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Sitting at your desk all day? Get knee-deep in these 3 exercises

Here are the 3 tips you can apply to help alleviate knee pain and prevent it from causing issues in the future

Vahdaneh Vahid

Published: Updated:

In today’s work environment most of us spent long hours sitting slumped over a desk, which leads to bad posture and muscle imbalance.

The key muscles that propel us to walk efficiently, such as the glutes, become weak, and as a result the body compensates with the overuse of other muscles, which become tight and then cause joint pain.

Here are 3 tips you can apply to help alleviate knee pain and prevent it from causing issues in the future.

1. Self Myofascial Release – Rectus Femoris (front of your thighs)

1 - Myofascia release
1 - Myofascia release

Myofascial release is a soft tissue therapy aiming to relax contracted muscles, improve circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.

If you are suffering from constant knee pain you may find instant relief from this technique but it is imperative that you are consistent and apply the therapy weekly or even daily if possible.

Ideally I advise that you use a plastic PVC pipe for this release. You may find it painful – therefore use deep breathing to help your nervous system relax so you can work through the restrictions in the muscle that have been built up from decades of sitting down.

1. Lie facing down on the PVC pipe

2. Keep the thigh you are not rolling on off to the side

3. Support yourself by bending your elbows 90 degrees.

4. Be sure to cover the full range of the of the thigh muscle.

Start at the very top of your hip and slowly work your way down each tender point holding and breathing into that area for 2-3 minutes.

Whilst you are holding this position lift the foot off the floor bringing it towards your glutes, this creates a bend at the knee and will act as a deep stretch, improving mobility in that area.

This technique will be extremely effective if you roll all the way down, just above your kneecap, but be sure not to roll on the knee joint itself.

Once you have completed one leg, switch to the other side.

2. Self Myofascial Release – Hamstrings

2. hamstring MFR
2. hamstring MFR

For this exercise you will need a lacrosse ball, baseball or similar. You can use a high chair, or any hard surface area to sit on.

Start by placing the ball underneath the top of the thigh,
Once you have found a tender point allow the ball to settle into it.

Now, lean forward and slowly try straightening your leg out in front of you, to allow for a deeper stretch, allow the leg to come back down and repeat again.

Hold each tender point for 2-3 minutes moving gradually through the full length of the muscle ¬– then repeat on the other side.

Don’t worry if your leg shakes whilst performing this exercise – this is just a sign that the nervous system is being simulated through this new pathway.

3. Improve your gait (the way you walk)

walking
walking

Knee pain is a common complaint during walking. Consciously activating the key muscles that propel movement will reduce joint pain, as you will now be using your body efficiently.

As you begin your walk, try to keep your hips slightly back and your navel drawn in (to active your core muscles).

When you walk you need to allow for some natural swinging of the arms, so avoid holding any bags in your hands when you do this.

Take longer strides and also push off your back leg; this will wake-up your glutes.

Breathing is key – as you inhale through your nose, try to breathe into your ribcage. This allows for more expansion and will help keep your mid back more extended and upright.

Finally, it is important to allow the upper portion of your trunk to rotate to a small degree as you take each step.

Apply these key points frequently and walking will become effortless as you use your key muscles more efficiently.


Fitness expert Vahdaneh Vahid can be reached on Facebook and Instagram