One of the most common injuries for new and seasoned athletes is a good old fashion knee injury. As a personal trainer and running coach, I have trained a lot clients with common knee problems due to the following:
- Not stretching before and/or after a workout
- Moving from an "easy" to a "challenging" workout
- Not properly aligned to do exercises and drills
Your knees are made of bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons which all work together to keep the knee in place. This also includes your leg muscles. They also play a large supporting roll when it comes to moving and protecting those knee knockers. 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 in place. 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!
- A drastic increase in your training program in a short period or time.
- Not wearing the proper shoes for your sport. Check with your local running and fitness store to be properly measured and fitted for the right shoe.
- Poor alignment during or too much weight bearing exercises while strength training.
- If you are running the same route everyday and pounding the same surface, this may cause injury as well.
- 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?
- Increase training program by 10%-12% each week and do not "over do it". Stay focused on the end results.
- Make sure you schedule appropriate rest days and mix up your workout from time to time.
- When adding strength training to your workout, talk to your personal trainer and let him/her show you how to properly perform each exercise and put together a workout that will work for your specific needs.
- I like to always suggest before starting a new training program (especially each year) go and see your doctor for a regular checkup. Let them know about your plans to workout and discuss any issues you may have so that you can get yourself prepared before starting your 4, 8 or 12 week program.