Knee Health Basics

Disclaimer:

I’m not a physical therapist, however, these are a few basics I’ve found that work well for the vast majority of my clients. If you need a physical therapist, then definitely see one!

Another disclaimer, and this one’s all about mindset:

There’s a cultural script that says once you hit 40 or some other milestone, your run is done. The script says that you’re supposed to stop the fun physical stuff, stop training and playing hard, because you’re going to break/strain/overdo something. So just take it easy and act your age!

The other part of the script says that aches and pains are normal and there’s nothing you can really do about them, so be content with a little time on the elliptical while watching The View and talking about all the things you used to be able to do.

I beg to differ.

Yes, you can get away with a lot more when you’re younger, and no,¬†you can’t keep up the same amount of time and intensity, and you have less of a margin to make mistakes, but that’s no reason to give up altogether.

Instead, learn to train smarter, address multiple needs with each movement, and to get more benefit from less time spent working.

This isn’t an ego driven thing where you ignore pain and press on. It’s about finding what works and giving the one finger salute to the script.

Put simply, you’re NOT too old for this $&1t. You just have to be smarter.

Okay, now let’s talk about knees!

They don’t just wear out and there is a lot we can do to prolong our knee health.

No, really, they don’t just wear out and there is a lot we can do to prolong our knee health.

Sorry for repeating, but I have this conversation a lot and it’s darn near impossible to get people out of the mindset that they can’t do anything about it.

Here are a few things you can do. They’re all outlined in the video below

One

Get the knots out of your muscles. Knots, or trigger points aren’t just painful, they can prevent your muscles from firing effectively which can negatively impact how your patella tracks and cause unnecessary wear and tear. You can do some basic trigger point work with a tennis or lacrosse ball and a foam roller.

If you need to get more serious work done, then I have someone I recommend. Robbie Cload at Equilibrium 3 in Hyde Park has been a huge help and I can’t say enough good things about him, but not when he’s working on me. Good grief, does trigger point massage ever hurt!

Two

Get mobile, especially through your ankles and hips. The half kneeling stretch with an emphasis on the ankles and then then hips is my favorite.

Three

Get your glutes firing. We sit on them all day and they tend to shut down on us. If the glutes aren’t working, then more likely than not, your knees are not going to track correctly and they’ll get a lot of unnecessary wear and tear.

A five dollar mini band and a few minutes of focused work (preferably after mobility) can get those muscles online again.

Four

Work your adductors. Inner thigh lifts can seem a little Jane Fonda-esque, but I’ve used these to rehab my knees. Once the problem was fixed I put these back on the shelf, but keep in mind, inner thigh lifts can be a very helpful movement and might be worth a try.

Five

Get strong.

Goblet Squats are one of my all time favorite movements. These combine strength, mobility and stability and help you regain and reinforce one of the most basic and important movement patterns.

A sample routine might look like the one I’ve outlined below:

  • Tissue work (tennis ball and roller) for 5 minutes
  • Tall 1/2 kneeling ankle stretch x 6 – 8 per side
  • Mini Band Side Steps (2 different patterns) x 10 – 15 R/L, and again 10 – 15 R/L
  • Inner Thigh Lifts 3 x 15 – 20 R/L

Then either perform 3 – 4 sets of 10 – 20 of goblet squats by themselves, or combine for a total body workout. If you do a big three workout like the one I’ve outlined, then take :30 rest between exercises and 1:00 rest between circuits.

1A. Goblet Squats 3 – 4 x 10 – 20
1B. Push (push ups, overhead press, yoga push ups) 3 – 4 x 6 – 12
1C. Pull (DB/cable row, inverted row, assisted pull ups) 3 – 4 x 6 – 12

Those are a few of my favorites and they work well more often than not.

Again, if you need to, then visit a physical therapist or sports medicine professional.

In general, I like to start with the actions that are easy to put into place and have the fewest consequences to see if they can solve the problem first.

Best,

Charlie

P. S.

There’s a huge difference between having information and putting it into practice.

If you’d like to try one class for free, where I put it all together for you and you get to train in a supportive team atmosphere, then email me at 513fit@gmail.com about getting started.

 

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