Are you looking out for the best therapy for knee injury or hip surgery? Heel slides exercise is a great physical activity to treat back joint aches. Now, are you curious to know what are heel slides? You can perform them by sliding the heel towards the buttocks with the support of a floor, wall or bed. These are ideal for home exercises as they do not need any unique tool, place or device. This workout improves the knee’s range of motion and simultaneously strengthens the tissues and muscles around it. This aids with the recovery and reduces the risk of injuries in future. In this article, let us dig deep on how to perform heel slides and the benefits it bestows on us.
How To Do Heel Slides?
There are numerous variations and modifications in heel slides for knee exercise. You can choose the best that will suit your requirement. But the basic move remains the same in almost everything. Come on, let us see how.
Before starting to perform the knee slides exercise, you have to consider sliding the heels closer to the butt. The following essential point is bending the knee without overdoing or pushing beyond your comfort zone. The feeling in the knee region because of the exertion must not be painful, and try attempting at least 2 sets with 10 reps. You can take breaks between the sets for 60 seconds and perform these leg exercises twice a day for best results.
Now the stepwise instruction on how to perform the heel slides physical therapy are: Start by lying with your back on the ground with the face-up. Regarding the posture, the standard heel slide is popularly referred to as the supine heel slide. With the legs extended, toes pointed up and feet away from each other, slide one leg as close as possible to the buttocks. Hold for a few seconds at this position. Then slide the heels back to the starting point.
Heel Slides Exercise Benefits
Heel slides for knee workouts will make your body active again if you are leading a sedentary life or are inactive for some time. The most important features of a heel slide workout are to improve the body’s flexibility, motion range and mobility. The other benefits are:
- It strengthens the leg muscles along with tendons and ligaments.
- Heel slides exercise helps the leg be active by boosting blood circulation.
- It relieves pain from various joints and allows an individual to feel better with general fitness.
- The variations in the heel slides exercise benefits by treating conditions like fibromyalgia and Baker’s cyst.
Tips To Execute Heel Slides In Best Form
Now you know how to do heel slides but are you confident that you will perform it in the correct form? Follow the below-mentioned instructions if you are using it for physical therapy so that you don’t go wrong anywhere.
- Always warm-up for at least five minutes before performing any heel slide exercise to prepare the body. But if you are recovering from an injury and finding it challenging to start powerfully, make use of a heating pad on the knee for a few minutes. This will help to improve the body’s flexibility.
- Massage the knees sufficiently before and after performing the exercise. You can make the massaging effective with essential oils.
- Place a movable object like a plastic bag or socks under the heels so that the slide becomes smooth and easy.
- Avoid fast moves and perform the knee slides exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
- If you have a bad back or are doubtful that you might hurt your back, place a cushion or folded towel under it for support.
- Do not arch the back and have your core muscles engaged at all times.
- Using a strap will help make the exercise easy and assist it further.
What Are The Variations In Heel Slides?
The modification or variation in the heel slide lower body workout aims more on the positioning to target the leg muscles in various ways.
- Seated Heel Slides
Start performing this exercise by sitting on the floor and extending the legs in front. With the foot flexed, start sliding one leg along the floor close to your butt and hold at this position for at least 5 seconds. Then slide the heel back to the starting point or place. Seated heel slides are the same as a supine heel slide except that it is performed in a seated posture. This is comparatively easier than the standard heel slide move as it will give you better hand support throughout the entire exercise.
- Hamstring Heel Slides
Start by performing this exercise with the legs extended out and lying on the ground with the toes facing the ceiling. Place the hands next to the sides and bend both knees. Then bring the heels as close to your butt as possible. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, and then extend the legs back to the original place. Perform hamstring heel slides as many as possible until you feel exhausted.
- Heel Slides With Straps
You can perform heel slides physical therapy with straps in seated and lying posture. It helps to prevent any unnecessary stress and strain on the joints. Most importantly, it aids with doing the workout in proper form. However, the basic moves are the same except that brings one leg closer to the butt with the help of the straps and draw in with one’s own hands. Therefore, practice heel slides with straps at your home by yourself if you are a beginner and unsure of performing them correctly.
Wrapping up, you would have got an insight into what are heel slides by now. But it is always best to stay in touch with a fitness professional before starting this exercise, especially if you are a beginner or recovering from surgery. Keep in mind that a trainer will set goals for you and provide a personalised workout schedule to help you meet your needs. They do not stop there and will keep motivating you throughout your fitness journey with new ideas. Most importantly, the need for a trainer is realised when they guide you with the proper techniques and exercise forms to improve your fitness status.