Start with feet hip width apart then take a large step with your right foot to the right side. Make sure that your right knee stays in line with your ankle and does not extend past your toes as you lunge towards the floor, keeping your left leg relatively straight and weight into your heels. Lift your chest and your hands can be in prayer position or you can reach toward your right foot. Push off through your right foot to return to the starting position, then step to the left, keeping the movements controlled and fluid. Repeat 10 times each side ands do 3 sets. To increase the effort, add hand weights.
Lying leg raises.
Lie face-up with your left knee bent and right leg extended through the heel. Point the toes of your right foot out at a diagonal to the right (instead of up to the ceiling), which rotates the whole leg up to the hip, then raise the right leg about a foot off the floor. Hold for 2 seconds then return to the floor and repeat 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Lie on your left side with your hips stacked right over left and your body lined up (back in line with a mat) and your pelvis in a neutral position. Place your hand on the floor in front of you and make sure you are not leaning forwards. Engage your core and exhale as you life the right leg, with heel pushing away, taking one second to raise and 2 seconds to return the leg, under control. Repeat 15-25 lifts each leg. Begin with the heel in line with the toes and then vary this position as your strength improves.
And one more, just for luck! OK, so this one is more of a stretch than a move, but a lovely way to help nurse those knees and hips back to health – the hamstrings, calves, adductors, abductors can all contribute to those sore knees.)
Lying leg stretches. Lie on your back on a mat and bend then hug your right knee over your chest. Loop a yoga strap or long towel under your right foot, then push he right heel toward the ceiling. Keep the left foot pushing through the heel or bend the knee, left foot on floor if more comfortable for your lower back and keep head, neck and shoulders relaxed throughout. Relax into the stretch as you take 5 – 10 full, slow breaths, pushing the heel higher or bringing the foot further overhead as able. Then, take the strap in your right hand, engage your pelvic floor as you exhale and use the right hand to extend the right foot out to the side – a lovely stretch for the adductors. After 5-10 breaths, take the strap in your left hand, engage the core and bring the foot across the body and towards the floor on the left side. This is a lovely stretch that includes all of the side structures of the leg and includes the gluts. Again, breathe into the stretch until you’re ready to engage, exhale and return to centre, bringing the knee to the chest and repeating on the left side. As your flexibility improves, you will be able to extend and stretch further.
Remember, as with everything in health and fitness, don’t expect results over night, there is no magic pill, sadly! However if you can incorporate certain self care techniques, such as those mentioned above, into your daily schedule then over time you will indeed be pain free.
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