Tight or weak hamstrings can cause pain in the knees. Find relief with this series of movements.
A pain in your knee can be a real thorn in your side. It might lead you to fear any movement, limit your daily activities, or even make you feel more isolated from family and friends.
Don't despair. When it comes to pain, there's usually a reason for it-and ways to make it better. For knees, a common cause is tightness or imbalance in the hamstrings, the area above the knees and below the glutes.
In this Fit for Life Challenge video, fitness expert David Jack guides you through a series of movements that loosens up and strengthens the hamstrings to relieve knee pain.
As always, follow any instructions from your doctor, and listen to your body. "If you're in pain and one of these movements makes it worse, then don't do it, adjust, or see your doctor," Jack says. "The other thing you need to know about fixing pain is the best way to fix it is to prevent it," which these moves can help you do.
What You’ll Need
You’ll want a mat or towel, a tennis ball or can of food, a book or yoga block (optional), and a sturdy chair.
What You’ll Do
You’ll start by learning how to identify and gently massage uncomfortable areas (a.k.a. hot spots) in your hamstrings. You’ll then move on to hamstring stretches on the floor. Finally, you’ll do chair squats to strengthen the hamstrings in a way that mimics everyday movement. (Need non-floor alternatives? Try the hamstring massage in a seated position or these chair stretches.)
Time to Talk to Your Doc?
If you continue to experience pain, checking with your doctor can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment. To make a conversation with your doctor easier, jot down your symptoms:
- Where you are experiencing the pain
- When the pain started and how often it occurs
- Any other symptoms you are experiencing
Bring these notes along with a list of all your medications to your appointment.
Did you miss yesterday’s SilverSneakers Fit for Life Challenge post? Find it here. Plus, be sure to connect with us on our Facebook page.
Note: The exercises in this workout may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.