I battled debilitating knee pain in my youth that resulted in 4 knee surgeries (2 on each knee) by the time I was 22. At the time, my surgeon told me I had the cartilage damage of a senior citizen and that activities like squatting, running & jumping were behind me. But I refused to accept the diagnosis, spending the last 2 decades rebuilding my lower body and healing my knees.
Surprisingly, I’ve made the most progress in my knee health over the past year. A big part of that was this 10-minute kneeling mobility flow I developed during the pandemic. My knees are less stiff and they make less of those annoying and distracting clicking & cracking sounds too. Plus I now experience little to no post-workout swelling. Swelling isn’t just uncomfortable but it deactivates the VMO (Vastus Medialis Obliquus), a critical quad muscle for knee health and lower body performance that resembles a teardrop.
I highly recommended wearing knee sleeves and using a heating pad for best results. The knee sleeves provide support & warmth plus a flexion-gapping effect that mobilizes the joint capsule to make your knees more bendable. The heating pad passively warms the entire joint which has a notoriously poor blood supply. Heat is always a treat to achy joints and you’ll get so much more out of each mobility session with this accelerator.
Spend 2 minutes in each of the following positions in the exact order listed, switching sides halfway for all single-sided positions:
Flexion Gapping L/R
Prayer Shape (Flexion Emphasis)
Bridge Shape (Extension Emphasis)
Lunge Shape (Split Kneel) L/R
Lateral Hinge Shape L/R
Use elongated inhales through the nose and full exhales through the mouth for best results.
If you have a history of knee pain, please do this mostly daily for at least 3-6 months. It takes time to heal all the wear and tear so you must be religious with this routine. It’s especially critical pre-workout and on off-days.
For the FLEXION GAPPING, place the ankle of the opposite leg just behind the knee and then sandwich the hamstring onto the calf. Sit as much of your weight into it as you can. Add gentle side-to-side movement to hunt out all the tight corners.
For the PRAYER SHAPE, focus on achieving as much knee & hip flexion as possible by compressing your body as close to the ground as possible. Add smooth multi-directional movement. You can even mix-in kneeling squats and hinges or bias your hips into internal or external rotation.
For the BRIDGE SHAPE, focus on leaning back and trying to get as much hip extension as possible to mobilize the high quads and hip flexors. You can even mix-in scap shrugs or use a 1-leg bent, 1-leg straight positioning to work on one side at a time.
For the LUNGE SHAPE, focus on knee and ankle flexion by shifting on to the toes of the lead leg and adding multi-directional movement. You can even add in unweighted overhead scap presses or sit back into the rear leg resembling kneeling 1-leg squats.
For the LATERAL HINGE SHAPE, start by breathing statically with the forearm on the floor. Once the airways are open, you can add dynamic movement or use your hand to push the lead knee open to mobilize the adductors or groin muscles.