Stretching is important after any form of exercise, whether you're playing football, jogging or kickboxing. Engage in a five to 10-minute warm-up before engaging in activities, then stretch and cool down afterward. This will help prevent injuries such as ligament tears.
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Lateral Collateral Ligament Function
The lateral collateral ligament is located along the outside of the knee, running from the lower end of the femur or thighbone to the front of the fibula, the frontal of the two bones found in the lower leg. The lateral collateral ligament is responsible for maintaining strength and stability of the knee joint. A weakened, injured or torn lateral collateral ligament may not only cause pain, weakness and numbness in the knees and legs, but also cause your knee joint to lock up or freeze.
Stand behind a chair or hold onto a doorjamb with your right hand. Stand with your feet close together and lift your left leg from the floor, heel lifting toward your buttocks. Reach behind you and grasp your left foot. Keep your left knee aligned with the right and gently pull the heel toward the buttocks. Don't stretch so far you cause pain, but only go as far as you can and still feel a good stretch along the front and side of the stretching thigh. Lower your foot, then switch sides. Hold each stretch for at least one minute.
Stand with your feet about 3 feet from the base of a wall, Lean your body forward, placing your hands on the wall at shoulder level and stepping forward with your right foot. Your left heel will lift slightly off the floor. Keeping the right ankle directly under the right knee, press your left heel downward, feeling the stretch through your lower knee and calf. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and then release. Repeat on the other side.
The hamstring stretch will not only stretch and warm the hamstring muscles along the back of the thigh, but will also warm up the ligaments in the knee joint, protecting you from injury. Sit on the floor with your legs close together and outstretched. With your knees slightly bent, place your hands on your knees or shins and lean forward slowly, trying to press your fingertips down your shin toward your ankles. Hold the stretch at your optimal ability for 30 seconds but don't bounce. Relax and then repeat several more times. You may adapt this exercise by lifting and lowering opposite knees as you lean forward, again being careful not to bounce.