Knee injuries are one of the most common and definitely one of the most annoying injuries that can be incurred during a workout. Few things can hurt your gains as hard as a knee injury, since many of the exercises depend on strong knees. Inuring your knees will prevent you in doing exercises like squats, deadlifts and many others.
However, there is a thing or two you can do in order to avoid injuring your knees. After all, knee injuries are so common among the athletes that many researchers have focused their attention into preventing them. We offer you some of their tips and advices that may help you avoid these debilitating injuries when training your legs.
The Importance of Warm Up
Proper warm up is absolutely essential if you want to avoid injuring your knees. Failing to warm up your knees is one of the first and foremost causes for injury. If you want to be sure that your knees won’t falter after a demanding legs work out, make sure that you warm them up properly. You should never begin with the heaviest set of weights the moment you step into the gym. Instead, give yourself some time to warm up, and begin with lighter weights that are easier to handle, working primarily on your form and technique. In this way you prepare your muscles for the upcoming demanding training, and at the same time you ensure that you’ll have good form when you start increasing the load.
For example, before jumping to the leg press, you can do a couple of leg extensions with lighter loads, making sure that you get your blood flowing through your muscles.
Avoid Locking out Your Knees
One of the surest paths to injury is locking out your knees when you perform leg exercises. You can avoid transferring the whole weight onto your knees if you keep your knees slightly bent. After all, the goal of your workout should be building up your muscle mass and strength and not hurting your joints. By slightly bending your knees, you force the muscles to work hard, while at the same time protecting your knees from damage.
Choose Smart Cardio Approach
One thing is sure, cardio exercises should always be included in the training protocol of any bodybuilder. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to destroy your knees by choosing the wrong cardio exercises. Most of the bodybuilders think that long distance running is the only effective cardio exercise. The truth is that it would be much better if you perform your cardio by choosing equipment exercises that supplements your leg training. Take for example elliptical and stationary bike. These two pieces of equipment do not put too much stress on your knees, while at the same time offering all the benefits of a cardio exercise.
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With running you put too much impact on your knees. This can in turn be very demanding for your knees, leading to shin splints, strains and other injuries. Led days are very demanding, and keeping them fresh and strong is absolutely crucial for performing your exercises the best you can. Because of that, you should always choose low impact exercises performed on machines that do not put too much stress on your knees.