How To Keep Your Knees Happy And Healthy
Posted on 29th November 2022 at 13:00
At Fire & Earth, we regularly see clients with painful injured knees. It’s easy to see why knee injuries are so common when you understand the pressure they’re under and you realise the ways we use them.
The good news is, there are some easy wins with knees, and we have some advice on how to keep your knees healthy. Aside from losing some weight, and avoiding twisting sports (like football or skiing), here are some really simple ways to keep those important joints healthy and free from issues.
Stay in motion!
You’ll have heard this before, but with joints, the more you move, the less stiff you'll be.
Whether you're sitting, working, or watching TV, change your positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active whenever you can.
Set yourself alarm reminders to remind you to do so, because sometimes we get carried away and lose track of time. If you’re working from home, screen breaks can double as ‘putting the washing on’ breaks so you’re moving around whilst getting your chores done!
Going to the gym regularly can increase functional strength and flexibility in the legs and doing more outdoor activities regularly on a weekly basis is a good plan. Starting your day off with a workout can be excellent for waking your body up and will provide you with more energy to take you through the day.
Try and go low impact
Don’t overdo it at the gym. Doing endless amounts of cardio is not going to make you maintain weight and lose weight consistently. It could, however, cause wear and tear on your joints.
Try shorter bursts of exercise but with more intensity. It’s often more beneficial to add 20 to 30 minutes of cardio at the end of a workout as you’ll burn a lot more calories than you would at the beginning of a workout. So, leave your continuous cardio for after the weights.
There’s no benefit really in doing high-impact movements if you don’t need to be doing them unless you do sport and there’s a purpose behind it. Try and do low-impact cardio sessions and volume training as this will benefit you more in maintaining a good figure than lifting heavy weights and doing too much intensity.
Work on your core strength
Ways you can work on your core include:
Glute isolation exercises
Isometric core exercises.
Functional core strength exercises.
Functional full-body exercises.
Consider cable machines and specific weighted workouts as they can be a great source of training to strengthen your core. Doing side crunches, leg raises and crunches etc isn’t as effective as you might think. Not sure what any of the above exercises are? Just ask us and we’ll be happy to run through them and include any adaptations you need for your body.
Work on your flexibility/range of motion
These muscles should be stretched in isolation in your legs:
Peroneal muscles (shin area of the foot).
Doing ankle mobilisation work in your ankles will also help mobilise the knees, especially into the hips and glutes. The three major muscles to focus most on to stretch would be the front thighs (Quadriceps), the hamstrings (back upper section of your legs), and your hips/glutes.
To maintain your current flexibility: Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.
To improve flexibility: Hold for 30 seconds to 90 seconds and repetitively.
Try to repeat exercises more than once and use a variety of stretches for each muscle and not just one all the time. There are different types of stretching which you can use:
Passive (or relaxed) stretching.
Dynamic stretches are used more in warming up for workouts or just in general as a warm-up to do static stretches in depth. PNF is the type of stretching we most recommend for improving flexibility.
Listen to your body
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