Kneeling Leg Stretch

Dose

Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions on each side per day.

Purpose

Tension in the lower back, hamstrings, and calves contributes to knee dysfunction. This exercise is designed to improve mobility in these regions. If you have trouble kneeling, try the Downward Dog exercise instead.

Method

Kneel on a soft surface and extend the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. The knee should be slightly bent, with the heel resting on the ground. The hips, knees, and feet should be aligned with each other so that they are all in a straight line pointing forwards. Lean your trunk over the outstretched leg to touch your fingertips to the ground.

In this position, pull the hips backward while straightening the knee of the outstretched leg and pulling the toe towards your head at the same time. This should result in a stretch down the back of the leg. After you feel the stretch, push the hips forwards while bending the knee slightly and pushing the toes forwards until the bottom of the foot is close to flat on the ground. This should create a stretch on the front of the shin and top of the foot. This is one repetition.

If you can’t place your fingertips on the ground immediately, don’t worry. This exercise will still effective if you keep the trunk upright while moving the hips backward and forward. Eventually, your mobility will improve so that you can place the hands on the ground.

Common Mistakes

• Bending the knee too much. Try to keep the knee only slightly bent during this exercise to maximally stretch the hamstring.

• Misaligning the leg. Make sure the leg you are stretching is aligned with the hip. It should be pointing directly away from you, rather than pointing out to the side as you stretch.

Progression Threshold

You should perform this exercise for a total of 45 repetitions on each side before progressing. Continue to use this stretch 2-3 times per week to maintain mobility.