Part of achieving your health goals at the gym involves how you exercise without hurting yourself. Here are tips for avoiding knee injuries during workouts.
About 790,000 people need knee replacements in the US every year. Instead of letting your knee pain get worse, it helps to have a plan. Otherwise, your pain could impact your ability to walk, workout, or play with friends and family.
Here are seven tips for avoiding knee injuries while you’re working out. With these tips, you can put the best foot forward without increasing your pain. Learning how to workout properly can reduce your chance of severe injury, surgery, and medical expenses.
Don’t hurt yourself. Instead, start working out safely and achieving your health goals with these seven easy tips.
- Get Warmed Up
Before you start working out, make sure to warm up. Even if you’re in peak physical condition, it’s important to warm your body up. Don’t cut your warm-up routine short, either.
Warming up allows your body to send blood to your muscles. Your muscles will become more flexible, making for an easier workout.
Try using low-impact cardio exercises as part of your warm-up routine to get the heart pumping. You can also add this five-minute warm-up:
- 2 minutes jumping rope
- 12 deep reverse lunges to knee raise
- 8 forward and backward arm circles
- 8 walk-outs
- 8 inward and outward hip circles
- 15 squats
- 10-second squat pulses
Low-impact cardio warm-ups are ideal because they won’t strain your joints. When warming up, don’t focus solely on your knees. Make sure to use a range of exercises that get your entire body moving.
- Make Sure to Stretch
As part of your warm-up for avoiding knee injuries, stretching before workouts is important, too. Stretching helps improve your flexibility. It can also boost circulation to your joints and muscles.
Make sure to stretch before and after you exercise. Post-workout stretching gives your muscles a chance to relax. It can also help reduce strain and stiffness when you’re home.
Keep your stretching gentle and slow to avoid a potential injury.
Know how to listen to your body, too. Some people shrug off their knee pain and keep working out. Unfortunately, that could increase your chances of sustaining a serious knee injury.
Instead, learn how to keep track of your knee pain. Common symptoms include:
- Crunching or popping sounds
- Instability or weakness
- Red skin
- Skin that feels warm to the touch
- An inability to straighten your knee completely
It’s also important to know when to visit a doctor. Make sure to schedule an appointment if you experience:
- Marked knee swelling
- Deformity in your knee or leg
- A fever
- An inability to bear weight or your knee
- Redness, pain, or swelling
- An ability to flex or fully extend your knee
- An injury that causes your severe knee pain
If your condition gets worse, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
- Switch Your Shoes
Your shoes go through a lot of wear and tear as you exercise. They also have a big impact on your joint health. The next time you shop for athletic shoes, make sure they provide arch support.
You’ll also want to look for good cushion insoles. This cushioning can help protect your knee from high-impact movement.
Take a look at your current pair of shoes. Do they fit well? Do your toes feel squeezed in?
Consider getting your shoe size double-checked to ensure you’re buying a proper fit.
Otherwise, consider adding shoe inserts. Shoe inserts might improve the fit of your shoes. Beyond that, they also add additional padding during your high-impact exercises.
- Adjust Your Technique
If you’re focused on avoiding knee injuries, you might need to adjust your current technique and form. Otherwise, you could hurt your joints and muscles. You might fail to get the most from your workout as well.
First, make sure you understand how to use each piece of gym equipment. Even if you think you have it right, speak with a trainer at your gym. They can assess your current technique and form to make sure you’re using the equipment properly.
While you’re at it, ask them about your technique for lifting weights. What about how you squat? Are you positioning your feet and hips correctly?
Make sure to focus on your posture, too. Poor posture can have a dangerous impact on your knees. It can cause strain and pain to other areas of the body, too.
What exercises are part of your current routine? Consider exercises for knees that are low-impact, such as swimming and biking. You can also use low-impact devices like rowing equipment to keep the strain off your knees.
Otherwise, high-impact exercises can cause additional strain. Try to avoid running and jumping.
- Don’t Over Exert Yourself
It’s not enough to consider your exercises. When avoiding knee injuries, you need to keep your insanity level in mind, too.
Switching from low and high intensity can add pressure on your knees. Going from high to low, on the other hand, can cause muscle weakness. Instead, take care to adjust your intensity levels gradually.
Remember, seeing results from your workouts takes time and commitment. It’s important to understand your own limits. Rushing to move to a higher intensity can do more harm than good.
Instead, remain patient as you improve your strength and flexibility.
- Consider a Brace
If you’re already in pain, you might want to consider wearing a knee brace during your workouts. Different options for knee braces can provide additional support to your knee. They also help you avoid putting too much strain on your knee joint.
There are some options that provide cushioning as well.
What about after your workouts? Consider using this knee pillow to ease your knee pain as you sleep.
- Vary Your Routine
Don’t get stuck repeating the same workout routine every week. Repetitive motions can increase your chance of wear and tear or injury. Instead, dedicate each day to something new.
You can also add yoga to your routine to improve your flexibility and strength.
Workup a Sweat: 7 Tips for Avoiding Knee Injuries at the Gym
Ready to start working up a sweat? With these seven tips for avoiding knee injuries, you can do so safely. Don’t neglect stretching before workouts as part of your routine!
Use these tips to achieve your health goals without causing injury with every workout.
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