How to Prevent Knee Injuries when Working Out
Knee injuries can be sudden and acute, such as knee ligament sprains. Or you may have a chronic knee injury such bursitis or knee tendonitis. Either way, you’ll want to avoid them. They’re uncomfortable and painful, and they can get in the way of your workout. So the best course of action is to prevent knee injuries in the first place.
When you’re working out, here are some tips to keep in mind so you don’t mess up your knees.
- Use knee sleeves and braces. Knee sleeves are usually neoprene material you put over your knees when you want to prevent injuries to your knees. Braces, on the other hand, are used when your knees are already injured and you don’t want the damage to get worse.
Knee sleeves are very useful for certain types of workouts such as weight lifting, jumping, and running. They add beneficial warmth to the knees, limit the movement of the patella that can lead to injuries, and enhance proprioception (which is your ability to know the position of your joints instinctively).
- Stretch properly before working out. Stretching before you work out is a proven means of reducing the likelihood of injury during your workout. You should warm up until you break a sweat, and then you can make sure you stretch your hip and thigh muscles that are the most crucial for preventing injury to your knees.
- Strengthen the hip and thigh muscles. These include the hip extensors, hip flexors, and the hip adductors. You also need to focus on your knee flexors, knee extensors, and knee joints. You can use with machines and other forms of resistance (including body weight). But you have to be careful about proper form.
Exercises that help fortify your knee joints include the leg press, physioball hamstring curl, singe-leg stance, heel raises, and calf stretches.
- Don’t over-train. The first thing you need to do is to choose the workout or exercise activity that best fits the state of your knees. If you already have problems with your lower leg or a history of knee pain, then perhaps swimming will be a better choice for you than running. After all, running is notorious for causing a medical condition called “runner’s knee”.
If you already have prior concerns about your knees, you may want to avoid certain exercises that are generally easier to do wrong. The mistakes you make for exercises such as hurdler’s stretches, deep squats, lunges, and full-arc knee extensions, can cause injuries to your knees.
Instead, you can perform partial squats, step-ups, side-lying leg lifts, straight leg raises, short-arc knee extensions, and hamstring stretches. These offer similar results compared to the exercises you have to avoid.
When you start to exercise, you should begin slowly with a rest day after each workout day. You should also concentrate on proper form and technique, especially for swimming, speed-walking, or weightlifting.
With these simple tips, you can significantly reduce the possibility of knee injuries that can cause unnecessary pain and delay your progress in achieving your health goals.