5 Ways to Prevent Knee Injury at the Gym

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If you go to the gym regularly, and like to run vigorously on the treadmill or challenge yourself with heavy weight training, then you cannot afford to take your knees for granted. Working out puts a considerable amount of stress on the knees; dihydrocodeine working out the wrong way puts a considerable amount of unnecessary stress on your knees. You should never be too proud to ask the gym instructor to show you how to do the exercises the proper way, especially if you’ve had prior knee injury or currently weigh much heavier than you should be. Working out under such circumstances puts your knees at greater risk. It should not, however, prevent you from doing your exercises. If necessary, consult a doctor or physical therapist that can assess your condition and give you a customized exercise program.

Apart from the doctor’s advice, there are several things that everyone should know when working out in order to prevent knee injury:

Start with good shoes.

Of all your workout gear, your shoes are the most important. You don’t have to run out and buy the most expensive pair out there, although you can’t come in wearing just your ordinary street shoes either. You must remember that your shoes will contribute greatly to your base support, stability and balance, so try not to scrimp out on them too much. For general workout activities, it would be wise to invest in a good pair of cross-trainers. Always remember that your shoes should provide enough support and adequate cushion for your joints.

Stretch before and after you workout.

When you’ve been working out for a while, you tend to forego the pre-workout and post workout rituals, the warm-up and the cool-down. However, those 5 or 10 minutes before and after you workout can make a lot of difference in your overall conditioning, reducing the chances of knee injury. You can opt to do most of your stretching after your workout, but a little stretching before is advisable as well, especially if you are about to start your workout with no immediate physical activity prior to it.

Proper technique is key.

Working out often involves a lot of bending. When you bend, particularly during squats, deadlifts or lunges, you are placing stress on your joints. If your knees are not in line with your feet, too far front or back, or not going the same direction as your toes, you’re placing excessive stress on those joints. You must keep in mind that whenever you do an exercise involving bending; your knees and your feet must be aligned. Proper technique in doing your exercises is very important. Always seek the instructor’s help if you experience discomfort when you execute an exercise; you might not be doing it the right way.

Strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Developing the muscles surrounding your knees can greatly decrease the risk of knee ligament tears. With under-developed thigh muscles, the bulk of the stress of the exercise falls on your knees. Much of the strain is forced on them, leaving you prone to injury. Work on your hamstring muscles (back of thighs) and quadriceps (front of thighs) so you can reduce the load that your knees are made to bear.

Think too, not just do.

When you exercise your body, don’t leave your brain at home. That means you should think about what you are capable of doing and not to be overly ambitious at the expense of your body. It is one thing to challenge yourself to go beyond the regular weights you train with or run farther than usual, but it’s another to attempt an exercise that you are simply not built to do. This is definitely something for you to think about especially when you are prone to knee injury or already have ailing knees. You may have to stay away from high-impact exercises like running. Walking or swimming may be a better fit for you.

The best advice you can listen to about preventing knee injury during your workout is to not take anything for granted. Wear appropriate gear, make an effort to do the exercises properly, and know your body – don’t overdo the exercise or sometimes, don’t do a particular exercise at all. When you first started working out, you may not have set out to get good, healthy knees, but you should know by now how knee strength and stability contribute to your overall conditioning, and should resolve to do all you can to keep away from knee injury.

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