Luke Stevens our Strength & Conditioning Coach shares his clinical expertise with us on knee extension mobility
Terminal knee extension muscle mechanics will allow the tibiofemoral joint to hyper-extend several degrees. There are certain mechanical structures that restrict the lateral screw action to lock. This, therefore, limits knee extension – “Screw home mechanism”.
Firstly, the 2 proximal gastrocnemius tendon heads need to be released (Fig 1.) as well as the distal hamstring heads. This allows greater extension movement, otherwise the joint is put into a flexed or bent position. Move the heel of the foot tightly towards the gluteal region trapping the massage ball. Then produce slight relaxation phases, completing 2 minutes of pulsing actions.
Figure 2 shows the additional rotation movement at the knee. It is completed by turning the toes and feet inwards and outwards while keeping tight knee flexion. The same time duration of 2 minutes is required in order to create an adaptation.
Secondly, in figure 3, the patella pouch is mobilized to free the movement of the proximal patella femoral/quadriceps tendon. This allows the patella bone to glide correctly into the femoral grove during full knee extension. It is important to note that the foot is maintained in a neutral position to avoid tibia rotation. Active flexion and extensions at the joint are introduced over 2 minute durations to allow for a release on the tendon and around the area.
Finally figure 4 shows a distraction applied to the knee joint due to the monster band tension. This is wrapped above the ankle and anchored onto low-level structure. While in the position that is shown, active knee extension repetitions can be applied into the floor. Ensure that the prescribed exercise takes place within a full corrective injury rehabilitation plan.