Many knee issues, from IT Band Syndrome to a sore knee, are often rooted in the hips. The chair stretch can help fix the problem before it gets out of hand.

“The chair stretch is a simple body weight exercise used to open up the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles through hip extension,” says Zach Thew, owner of Catoctin CrossFit in Purcellville, Va.

How to do it:

Step 1: Using a chair or couch to support your rear leg, position yourself in what looks similar to a lunge stance. Keep your rear leg bent so that knee is resting on the ground. The foot of your lead leg should be planted firmly on the floor.

Step 2: Slowly raise your chest and aim to keep your shoulders and hips square. The top of the stretch is when your chest is upright and your butt is touching your rear heel, although that may prove difficult when you first start doing this stretch. “As your positioning improves in this stretch, you may begin to close the gap between your heel and glutes,” Thew says.

Step 3: Hold the stretch for up to 2 minutes before slowly lowering yourself and switching leg positions. “This can be used as a tool to mobilize the hip area before or after a training session,” Thew says.

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