web analytics

Does anyone know any good exercises/stretches to help gain back flexibility? ?

by admin on November 27, 2009

So after 12 years of martial arts training I suffered a severe knee injury and had to have several surgeries and a lot of work done to both of my knees. Now, (about a year later) I’m just starting to get back into karate but I’ve lost almost all of the flexibility in my legs. Does anyone know any good stretches/exercises that would help me gain back my flexibility but doesn’t put too much strain on the knees?

There are 3 things you need to remember with stretching:

1. Warm up first – stretching cold muscles is a no-no (getting to a light sweat is a good indicator you’re warm)

2. Use correct technique – so you don’t stress your joints

3. Go slowly – it will probably take months to gain back your flexibility

You’ll probably have a hard time. I remember when I strained a tendon in my knee last year and had to sit out for a month. Then once I was able to go back it took 2 or 3 months til I was as bendy as I was before I got hurt.

That’s nothing compared to your situation, but I can relate to the frustration.

A few of my favorites are basic, like touching your toes, lunges, etc. One trick I really like is to put a fist under my knee when I’m doing sitting stretches – but that’s because I’m prone to overextending my knees and elbows.

My favorite stretch ever is to lie on your back, spread your arms (so you’re making a T shape), and touch your foot to the opposite hand. The trick is to keep both shoulders on the floor. It really gets your quads and then you can avoid the ‘hold your ankle to your butt’ stretch. Once you start to manage that, try it standing up to improve your balance. :)

Happy stretching!

Leg Stretches

Previous post: how to stretch to get higer kicks in martial arts?

Next post: Hip flexibility exercises/stretches?