5 Ways To Reduce Knee Pain During Exercise
3. Choose Exercises Carefully
You can modify certain exercises to make them easier on your knees. For instance, you can squat with your back against a wall, which will isolate your quads and keep your posture upright. Just be careful not to put your hands on your knees to avoid added weight on the knees! If you want to get moving, but running is too painful (for now) you can try alternatives like rowing on a rowing machine. Rowing is a full body workout with very little impact on your knees. Same goes for elliptical and stationary bikes.
Knee pain might be made worse by some moves. Try to avoid moves that put most of your weight on one leg as they might put too much pressure on one knee at a time. Watch out for exercises that require you to move side to side like skaters and side lunges, which can cause your knee to rotate and lead to more pain. Check with your doctor or physical therapist for these kinds of movements, otherwise, avoid them until you’re all healed up.
4. Check Your Shoes
Sometimes the key to happy knees is where you’d least expect it: on your feet. Worn out shoes, or shoes lacking in arch support can put your knees into overtime. A good shoe spreads your weight across the foot, rather than favoring one part of your foot over another. If your walking shoes are over nine months old, then it’s time for some new shoes with plenty of cushion and all around support.
5. Roll Out Tense Legs
Saving the best for last, foam rolling can instantly relieve your knee pain. Tight leg muscles can make your knees work harder than they should. Good news is that you can force the tension out of these muscles. Grab a foam roller and focus on your outer thighs, quads, and hamstrings. Go slowly, and spend about 1 minute on each area, or until the muscle feels looser. It will hurt, but the pay off will be worth it! Try to roll a bit before and after a workout for the best pay off.
Sharita Jennings is a health policy attorney, ACE certified group fitness instructor and nutrition specialist. She leads fitness classes in Washington, DC and provides online coaching and tips on her site, GetFitLikeThat.com.