Knee injuries are quite common amongst both professional athletes and amateurs who do sports or workout as a hobby, just to keep themselves healthy and fit and to get in shape – we are sure many of our readers have experienced at least some mild knee pain during their sports activities before. So our article today will give you some tips on how to avoid hurting your knees, and next week we will follow up with tips on what to do if an injury already occurred, how to treat it.
There are actually some simple, easy things that can be done to prevent or at least lower the risk of getting your knees injured.
First and foremost something we mention alongside every single workout: do no skip your warm-up! Warming up prevents the injuries of muscles by increasing their blood circulation but it is no less important for your joints. As you know, the joints basically keep two bones together, protecting them and making it possible for you to move them. During these movements the bones would rub on one another, but your joints produce a fluid to avoid that and to make these movements. Basically, when you are doing warm-up exercises, your knees –and other joints for that matter- start producing this fluid, so by the time you get started with the real workout that puts more pressure on your knees, everything will literally go smoothly.
Learn the proper form!
Whether you’re a runner or working out in the gym, completing your exercises with the correct form is crucial. If you are a beginner, try to ask for help from a professional trainer, of if that is not an option, get the most out of the internet, and look up articles on Google and videos on it on YouTube. And even if you are not a beginner, don’t feel too proud to check your form and ask for help if you need to – always remember that your health comes first and no matter how professional we feel we are, there is always room for improvement for all of us. Mastering the correct running technique or squat form can make a huge difference and your knees will thank you.
The shoes matter!
A few years ago I assumed it doesn’t really matter if I wear training shoes for running or the other way around – up until our coach scheduled more running trainings and I started feeling my knee slightly hurting. That was when I started thinking about it, went to the store and invested in a new pair of running shoes (instead of the training shoes I was running in) and suddenly the pain completely disappeared.
Another thing you should keep in mind: if you go running regularly, you should change your shoes at least every year or so. Lacing up that pair of ‘good old Nikes’ might not be the best idea for your knees and ankles.
Don’t lock-out your knees!
One of the most common reasons for acute knee injured is hurting the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL by overextending the knee. That can easily happen if you lock-out your knees during exercises such as leg press. Furthermore, keeping your knees bent a little bit during the whole exercise will not only protect your knee but also keep the tension on the muscles the whole time, making your workout even more effective.
We hope these simple tricks will help you protect your knees – if you have any other tips we didn’t mention, leave them in the comments below!