5 Simple Moves to Help Prevent Knee Injuries

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No matter where you land on the fitness spectrum, there is always risk of a knee injury that will derail your progress. Unfortunately, knee injuries can plague just about anyone — from beginners to seasoned gym-goers and elite runners.

Physically active people are at risk for knee injuries mainly resulting from overuse and improper running or lifting techniques, as well as direct trauma to the joint.

Overuse injuries are often seen in runners who fail to cross-train or who have biomechanical problems. Improper lifting techniques can put uneven forces on your knees, making you susceptible to injuries. And direct trauma to the joint is most likely the result of a work-related incident, a vehicular collision or an accident while playing a sport that requires quick and sudden changes in direction, like basketball, football or hockey.

Although sporting accidents causing trauma to the knee joint can be unavoidable, overuse injuries are preventable. At the very least, there are exercises you can do that will mitigate your risk. The longer you can remain injury-free, the better results you will achieve.

Strengthening your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps will help prevent knee injuries. The gluteus medius plays a very important role in stabilizing your hips and preventing unnecessary internal rotation of the knee, especially during weight-bearing activities. And if your hamstrings are too weak relative to your quads, you are also more likely to get injured because this causes imbalanced forces to act upon your knee.

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