5 Meniscus Exercises to Keep Your Joints Healthy
If you want to strengthen your meniscus or help repair a meniscus tear, these exercises can help improve your overall joint health and range of motion.
Seated Forward Bend
This meniscus exercise will stretch the area around the knee and can benefit and help strengthen the joint because the quadriceps will stabilize and protect the meniscus as the legs align in the stretch.
Sit on the mat with a folded blanket below you for support with your legs out in front of you. Lengthen your spine upward and begin to reach for your feet or shins. Let your hips be the pivot of your upper body, slowly lowering your torso toward your legs. To deepen the stretch in the lower body, draw your toes toward your head by pressing out through your heels. Hold the posture for several breaths, breathing slowly and smoothly. To release the pose, let go of your feet or shins and slowly come back to an upright posture. To modify, you can use a yoga strap. Place the strap around your feet and hold with your hands to move down into the stretch.
Head to Knee Forward Bend
Much in the same way as the previous posture, this stretch will help strengthen the meniscus as the quadriceps stabilize and protect the meniscus while the legs align in the stretch.
Sitting supported by a folded blanket with legs outstretched on the mat, bring your right foot in toward your left thigh. Draw your right thigh down toward the mat. Keep your left leg straight out in front of you and ground your heel into the mat. Lengthen your spine and reach over your leg toward your foot. For the full pose, bring your hands around the top of your outreached foot. To modify, use a yoga strap to supplement your reach and move into the stretch. Keep your torso long without rounding your back. Breathing slowly and deeply, hold the stretch for several breaths. Release your foot, come back up to a sitting posture and switch sides.
Reclining Hand to Big Toe
This stretch helps strengthen the meniscus because it provides a good workout to the muscles around the knee including the hamstrings, calves and inner thighs. Reclining Hand to Big Toe can also help alleviate stiffness and pain in the knees and hips related to arthritic conditions. This is an ideal meniscus tear exercise because, with the strap, you can enter into and release the stretch very gently.
For this stretch, you’ll need a yoga strap. Begin on your mat, lying down on your back with your legs outstretched and your arms by your sides. Bend your right knee, hugging the knee to your chest. Keep the left leg stretched forward. Wrap the strap around the bottom of your foot. Straighten your knee, lengthen your leg, and extend your heel upward. Keep your grip steady but not too firm on the strap. Press your shoulders into the floor lightly, and feel the length of your spine as you stay aligned through the pose. As you release the pose, bring your knee back toward your chest, loosening the strap. Bring your leg back to the mat, then switch sides and repeat.
Bound Angle Pose
Bound Angle Pose is a gentle stretch that can be great for your meniscus because it works to help strengthen the muscles around the knees and in the thighs. It can also help alleviate stiffness in the hips and pelvis.
Sit on the mat with your legs outstretched. If you have noticeable tightness in your hips or groin, elevating your pelvis by sitting on a folded blanket can help. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together as you bring your heels toward your pelvis. Lengthen your spine without rounding your back. Let the hips open, but don’t push your knees down. Reach your fingers around your big toes, pressing your feet together and into the floor. If you can’t reach your toes, put your hands on your ankles or shins. Hold the stretch for a few minutes, then bring the knees back up to release.
Child’s Pose is a great stretch for the meniscus because it will provide a gentle stretch for the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the knee while also targeting the hips, thighs and ankles.
Begin on the mat on hands and knees (Table Pose). Bring your body back toward your heels. Keep your knees hip distance apart. Exhale and bring your torso down toward the mat. Reach your arms toward the top of the mat with palms facing downward. Align your head with your spine and lengthen your neck before letting your forehead rest on the mat. Rest in the pose and feel the stretch through your spine and legs. Maintain this resting stretch for a few minutes. To release the stretch, bring your tailbone forward, away from the heels, returning to your hands and knees.
Before beginning any exercise regimen, consult with your physician to determine if these exercise recommendations are the ideal choices for your personal situation, especially if you are looking for repairing stretches and torn meniscus exercises.