TOP 3 THINGS TO PREVENT KNEE PAIN
By Biagio Mazza
Knee injuries can really limit you and your ability to live an active life. At Elite we encourage injury prevention so the liklihood of injury is less.
You may have had some trouble with knee pain in the past, and would like to prevent it from reoccurring -- or maybe you have not had knee pain, but would like to prevent it from developing.
Today we share the top three things you can do to help prevent knee pain.
The first thing that you can do is a calf stretch. There are many different ways to stretch a calf, but we like to give a very comprehensive stretch of the calf. You're not going to be doing any static holds where you just hold for 30 seconds straight. What you're going to be doing is slow and controlled movements within the stretch.
Many people know about the traditional runners' stretch where they get their hands on the wall and bring one leg back. That's okay. What I prefer to teach people to do is small movements in three different directions.
- The first is forward and back, so you're coming on and off your stretch. So you'll do that for five to 10 reps.
- Second is you find your stretch and then shift the hips side to side.
- Then the third is you find your stretch and then you rotate through the hips. Again, five to 10 reps.
Keep in mind that you are going to be doing these in a pain-free range. You should not be hurting when you're stretching. It should be a strong but a comfortable stretch.
Exercise number two for prevention is a squat. Probably not surprising to you, but squatting is something we do every time we get in and out of chairs, every time we get up and down. You need to be practicing that to get stronger. If you can get stronger through the gluteal muscles, your rear end muscles, and the quads in the front, then you will do a lot better job of keeping control of the knees.
What you will do here is you will work on slow and controlled movements up and down, about five seconds coming down and about five seconds coming up.
As you go down, you're going to drive your rear end back out behind you. When you get to the bottom of your squat, you should be consciously squeezing you cheeks together to raise yourself back up into the air.
In the video you will see how it looks from the side -- when I drive my rear end back out behind me, I'm really bringing my butt so that my knees don't go in front of where my toes are. I don't want to drive my knees way out in front from that position there.
The third exercise, which is probably the most important for endurance strength, is the elbows-to-knees squat. What you're going to do is squat down, and put your elbows on top of your knees. That's going to help protect your back and allow you to just rest in that position. Then you're going to slowly work on weight shifting side-to-side, and you're going to build up time.
Ultimately, it would be great for you to build up anywhere between one and four minutes of time standing down in this position. It's a real quad burner, is going to get the butt some, but mainly the quads.
If you can work on those three things, you're really going to be a big step ahead of most people are in preventing knee injuries for yourself in the future.
- Biagio Mazza