Exercising with bad knees

For most people we have one of two issues when we are starting a new training program, bad back or bad knees. Knee osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of pain world wide. For most people when starting a new exercise program one of the first things to start playing up is the knees.

In the following blog I will give some tips on how to work around these issues and get/keep you exercising.

Weight

Most people starting at the gym are normally looking to drop body fat. However excess weight can be a major issue for bad knees. Research has found that that from the age of 30 every 5 kg that a person is over the recommended BMI equates to a 36 percent increased risk of osteoarthritis in the knees. The worse the knee pain the harder it is for a person to find exercise to help them burn more body fat.

If your knees are already sore and have issues, then it is advised to go to your physiotherapist to help get the knee prepared for exercise and help with tightness and soreness around the knee. Walking for most people can be a great starting, however if the knees are painful when walking then taking gravity out of it and exercising on a cross trainer or a bike would be a good alternative. Upper body work can be another option for exercise while trying to avoid pain in the knee.

Most knees will need work and strengthening but a traditional squat, lunge and leg press can cause more pain in the knee joint. Performing a wall squat with an exercise ball can help take that pressure off the knee and help you work your knee in a range that can be comfortable for you. As time goes on and your knee strengthens up then you can take away the ball and try the squat without support.

Knee alignment

The knee cap is designed to slide in the knee joint created by the femur and tibia. However due to our everyday practices we then have hip tightness, weakness in the gluteus, fallen arches in the feet and tight calf muscles can all contribute to the change in the alignment of all the bones. This can cause rubbing between the bones, cartilage and ligaments of the knee.

If you are concerned about your knee, hip or back alignment then first and foremost go to a physiotherapist to have yourself evaluated and get a better understanding of how your lower body is functioning.

Research is now showing that deep buttock muscles of the hip play a critical role in taking the load off the knee and are often weak for most people with knee issues. Learning to activate the gluteus and strengthening them can make a massive difference for knee pain. Also some simple stretching and foam rolling can help release muscle tightness causing the knee pain.

 Incorrect posture

Poor posture can be one of the biggest contributing factors to causing knee pain but can be one of the simplest to correct. People who stand slumped with all their weight on one leg and hang on one hip are putting a lot of load onto the hip and knee joints and switches off the deep gluteus muscles causing more aggravation at the hip and knee joint. Also just by leaning on tables, benches, walls etc can cause the deep core muscles to switch off causing more load onto the knee joint.

To start correcting this you need to change your daily habits. This is as simple as making sure that you’re standing up straight and not leaning against things or shifting your weight to one side while standing.

 Hopefully with these small tips this can help you with your knee pain and managing it while exercising. If you are unsure on getting started or need help then enlist the services of a personal trainer at North Adelaide fitness centre and see a physiotherapist for more help

 

source: Network magazine, reference “training clients with bad knees by anna-lousie bouvier, BAppSc (Phys)

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One Response to Exercising with bad knees

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