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Fitness for the Day: Knee-Friendly Routines


Being fired up during a workout is indeed expected – giving your all in every routine to ensure that you’ll be more than a step closer to your fitness goal. As such, getting tired is also understandable so there are instances wherein you’re knees go weak. When you suddenly felt a painful jolt in your knees, don’t ignore it and simply wait for you to be hobbled. It is important to pay attention to your joint health even you are too focused on your workout. After all, you are working out to have a fit body and it includes having healthy knees!

 

Why Does Your Knee Hurt?

Being active makes every part of your body to move and there are particular workouts that put a heavier tension to your knees. You might experience sprained ligaments, back pains and sore muscles in the hip area but the knee is considered to be the crankiest join in the body.  When you suffer from mid-workout knee pain, you are not alone. Actually, no one is exempted from feeling like their knees have been bludgeon by a blistering hot iron.  So what could be the cause of it? How can you prevent it?

Causes of knee pain may vary. Mobility restriction, obesity and overuse injuries are common big factors. Aside from those, strain on your knees can also be triggered by musculoskeletal issues which include Osteoarthritis, ligaments and tendon damage, Bursitis (overusing the muscle attachment called “bursa” that is on top of your knee), Meniscal tear which refers to the pain cause by the cartilage to rip and other muscular imbalances. You also have to be careful with high-impact activities because they tend to place too much load on the knee joint than what they can actually handle.

You must also take a look if you have a weak quadriceps, weak glutes and weak calves. First, with quads specifically,y the VastusMedialisObliques (VMO) are the ones that absorbs the shock from the intensity of running or weight-bearing routines. This pertains to the muscles that run along the front and side of your leg which keep your knee straight. If you have weak quads it will result to unstable knee thus increasing the strain on your knee joint. Meanwhile, glute muscles relate to hip adduction and abduction which primarily involves rotating your hips either inward or outward.  Such movement on your hips requires movement on your knees and getting the rotation wrong may possibly mean of weak glutes. So it is necessary to properly activate your glutesto prevent improper foot landing and body rotation. Unlike the first two weaknesses, having weak calves gives your knee a bigger brunt impact because it acts as “bottom-supporter” and such weakness on this part of the body can take away the shock absorber you need for your knees. Therefore, it is advisable to add some workout routines that strengthen your calves as well.

It can be really painful if the muscles which surround and support your knee joint aren’t strong enough.  A one-day knee pain can lead to swelling and eventually a knee injury you surely wouldn’t want to have.  So it is necessary to treat it and prevent grave chances on your overall wellness.

 

Exercises to Prevent and Fix Knee Pain

How can you possible prevent yourself from putting a stressful burden on your joint tissues and cartilages? Here are effective preventive tips and exercises that will strengthen your knees!

  • Basic Knee Care

What is the best thing to do for knee pain? Take time to rest your knee at least a few days off from your intense workout. Use ice to curb the pain as well as the swelling. For every 3 to 4 hours, ice it at least 15-20 minutes.  It is recommended to usean elastic bandage to properly compress your knee. Wrapping the joint will keep the swelling down and provide the needed support. You must also elevate your knee with a pillow and then once the swelling or pain is gone, try to practice knee-strengthening routines just like the following exercises below. However, you must also take advice from your healthcare provider and your fitness trainer for specific routines best for you.

 

  • Step-Ups
    Lift your body weight using the strength of your one hip and one leg – simply like going up the stairs. You can start by placing your foot on a bench or plyo boxes while ensuring a leg bent at 90-degree angle. Afterwards, bring your other leg up onto the surface of the bench or box. However, don’t push through your back foot and instead use the heel of your front foot in raising your body to stand. Perform the routine for about 12-15 reps and you can also level it up by adding some weights.

 

  • Wall Quad Stretch

All you need is a wall. Simply stand with your face away from the wall and in a lunge position. With your feet out in a hip-width apart, flip your foot against the wall. So your toes should be the ones that are actually on the surface. It is a test on how much your back knee can hold being the axis point of this routine.  By determining how much you can stretch, you must place your back knee against the wall as close as you can possibly hold so as to stretch the strength of your foot, ankle and quads.

 

  • Lateral Band Walks

A mini looped resistance band is placed around your leg and ankles while walking around in a forward or backward manner. Once the resistance bands are set around your leg and ankles, do a half-squat position. It is important to keep your weight in your heels and don’t let your knees cave in. To prevent too much stress on your knees, it is recommended to place the band on your thighs just above the knees. Step out forward one foot at a time and then slowly follow the lead with your other foot. Then you can walk backwards and repeat the routine. You can also try doing it sideways as long as it maximizes the challenge of stretching the band which determines how hard your muscles work in every step.

 

  • Straight Leg Raise

This routine also strengthens your quadriceps without the need of bending. Lie flat on your back with one leg extended straight and lifted away from the floor. You must flex your foot while pulling your toes towards you.  As you do this, make sure that you keep your knee straight. For roughly 6 inches, lift your foot off the floor and hold it for about 3-5 seconds. Lower it down and perform the same process with your other leg. Do this for 10 to 20 reps.

 

  • Heel Raises

You need to perform calf exercise like this routine to strengthen the stabilizer muscles around your knee. Specifically, this routine supports your knees from the bottom. Using a chair or a wall to hold onto for balance, stand straight as possible. Place your feet in shoulder-width apart and then rise up to the balls of your feet. You must avoid leaning forward. Hold the position for about 1 to 2 seconds and slowly lower yourself into a resting position. Repeat this routine for 10 to 20 reps.

 

Give your body the attention it deserves.  Though these routines indeed can strengthen your knee, you must take it slow and make sure don’t be too hard on yourself. Be reminded that even they are challenging your muscles and knees it shouldn’t be painful. It must provide a healthy weight on your joint while allowing positive progression on your fitness and health aspect. So think holistic knee health!

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