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The knee is a hinge joint located between the thighbone and shinbone and therefore depends heavily upon the ankle and hip joints functioning correctly. The human body is interconnected in such a way that if one part fails to work correctly, it will put higher pressure on other parts, and if the problem is not resolved over a certain period of time, then healthy body parts also will start to fail.
Stiff hip joints will put pressure on the knee joint, and weak calf muscles do not function well as shock absorbers and therefore contribute to knee injuries, post op surgery requires us to use cold therapy system, aircast cryo/cuff knee is one of the most successful ones available.
The strength and flexibility of the hip joint is especially important because when hip joint loses its mobility, it forces the knee joint to move in a different plane of motion, causing problems in the knee joint.
Calf muscles often are overlooked and neglected. This not only reduces the athlete’s performance. It also increases the risk of knee injury.
We should include hip joint stretching exercises in our training plan as well as calf muscle strengthening and stretching exercises. Let’s start with stretching the hip joint in order to increase and maintain mobility.
The bridge is one of the best exercises to strengthen and stretch hip flexors, which are a group of skeletal muscles connecting the thigh bone to the pelvic bone. This unnatural position also helps to improve blood circulation and digestion. The full bridge is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the spinal cord, but you probably need to start with the half bridge if this exercise is new to you.
How to perform the half bridge
Lie on your back with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Push your hip up and try to push your chest to your chin. Try to hold at least 30 seconds and breathe normally.
Four repetitions are recommended.
How to perform the full bridge
Lie on your back with your hands over the shoulders and bring your feet close to the butt while keeping them shoulder-width apart. Push the body up to form a bridge and breathe normally.
Try to hold the bridge at least 30 seconds and try to perform four repetitions.
Calf strengthening exercises with Swiss ball
You have to love the Swiss ball. It costs only few dollars/euros, but you can perform exercises at your home and even take the ball with you when you leave to your summer cottage. Step forward with one leg and press the ball against the wall. 10 repetitions of four sets is recommended.
If this feels too easy, you can lift your front leg up from the floor and perform calf rises with only one leg.
Stretching calf muscles
Step forward with one leg while keeping both legs flat on the floor.
Hold your rear foot straight and lean forward until you feel tension in the calf muscle of the extended leg. Hold 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.