Athletes and non-athletes alike need to protect their knees from falls, twists, or trauma. Anyone from a young athlete to a middle aged person or senior can benefit from strengthening their knees. Here are 7 ways to strengthen your knees and avoid injury.
Strengthening Your Knees To Prevent Injuries
You can’t prevent every injury, but you can engage in activities to strengthen your knees.
- Stretch before and after every exercise or play. Never start “cold”— always warm up to alert your joints and muscles that you are getting ready to move and perform. Proper warm up involves your pulmonary system and cardiovascular system. Do some jumping jacks, raise your body temperature, and get your blood flowing.
- Engage in strength training. This will build overall bone and joint health. Strength and balance takes the pressure off the cartilage in all your joints. This is especially important for females, who are at a higher risk of knee ligament injuries.
- Staying in alignment is another way to protect your knees from injury. Strengthen the inner quads, gluteal, and core muscles by keeping your hips over your knees and ankles when jumping and landing.
- Let your body recover after exercise and play. When you give your body the appropriate time to rest and recover, you can help prevent fatigue and, therefore, injury.
- Keep a healthy weight. Excess weight puts unnecessary stress on joints. Drop a few pounds to become less susceptible to injury and knee pain.
- Try some low impact activities like swimming and walking to supplement your high impact activities.
- Don’t overtrain and know your limits. Limit how much stress you put on your knees and prevent your muscles from becoming vulnerable to injury.
If you do sustain a minor injury, start with the RICE action: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. If these treatments do not improve pain or stability, time to seek care.