Healthy knees are important for individuals who lead an active lifestyle. If you’ve got bad knees, you’re not able to engage yourself in more intense workout. That’s why it pays to adopt measures to protect the knees when working out. In today’s post, we are listing down smart ways to keep the knees and joints protected while you exercise:
Do Warm-Up Exercises
Don’t just perform exercises from the get-go. You want to warm up the joints, knees and muscles for at least 10 minutes before working out. Incorporate flexibility exercises first, stretch those legs for several minutes. Use slow, controlled movements to get the blood flowing to the legs.
Warm up with leg presses using a light weight. Complete 20 to 30 reps. Follow it up with leg extensions, 20 to 30 reps to relax the tendons and joints too.
Avoid Locking the Knees Out
When performing leg exercises, do not lock out your knees completely. When you lock the knees out, the weight shifts from the muscles to the joints. This stresses the knee joints, leading to injuries. By not locking out the knees, the tension on the knee joints is reduced. If you cannot complete a workout without locking the joints out, you are using too much weight. Reduce the weight so you don’t damage your knees.
Achieving the Right Form
The right form is a critical part of working out. Achieving the right form maximizes the benefits of a certain exercise. Too many people get careless on the form, thinking it’ll make them fit no matter what. It won’t. When you don’t have the right form, you don’t engage the right muscles. This also puts a strain on the knees.
The Right Weights
Never use more weight than you can handle. This will put enormous pressure on the knees! The key to an effective workout is not using heavy weights. The right form and the right weights make all the difference. Biting off more than you can chew could lead to injuries too.
Low Impact Exercises
If you have really bad knees, avoid high-impact exercises like jogging or jumping rope. The repeated movement of running or jogging puts an enormous strain on the knees. The feet slamming on the pavement also increases the risk of knee injury. We recommend low impact workout like swimming or biking instead.
Heal the Joints
To relieve pain or speed up healing, always use therapeutic heat. Use a thermal wrap and apply it on the knees. Leave on for at least 20 minutes to loosen the muscles. You can also use heating gels to heal the joints or improve blood circulation.
If the muscles are sore or painful, use cold compress instead. Again, apply an ice pack on the affected area for 20 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, use a thin towel in between the ice pack and your skin to ease the pain.
After a particularly intense workout, perform non-weight-bearing exercises like rowing or biking to protect the knees. You can also do yoga to stay fit without damaging the knees. Yoga is focused on improving flexibility, strength, and alignment. This workout keeps the knees strong and the muscles flexible.