Stretching exercises for the hip, thigh and calf muscles

Muscular shortenings can also cause a muscular imbalance and as a result one changed knee joint function be. These shortenings occur in the hip flexor and flexor muscles, the thigh extensors, and in the calf muscles.

Training modalities

Exercise modality: Holding time of the stretching exercises: 20-30sec., 3 repetitions per muscle group every 2-3 days


Exercise caution when doing the stretching exercises. If the execution is jerky, there is a risk of muscle fiber injury!

Appointment with a knee specialist?

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The knee joint is one of the joints with the greatest stress.

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Muscle shortening thigh extensors and hip flexors

Examination: The hip flexors are tested for length with Thomas' handle. The patient lies on the edge of the treatment bench with the outer leg (to be tested) over the edge of the bench. The other leg is flexed to the maximum in the hip joint to compensate for the "hollow back".
The test is positive if the leg to be tested lifts off the bench, there is a shortening of the hip flexor muscles.

Therapeutic technique: muscle stretching

Exercise example stretching hip flexor and thigh extensor:

Starting position: Lying on the side, the affected leg is on top and is extended in the hip and bent in the knee joint, the lower leg is bent in the hip and knee joint, the upper hand grasps the ankle

Exercise execution: Pull with your hand on the ankle to increase hip extension and knee flexion until a pulling occurs in the groin and thigh

Examination of the shortening of the hip spreading muscles

The affected leg must be able to be spread apart at least 45 ° in the supine position with the knee extended, without moving the pelvis.

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Exercise 1

Stretching the hip muscles

Starting position:
Sit on the mat with your legs bent and your feet touching

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Exercise execution:
The elbows help the legs spread outward until there is a pull on the inside of the thighs

exercise 2

Starting position:
Stand with legs apart

Exercise execution:
Slowly shift your weight into the side lunge, and the upper body can also be tilted towards the extended leg

Exercise 3

Starting position:
Lie on your back, buttocks against the wall, legs straight up

Exercise execution:
the hands under the thighs support the careful opening of the legs

Examination of shortening calf muscles

The foot of the affected leg must be able to be pulled up in the supine position with the knee extended at least 20 ° beyond the zero position towards the hip.

Exercise 1

Stretching the calf muscles

Starting position:
Step against the wall with the affected leg at the back

Exercise execution:
The heel is pressed into the ground, the upper body and the pelvis move forward until just before the rear heel is lifted, with pulling in the calf

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exercise 2

Starting position:
Stand on a step, the affected leg with the heel hanging down, the healthy leg 2-3 steps higher

Exercise execution:
Gently stretch the heel of the affected leg down until there is a pull in the calf


Be careful with the stretching exercises!
Always stretch slowly and observe the pain threshold!
There should be a pulling in the muscles, but no severe pain!

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