Image from Freepik.com/yanalya
And the easy replacement for each…
You don’t have to be 80 years old to be given the finger by your knees. And when it comes to fitness, whether it’s just a weakness you have, or you’ve actually sustained an injury, it’s vitally important that you don’t make the situation worse by doing the wrong exercises or trying to push through a bit of pain to end up in a world of pain.
What we do know: the best thing for most forms of knee pain is exercise. This is because you can target the muscles around the knee to offer it more support. But, if you have poor form, or are doing the wrong exercises in the first place, you’re going to send yourself limping back to the bench pretty swiftly.
The Harvard Medical School says: “The proper balance of strength in the muscles can hold the joint in the most functional and least painful position. With any knee, the first muscles to lose strength are the largest antigravity muscles, the quadriceps and gluteals, so an exercise plan for any injury is likely to focus on these.” Furthermore, strong quadriceps can take over the shock-absorbing role usually played by the meniscus or cartilage in the knee.
Springbok Physio and BODYTEC® City Bowl client, Rene Naylor, shares some advice with us on how to combat knee pain and injury. Here are the exercises to avoid, and an easy replacement for each.
Avoid: Full squats
Rather do: Partial squats
Standing in front of a chair in the squat position, lower yourself towards the chair. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes.
Rather do: Step-ups
Standing on front of a step, step up onto it (right foot first). Tap your left foot on the top of the step, and then lower. As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle. Repeat with the left foot.
Avoid: Leg curls
Rather do: Calf raises
Using a chair or wall for balance, stand with your feet about hip-width apart, toes straight ahead. Slowly lift your heels off the floor, rising up onto your toes. Hold, then slowly lower.