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Yoga For Knee Pain: 6 Poses To Relieve Discomfort

Dead Pigeon is a great yoga for knee pain pose.

Yoga for knee pain can be incredibly effective for runners and cyclists suffering from muscular imbalances. We can stretch the muscles that are tight, strengthen those that are weak, get the knees reacquainted with safe, diverse movements and calm the central nervous system. 

Please remember that this article is not intended as a substitute for seeing a skilled physical therapist to gain an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific issue. 

COMMON CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN

The knees interact with multiple groups of muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, adductors, IT band and calves. If any of these muscles are tight, weak or not functioning properly, they can pull the kneecap out of alignment and damage the soft tissue in and around the knee joint. This is a common pattern that we see:

  • Weak inner thighs and tight outer thighs. 
  • Over-active quads and under-active glutes.
  • Tight calves and hamstrings.
  • Poor hip and ankle mobility.
  • Weak feet and ankles.

HOW TO CORRECT THESE IMBALANCES

  • Stretch the hip flexors, IT band, TFL, calves and hamstrings. 
  • Strengthen the feet, ankles, knees, quads, adductors, glutes and core. 
  • Improve ankle and hip strength and mobility. 

ALIGNMENT TO PROTECT AGAINST KNEE PAIN

It’s crucial that you focus on your alignment in these poses so as not to cause further damage to your knee(s). In all static poses, please check that your knees line up over your second toes. 

YOGA FOR KNEE PAIN: YOUR 6 POSES

High Lunge stretches the hip flexors, calves and hamstrings and strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, quads and hips.

1. HIGH LUNGE

  • Stretches the hip flexors, groin, calves and hamstrings.
  • Strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, quads and hips. 
  • Improves foot and ankle mobility. 
Chair strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, quads, adductors, hips and glutes and improves foot and ankle mobility.

2. CHAIR

  • Strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, quads, adductors, hips and glutes. 
  • Improves foot and ankle mobility. 
Bridge strengthens the knee, quads and glutes and stretches the hip flexors.

3. BRIDGE 

  • Strengthens the knee, quads and glutes. 
  • Stretches the hip flexors. 
Locust strengthens the posterior chain, quads, knees, ankles and feet.

4. LOCUST

  • Strengthens the posterior chain, quads, knees, ankles and feet.
Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe stretches the ankles, calves and hamstrings.

5. RECLINING HAND-TO-BIG-TOE

  • Stretches the ankles, calves and hamstrings. 
Reclining Spinal Twist stretches the IT band and TFL.

6. RECLINING SPINAL TWIST

  • Stretches the IT band and TFL. 

YOUR 5 YOGA FOR KNEE PAIN VIDEOS

Please ensure that you do not practice any poses that aggravate your knee pain. These may include kneeling poses, like Half-Reclining Hero and Screaming Toe, which are intense knee stretches. It may also help to put a blanket under your knees in poses in which one or both knees are supporting your weight, including Low Lunge and Half Monkey.

The pace of the class is also important. Please only practice slow sequences that incorporate longer holds, giving you a chance to ensure that your alignment is on point. And skip or substitute any poses that cause you pain. As your strength and mobility in the knees improves, you will be able to include a wider variety of poses but for now, make sure that you work only within a range that is safe for you.

  1. Pre-Workout Activation
  2. Lower Body Strength 1
  3. Tip The Balance
  4. Quads On Fire
  5. In A Bind

Please let me know if you have any tips on knee pain that you can share with other Yoga 15 athletes—which poses do and don’t help to alleviate the pain and your favourite videos to practice with or without substitutions and modifications.

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