Typical Knee Conditioning Exercises

Conditioning exercises are now becoming increasingly popular among athletes and trainers. Conditioning exercises help to stretch and prepare muscles before an exercise and reduce the risk of injury. Specific conditioning exercises are designed for specific muscle sets that help to guard against injury.

The knees get a lot of work during exercises. Any exercise that will require sudden stops, starts, pivots or any potentially awkward jumps and landings will increase the risk for the knees getting injured. Having a good conditioning routine planned out can be a great guard against knee injury. For athletes lowering the risk of injury means more time playing the sport that you love and possibly very little time trying to come back from injury. Not only should you focus on knee conditioning exercises, but make sure that you're padded up properly while you train, exercise, workout or practice. Following are some excellent and easy to perform stretches that will significantly help you reduce the risk of knee injury. Remember that stretches are mild exercises that are supposed to ready the muscle for sterner exercise ahead. They are not supposed to be painful at all. In the event that you feel pain during your stretching routine, you're probably overdoing it. Try to hold each stretch position painlessly for 13 seconds. Here are your stretches.

1. Calf Stretch: Lunge position, front leg slightly bent has knee directly over ankle, back leg straight with heel down on floor, both toes are facing forward. Shift body weight forward over the front foot.

2. Hamstring Stretch: Lying on back with opposite leg bent, grasp leg above and below the back of the knee and pull the straight leg toward chest.

3. Hip Abductor Stretch: Sitting with bottom leg straight and the other bent over it, turn the chest toward the knee and hold.

4. Hip Adductor Stretch: Butterfly stretch sitting on the floor with feet together gently press elbows on knees, hands on ankles.

5. Hip Flexor Stretch: Take a deep lunge position with knee directly over ankle and hands on the floor.

6. Hurdler's Stretch: Sitting with one leg straight forward and the other leg bent with foot toward midline of body.

7. Lower Back Stretch: Lying on the floor bring both knees up to the chest and hold.

8. Pelvic Tilt: Lying on the back feet flat on the floor knees bent, push the lower back into the floor, pulling the abdominals tight.

9. Sitting Hamstring Stretch: Sitting with legs in a pike or V seat position lean forward with a straight back and hold towards feet.

10. Soleus Stretch: Same position as calf stretch, stand up, shift weight slightly to the back and bend the back knee.

11. Standing Hamstring Stretch: With one leg straight and the other bent lean forward at the waist, using the hands on the floor or on thighs for support.

12. Standing Lower Back Stretch: Round the lower back by using the abdominal muscles to produce an extreme posterior pelvic tilt.

13. Standing Pelvic Tilt: Stand with knees slightly bent, pull abdominals in, tucking buttocks under.

14. Standing Quad Stretch: While standing, grab ankle and point knee straight down. This can also be done lying on the side.