The deep knee bend involves lowering your hips below your knees.
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Whether you're an athlete or simply working out to get fit, incorporating a dynamic stretching routine before you exercise will improve your physical performance. A dynamic warm-up wakes up your neuromuscular system and gets your blood flowing so your muscles are better prepared to do work. The deep knee bend is a dynamic stretch that targets the major muscles in your hips and legs.
To perform the deep knee bend, first set your feet to hip-width apart with your toes pointed just slightly outward. Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Initiate the deep knee bend with your knees, pushing them back behind you. This will bend you over at the waist slightly. Then bend your knees to lower into a squat until your thighs are beyond parallel to the floor. To keep your knees safe, your heels should never leave the floor. If you find that they want to lift, push your hips back even farther.
Benefits of Deep Knee Bends
A dynamic stretching routine is meant to prepare your body for physical activity by increasing blood flow and temperature to your working tissues. The deep knee bend targets your glutes, quadriceps and calves. These muscles work together when you squat, jump and run, so athletes in a variety of sports commonly incorporate them into their dynamic warm-ups. The deep knee bend forces your glutes, quads and calves to contract, which increases blood flow to those muscles. As you lower down into the knee bend, your glutes, quads and calves eccentrically contract, which means they lengthen as they contract, which helps reduce the risk of strains.
Dynamic stretching routines comprise two separate sections. The session begins with a general warm-up component that consists of aerobic exercise like jogging and jumping rope. This component gets your blood flowing and increases your breathing rate. The second component features more specific dynamic stretches, such as the deep knee bend. This section is often tailored to what type of workout you'll be doing. For example, athletes whose sports involve large amounts of upper-body movement like tennis and basketball will include more upper-body dynamic stretches. The deep knee bend is a quality dynamic stretch for any athlete who has to run, squat or jump, as well as those who are just going to go for a jog.
According to ExRx.net, squatting below parallel as you do during the deep knee bend is safe for those who have healthy knees. However, they do recommend completing the deep knee bend at a steady cadence to avoid your thighs bouncing on the calves as the bottom position. If you feel discomfort in your knees during the deep knee bend, lower into the deep knee bend until your thighs are parallel to the floor instead of beyond.