Injuries spotlight: Knees

 Injuries spotlight: Knees

The theme of injuries should be considered all the time as far as we are not the computer game characters, we are real people. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to forget about it and safety principles, jumping into water without checking the bottom. Consequently, we have the downwards line from the health to sore and end up with chronic diseases or even inability to train at all. 

Today I want to reveal the achilles of a whole weight lifting practice – knees. This big and the most important joint of our body tends to suffer most frequently. Sadly, these joints are also the most difficult to treat and recover. Considering this I want to explain and show the best way to take care and keep them healthy and strong for ages.

Always warmup!

One of the best ways to keep you far from the injuries and perform better is a warmup & stretching. Before you jump into the heavy weights and intense reps always, I repeat always load your joints and muscles with light intensity and give blood a chance to reach every cell in your body increasing the heart rate and performing some dynamic stretches. 

Check our full read on this topic in our article – Warmuping the Rock. The best warmup before heavy lifting.

Hydrate yourself

No matter what activity you choose to practice you have to watch your hydration or pure water income. If you miss your water portion while or before training the first thing to suffer would be your joints. Keep yourself hydrating and drink plenty of water and your knees will say thank you, not to mention your much better performance. 

Look for a proper form and appropriate weight 

Before starting any of the exercises first look for a proper form. 

How many times I saw people squatting with knees lean forward and pushing from the toes. The correct form hear is to push from the heels, keep your spine straight while trying to align your knees with your toes. This will prevent your knees from receiving enormous tension and thus risk of destruction. 

Another thing to consider is a proper weight. To keep muscles grow you have to gradually increase the weight and do it mindfully. If you do not know which weight is appropriate for you try to begin with small and add one by one until your form remains accurate and you feel no pain. 

Exercise’s to watch out.

Lunges. Even slight deviation from the proper form gives you all chances to get injured. More over even correct form can’t guaranty the safety for your knees. Some of trainees feel pain and adversity during this type of exercises, especially if not used to it. The reason here is an impact force to your knee during the exercise. Try to avoid it if you find it unpleasant and painful or change the form slightly to the reverse lunges. 

Smith’s squats. I’ve always been skeptic about the smith’s machine. And I have the reason not to like it. If you want to include some exercises with this you have to keep in mind that this is not a free weight practice though it likely seems to be. The fixed movement of the Olympic bar is quite unnatural to our body and it transfers the force you apply to an equipment back to your body and primarily to your knees.  I would suggest to stay with free weights instead. It will bring the same results and improve your coordination. 

Leg extensions. Same story here. We have an unnatural movement which is not good for your knees. Moreover, this exercise is quite useless for my opinion. It is not basic and you can substitute it with more safe and effective ones. Some may use it as warmup for further legs ex., but it affects only one group of muscles so it also is not a deal here.

Well in any case you notice pain in your knees consider to figure out the cause. Check my points here and try to fix your routine. If it won’t help, I’d highly recommend to visit a doctor. 

Keep it safe, train wisely and no injuries will bother you.

Raymond F. Williams

Raymond F. Williams