You Make Me Weak in the Knees!

Preventing Knee Injuries

Just got back into running and I noticed that my knees are getting a little weak.  Now, I do know better and I think that my running shoes are a little too wide in the toe area.  I am slipping and sliding a bit and I will need to get some new running shoes.  

One of the most common injuries for runners and active individuals are knee injuries.  There are ways to prevent knee injuries but you have to be smart and listen to your body.  Here are a few things that can get your knees weak and below, a few solutions to make sure you don't get hurt.  

  • Not Stretching before and after a workout
  • Moving from an "easy" to a "challenging" workout
  • Not Properly doing Exercises and Drills
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Your knees are made of bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons which all work together to keep the knee in place.  Having said that, your leg muscles also play a part in supporting your knees as well.  For instance, your quads, hip adductors and flexors, as well as your IT Band are all supporting the tendons and ligaments that hold your knees together.  If you are not properly stretching these muscles and they become "tight" knee injuries will occur.

Here are some specific reasons why good runners/athletes get knee injuries!

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  1. You may have increased your mileage (or a workout) drastically in a short period or time.
  2. Not wearing the proper shoes for your sport can be a huge factor in the alignment of your body.  
  3. Proper strength training my not be included in workout OR you are not strength training properly.
  4. If you are running the same route everyday and pounding the same surface, this may cause injury as well.
  5. Running and Working out through the pain only makes the injury worse.  I understand once you see results you want to keep going but not when you are injured.  Remember that all those aspirins, and ibuprofens you may be taking are temporary fixes for the most part.  You need to contact your doctor or sports therapist so that you can get back on track!

What do you do to prevent knee injuries?

  1. Increase your mileage by 10%-12% each week and do not schedule a speed workout until your body is ready.
  2. Make sure you schedule rest days and mix up your workout with swimming or cycling.
  3. When adding strength training to your workout, talk to your personal trainer and let them show you how to properly perform each exercise and put together a workout that will work for you specific needs.
  4. I like to always suggest before starting a new workout regiment (especially each year) go and see your doctor for a regular checkup.  Let them know about your workouts and any issues you may have so that you can get yourself prepared before starting your 4, 8 or 12 week workout!

Be Happy and Be Safe!

Nicol A Hodges

Nicol A. Hodges aka "Nic" is fitness professional (NASM, CPT/PES) and product designer living in San Diego, CA. Nicol's athletic background started in her hometown of St. Charles, MO where she earned her 400m state ranking 3 years in a row. Later, at the University of MO, Columbia she earned 8-Big 12 Track and Field titles and a championship title. Nicol currently continues her love for running by competing in local and national running events.