The open cross is a perfect stretch to help alleviate or prevent knee pain. It targets the IT band, which runs from the outside of the knee to the center of the spine. Tight IT bands tend to cause hip and lower back pain. By stretching this area, you will increase blood flow and release tension in the hips and lower back.
Open Cross Stretch
1. Start lying on the floor with arms to the side and legs extended.
2. Take right hand behind the head with elbow out to the side and lift right leg.
3. Slowly lower the leg to the left with flexed foot.
4. Lower raise the leg back towards the ceiling and repeat, reaching across the body five to eight times.
5. Hold the last cross over for 10-30 seconds and turn the toe down towards the ground by rotating the knee inward.
6. Repeat on the other side.
Stretches are important to preventing injury but also help improve circulation, bringing nutrients and blood flow to the muscles. Stretches should be held for 10-30 seconds minimum and two minutes maximum. For more great workout ideas, check out Workout Pal.