foot to return to standing position, and lunge to the left to complete the rep. While doing the exercise, keep your chest lifted and your weight in your heels to maintain balance. Take note that your right knee should not go beyond your right toes.
The runner’s knee is a problem that can be prevented. So, prepare your body and keep the runner’s knee and other running related injuries at bay with these simple exercises. If your body is in tip-top condition, maximise the benefits of running by doing five simple things, which includes proper strength-training and hydration.
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