Seated Leg Extension for Hips, Lower Back and to Rehab Knee Pain

Knee Strengthener Stretch – Physiotherapist recommended


Benefits

  • Helps to rehab knee pain
  • Energizes the legs, hips and back after sitting for a long time.  This is done by bringing fresh blood flow to lower extremities of the body improving circulation in legs
  • Strengthens knees and legs
  • Stretches nerve (sciatica – big one)
  • Stretches calf and hamstring
  • Assists with back mobility

Cautions

  • Avoid if suffering from knee pain and this causes increased pain
  • Do not hyper extend the leg so that the knee is below the shin when leg is straightened out.
  • Sciatica problems may be intensified by doing this. This stretch may aggravate the sciatica nerve. Check with your practitioner
  • Not recommended if there is abdominal or lower back injury
  • Disc problems may be aggravated; do not continue if it causes pain. Consult your health practitioner.

Key Points

  • Soften down and lengthen up from the waist
  • Soften gaze
  • Sit comfortably on front or centre of chair allowing room for movement
  • Keep back of head and lower back lined up and stacked in neutral
  • Sitting bones are rooted softly in seat knees are over ankles leaving legs on a 90 degree angle
  • Inhale while lifting the foot up off the floor and lengthening leg out
  • Exhale leg back down to put foot on floor
  • Try and keep equal weight on both sitting bones. Don’t press into the one that the leg is lifted on – this is subtle but try and keep conscious of this
  • If straightening the leg out is too much then keep the extended knee bent.

Instructions

  • Start in neutral sitting position – head is stacked over shoulders and shoulders are stacked over hips
  • Knees are over ankles creating a 90 degree angle of legs to floor
  • Come to the front or middle of chair, couch or stool, so that you are comfortable making sure that both feet are flat on floor.
  • Bring awareness to nostril breathing
  • Allow your body to lengthen from the waist up, on the inhale. You should feel this expansion happening on all inhales. Soften down into sitting bones on exhale.
  • Gaze is softened
  • Sitting at the front of your chair with both feet flat on the floor, couch or stool, lift the right foot off the floor on an inhale and lengthen the leg out to a straightened or slightly bent position.
  • If you collapse into your back at all, bend the straightened leg slightly to bring yourself back into a neutral back
  • Root down through the sitting bones so that equal weight is on the right and left side
  • Keep the leg extended for a few breaths
  • On your inhales see if you can lift your leg a little higher for added strengthening of the thigh, hips and lower back. Keep those sitting bones rooted and with equal weight on them!
  • Flex and point the foot that is off the ground for added stretch
  • On an exhale release the foot towards the ground.
  • Repeat on other side
  • Repeat 2-3x per side if time permits. If sitting for long periods try and do this exercise every one to two hours.

Consider This

When we sit in chairs for a long period of time the muscles in the legs start to reduce strength and mobility. Just by extending your leg out from time to time you are increasing blood flow and lifting weights (your leg) and stretching out the lower back. Good to know!

 

 

 

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