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Training safe with cranky knees: Avoiding knee surgery

by Dave Lery on November 24, 2019

Training safe with cranky knees: Avoiding knee surgery

Wear and tear usually takes the blame for anterior and posterior knee pain but we can’t ignore wrong training techniques either. It’s a myth that certain high impact exercises like jumping jacks and jogging DIRECTLY irritate the knee. When performing them in their right form, bodyweight is evenly distributed and they don’t pose a knee pain risk. However, we tend to compromise on form after several reps perhaps due to fatigue.

Movements that should be avoided

Walking Lunges

Single leg movements like weighted walking lunges are risky. While descending, all bodyweight is placed on the forward foot. You’re rocking that HIIT session and boom, a random sharp pain on your left knee. Lunges hurt the knee and personal trainers often substitute them with Modified bridges as they both hit the glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Squats

Sloppy form puts undue stress when squatting. Surprisingly, we squat unconsciously many times every day even when we’re not at the gym: Like when we’re picking toys in the baby’s room and when playing basketball.

How can you avoid knee pain?

  1. Supporting the knees

Knee sleeves don’t prevent injuries. In fact, there’s no way you’ll twist your foot inwards past the 30-degree mark without tearing a tendon. But, with a compressive knee sleeve restraining the knee from extending to extreme angles, there’s no way you’ll lose form without knowing. Proprioception is how we’re able to direct a fork to our mouth even in the dark. We’re able to tell how high our leg is raised through Proprioception too. Compressive knee sleeves help in Proprioception and it feels like they’re “reminding” you to maintain proper form. Pain doesn’t make you stronger. More so in CrossFit.

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  1. Warmup before aerobics

Warm-up and cool-down exercises reduce the risk of injury and improve athleticism. More on this. Muscles work by contracting and relaxing. When they’re warmed up, muscle viscosity reduces. This facilitates faster contractions and by extension better performance. The heart is a muscle too. At 20 years, the heart makes about 200 beats every minute. This is a 177% increase over the 72 beats per minute rate it operates at while we’re resting. When warming up, we’re slowly revving the heart rate instead of cranking it up at once.  Warming up raises your respiratory minute volume (volume of air exchanged by the lungs) too. Though this concept a little bit hard to wrap our minds around

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