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How To Protect Your Joints While Exercising!



‘We like your knees! Don’t hurt them!’


I catch myself saying this to my clients when their form slips a bit on squats and lunges. All in good fun but, there is a lot of truth to it. 


While I have extensive experience helping clients recover from knee/hip replacements, as well as working on mobility and flexibility to improve quality of life, the goal is to avoid these life altering procedures all together. 


I stress form and quality of repetitions over heavy weight and max volume. High School gym class is over and the only person you need to impress is yourself … because you’ve made it through your workout and your joints don’t ache! 


With that goal in mind, here are 3 ways to protect your joints while exercising! 




USE BANDS


Nobody believes me when I tell them this but, the number one tool I use for strength training is workout bands.


I use a system of bands that range from 10 to 50 pounds each and use a door anchor to secure them in place to do everything from decline chest press, tricep extensions, trap shrugs, squats, deadlifts, and anything else I need to get the best stretch and tension on my muscles. 


I rarely use free weights and, when I do, I find a weight that I can lift 10-15 times with proper form and that I can control both eccentrically and concentrically to maximize results. 


Amazon has plenty of good options, just make sure you don’t go super cheap or the bands will be too rigid for proper function. If you’re wondering what band system is right for you, book a session today to try mine! Or, at the very least, reach out and I can help you select the right fit for you. 




PROPER FORM


Say it with me now, FORM OVER EVERYTHING ELSE!


I don’t care how heavy you lift. I don’t care how many reps you do. I care about proper form! 


One of the main reasons people don’t reach their fitness goals is injury and a lot of injuries are the result of improper form. 


How do you know you’re using proper form? Well, work with a personal trainer like me and I can demonstrate, supervise, and guide you to a safe effective workout. 


But here’s a few tip when it comes to Squats and Lunges!


Squats: Use a chair! Place a chair about a foot behind you and stand with your back to the chair and feet aligned with its legs. Now, send your glutes back as if trying to tap the chair with your bottom. This will take all the pressure off your knees and stretch your glutes and quads for maximum results!


Lunges: I have all my clients do step back lunges, not forward or lateral. Step back lunges take all the pressure off your joints while challenging you to engage your core to achieve the balance you need and increase results. Just make sure your legs are forming two 90 degree angles for maximum stretch/depth.




THE RIGHT CARDIO


I know, I know, I know. You love to run. Well, guess what …


Your knees hate it. Every step you take while running adds 50 (FIFTY !!!) times your body weight to your knees. It’s literally breaking you down with each step. 


What cardio do I recommend? Anything you can do for maximum time with minimum impact. 


To be more specific, walking. I ask my clients to strive for 10-12k steps per day because it’s the equivalent to an hour of cardio on a treadmill or elliptical. It’s also much lower impact, thus preserving your joint health and, with the weather improving, you don't have to do it in the gym!


Swimming is also amazingly effective cardio that promotes joint health. Biking, rowing, dancing, so many options. Just be careful when running. It’s a ticking time bomb. 


For more fitness tips/nutrition advice, book your Personal Training Session today!



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