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Ballet Talk for Dancers
ViolaDancer

Stretching Knees

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ViolaDancer

How can I stretch so my knees don't feel so tight? What helps to get the full range of motion in my knees? Even in straddle the outsides of my knees are the tightest spot for me.

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Miss Persistent

When you say your knees are tight and the outside of your knees especially, what exactly do you mean?  Knees need to be treated with care because the joint itself is not the most stable of joint types.

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ViolaDancer

I hope I can express myself well - it seems whenever I extend in a developpe or a straddle, etc more than my hamstrings or my calves being tight as I would expect my knees feel a tightness. I am not as well versed in anatomy as I would like to be, so I am unsure as to whether the tightness is from a connection to the joint or possibly a misalignment or possibly something else.

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Miss Persistent

There are no muscles in your knees, however you hamstrings, calves and quadriceps all cross over your knee joint - so tightness in any of those muscles may be felt across the knee.  Your adductors and the ITB (illiotibial band) also impact the knee and its function, so beyond general stretching of all your leg muscles it would be best to have a qualified person try and identify where your problem is coming from.

It is generally not a good idea to try and “stretch” your knees as such, and there are only ligaments inside your knee and they should generally not be stretched as it will make the knee unstable as a joint.

 

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ViolaDancer

That may be it - the surrounding muscles. It didn't seem right that my knee was in need of a stretch, although it does feel tight. I'll be more aware of all surrounding muscles. Thanks.

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