Knee injuries are something many people experience during their lives, and especially if you are an active person who likes to exercise. The most common causes of knee pain and pain are overtraining, incorrect technique during exercise and weak stabilization muscles.
However, knee pain and any injuries are easy to prevent, and a preventive exercise routine can quickly jump into your regular training program.
In the following lines, we will give you useful information about knee pain and its prevention, as well as suggestions on simple training programs to strengthen it.
Working on your stabilization, mobilization and strengthening exercises is very important for injury prevention, as well as having knee hinged support brace. The easiest way to prevent knee pain and wear and tear are first and foremost to be careful. That applies, for example, if it has been a long time since you have trained, or if you are going to start with a new form of training.
Get the set of knee braces and allow your body time to absorb the latest workout and give yourself plenty of time to recover between sessions. A proper balance between intensity, strain and rest, in addition to listening to the body, is crucial to preventing knee pain and injury.
Healthy and pain-free knees depend on an active muscle in the area around the knee joint, which is why stabilization and strength exercises are crucial for their best performance.
Always remember that It’s much easier to prevent than to repair.
Therefore, invest time in strength and balance/stability training if you have been temporarily unlucky and sustained a small injury or experienced “bad” knees. If so, then it’s recommended that you continue with knee brace and help of selected exercises with proper technique.
There are many great ways to apply the best forms of exercise for anyone who doesn’t feel like hitting the gym any time soon. Well, at least not until all the pain and unpleasant feeling is gone.
So, Why Do You Even Feel Pain When or After Exercising?
When we talk about knee pain, it is also essential to distinguish between acute and strain injuries. Acute injuries are sudden injuries that have a clearly defined cause or start time. Load damage, on the other hand, is damage that has occurred gradually as a result of a prolonged overload.
The second one is caused by long-lasting forces that result in repeated micro ruptures/microtrauma in the tissues. Such mini-ruptures usually occur in connection with physical activity and exercise, and the body will repair the tissue itself, without injury or symptoms.
However, if such a process persists for a long time, the tissue’s repair capacity will be exceeded, and strain damage will occur.
Load injuries account for a higher proportion of injuries in fitness and weight lifting.
If you begin to experience symptoms from your knees during exercise, think about the following; How much have I been practising the same exercise/training method lately? Have I increased my workout load by making the exercise heavier or exercising more often?
If you then see a pattern where you consistently work out in one way, or that you have increased the training load too quickly, my recommendation would be to change it immediately.
Exercise differently for a while and work out fewer or put on less weight.
Relief and change in load patterns are not the same as resting completely, and complete rest is rarely the right approach to stress problems.
In the prevention of strain injuries, two training methods stand out as the most important. The most important of them is strength training, followed by the proprioceptive training – more popularly called stability training.
Functional strength exercises such as squats and outcomes as well as stability training on balance pads and BOSU balls can be useful exercises.
However, there are too many to choose from, and when selecting the right activities, you must realize what you need to give in return.
In short, you will be able to avoid many ailments by practising with the principle of never overworking your knees in the back of mind.
Combining this training approach with preventive strength and stability training puts you well equipped for injury-free training season.
Strength and Stabilization
Strength training and stability training are the most critical factors in preventing strain and knee injuries. It is therefore recommended to implement strength training in workout planning, regardless of the activity or sport you play.
Besides, it will be very preventative to enter approximately 10-15 min with stability training a couple of times a week.
That can be added at the start of the workout, as this is also proper sports-specific warmup. This type of training will also prepare the support muscles for the upcoming exercise (e.g. strength training).
Research also shows that warm up programs before active exercises significantly reduce the risk of damage concerning acute knee injuries. Such as carrying out warm up programs with stabilization exercises.
Before cardio sessions that contain many twists, changes of direction, and changes in speed, it is essential to do a proper warmup.
Below you will find examples of simple and useful exercises that strengthen the knee muscles, improve balance and prevent knee pain/strain injuries.
Combine 3-4 of them with 3 x 8-10 repetitions (about 10-15 minutes in total), preferably before another workout. The activities below go from easier to more challenging ones.
It is important to keep in mind the following during this type of stability training:
- Focus on keeping “knees above toes”. That is, the knees should always point in the same direction as the knees. Keep a straight line from the hip, through the knee and foot.
- Always land softly after the jumping exercises, and maintain a slight flexion in the hip and knee.
Straight back and always have “proud posture” – forward with chest and low shoulders.
1. Start Simple
If your knee does not go through its best moment, start with a simple exercise to strengthen your quadriceps. That movement exerts little or no pressure on the knee.
Lie on your back on the ground or a flat surface. Bend one knee and support the foot on the floor.
Keeping the other leg straight, lift it to the height of the other knee.
Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
2. Hamstring Flex
These are the muscles along the back of your calf. Lie on your stomach. Slowly bend your knees to try to touch your buttocks with your feet, as far as you can and hold the position.
Perform three sets of 15 repetitions.
You can also perform the standing exercise by leaning on a chair, one leg at a time. If it is too easy, you can add some weight, gradually increase from 500 g, up to 1kg or 1.5 kg.
3. Leg Lift While Lying Down
Lie on your stomach with straight legs. Squeeze the muscles of the buttocks and hamstrings of one leg and raise the stretched leg toward the ceiling.
Hold the position for 3 to 5 seconds, lower your leg and repeat.
Make 10 to 15 lifts with each leg.
You should not feel pain in the back, limit the range of elevation otherwise.
4. Squats Against the Wall
This one is a more advanced exercise. You will remain to stand, resting your back against the wall, your feet parallel to the width of your shoulders.
Slowly bend your knees and keep your back and pelvis against the wall.
Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Don’t get too rough.
If you feel pressure or discomfort in your knees, change position.
Repeat the exercise and try to maintain the squat position a few more seconds at a time.
5. Hamstring Lift
Remain sitting a wall bar in the gym or other edgy surfaces. You can also try to do it on some stairs, leaning on the handrail with leaving your heels hanging on a step. Slowly raise your heels as much as you can to stand on tiptoe, then go lower.
Perform three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. When it becomes dull, do the same exercise but with only one leg. It is a great exercise that will strengthen your hamstrings and help you recover from your knee injury.
6. Knee Extension
Sitting in a chair, with the initial position of the knees bent at an angle of 90º. Slowly raise the knee until the leg is in a horizontal position, slowly return to the initial position and do the same with the other. Perform 20 repetitions in total.
7. Side Elevation
Lie on your side. Bend the knee of the leg on which you rest for a better balance and stretch the other leg to an angle of 45º. Hold the position for 5 seconds, lower your leg and relax briefly, then repeat the movement 10 or 15 times. Change sides and start again.
8. Leg Press
Sit on a leg press machine, with your back and head resting on the backrest, and the sole of the feet fully supported by the iron. Slowly push the iron until your legs are in full length.
Bend your knees and return to the starting position.
Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
You can always ask someone from the gym monitor for help if this is the first time you do this exercise. Do not carry weight at the beginning, and gradually increase the intensity.
Exercise should never cause pain or make an injury worse. Remember that slight pain after a workout is usual. But sudden, stabbing pain in the muscles or joints tells you that you should stop and visit your doctor.
Smooth exercise is good, but avoid high-impact activities such as running or intense aerobic workouts.
Pay attention to what makes you feel better. For example, some people love to go elliptical, others swim. Swimming in general as well as walking in the water or water aerobics are always a great option.
Check with your doctor before going deeply into some routine and exercise only to get stronger knees not the more painful one. Otherwise, stop and look for the possible clues of the problem.