Knee Controlled Articular Rotations

Purpose: The purpose of controlled articular rotations is to improve joint mobility.  Mobility is the ability to move your joints through their entire range of motion.

Instructions: Sit in a chair or bench that allows your foot to underneath you.  Begin with your foot directly below your knee.  Stabilize the thigh with your hands if needed.  You should complete 5 cycles in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.  This exercise is meant to be completed in a slow and controlled manner as you explore the limits of your pain-free range of motion.

1. Internally rotate your shin as far as you can, but make sure the thigh does not move.

2. Fully straighten the knee as far as you can while maintaining internal rotation of the knee. 

3. Externally rotate the knee as far as you can. 

4. Bend your knee to full flexion while maintaining external rotation. 

5. Fully internally rotate the knee and begin the process again.

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Seated Tibial Rotation

Purpose: The knee is often thought of as a hinge joint.  This results in the motions of internal and external rotation of the knee being forgotten.  This exercise is designed to train that motion.

Instructions: Sit on a chair or bench that allows your feet to sit flat on the ground, with your knees bent to 90 degrees.  Your heels should be directly below your knees.  Use a foam roller or a cushion to stabilize your knees.  This will prevent you from using your hips to create the movement.  Slowly sweep your foot outward while keeping your foot flat on the floor (resembling a windshield wiper motion).  Ensure that your thigh does not move.  Next, slowly turn the shin/foot inwards as far as you can.  Most people struggle with internal rotation of the shin.  When this occurs, it can place additional stresses along the medial meniscus.  

Half-Kneeling Tibial Rotation

Purpose: The knee is often thought of as a hinge joint.  This results in the motions of internal and external rotation of the knee being forgotten.  This exercise is designed to train that motion.  This exercise is a great progression to work toward lunging or squatting for people who struggle with proper lower limb alignment during these exercises.

Instructions: To set-up, go into a kneeling lunge position with your front knee bent to 90 degrees.  Your heel should be directly below your knee.  Place a band underneath your the ball of your big toe, on the leg that is forward.  You will have to maintain pressure on the band throughout the entire exercise.  Pull the band with the opposite hand to create tension.  If you lift the ball of your big toe, the band will pull out from underneath.  Use your glutes to bring your knee to the outside, while maintaining pressure on the band under the ball of your big toe.  Then return to the starting position.