One of the biggest complaints I hear among martial artists centers around aches, pains, and injuries in their knees.

I’m not a medical practitioner, and I can’t give advice on treating pain or injury. And if you do experience either of those, I definitely recommend booking an appointment with your healthcare provider.

But what I can do is teach you a routine that will keep your knees as mobile, flexible, and strong as possible. Better mobility equals better knee health, and this routine will help with both.

Improving your mobility is a great way to keep your knees healthy and strong for high impact activities such as martial arts, and can help prevent future pain and injury.

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Follow this 4-step corrective exercise process as seen in the above video, which will help correct any muscle imbalances that might be present in your knees:

  • Step 1 – Inhibit the overactive muscles. We’re going to use a foam roller on the piriformis muscle for 30-60 seconds on each side.
  • Step 2 – Stretch the overactive muscles. In this case, we’re going to target the piriformis muscle again, and perform a static stretch for 30 seconds. I’m using a balance ball in the above video. If you don’t have a balance ball, that’s totally fine. Just grab behind the thigh of your lower leg, and gently pull your leg towards you.
  • Step 3 – Strengthen the underactive muscles. For this one we’ll do a quadruped opposite arm-leg raise. We’ll do 10-15 repetitions on each side of the body.
  • Step 4 – Perform an integrative exercise targeting both overactive and underactive muscles. For this last one we’ll place a medicine ball or other ball between our knees, squeeze our legs together to hold the ball in place, and perform 10-15 squats slowly and under control.

This mini workout will take you about 5 minutes, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. Feel free to use it as a warm-up for your karate training!

Do these exercises regularly, and you should see improvement in your knee mobility for karate, so you can spend more time doing what you love: kicking people for fun. 😉

Please note: tightness and/or weakness in other muscles not mentioned above can also contribute to poor mobility in your knees. The ones mentioned are common culprits and a good starting point.

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You’re reading How to Improve Knee Mobility for Karate by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!