Many people approach their training incorrectly by not emphasizing a thorough warm-up and place a great deal of strain on their joints. Your knees are especially at risk.
The health of the knee is dependent on strong leg musculature, and obviously how kind you are to your knee when it’s bearing your entire weight. Furthermore, the impact of your diet has an immense contribution to maintaining the structural integrity and smooth gliding of your joints.
In today’s article, personal trainer Tyrone Wessels discusses how to warm up your knees safely and relevant supplementation to keep your joints well oiled.
5 Ways To Warm Up Your Knees Safely
1. Elliptical Machine:
These machines are impact-free, and due to the elliptical movement, the hips and knees are sufficiently moved whilst bearing a load. This is important as load-bearing movements stimulate the secretion synovial fluid (lubricates the joint). Perform 10 minutes of light cardio on this machine.
This is the king of leg exercises. And rightly so. No other leg exercise has the capability of building complete leg strength.
Feet should be slightly wider than hip-width, toes facing naturally out, keeping the weight directed through the heels, chest open and scapula retracted. A most important aspect of the squat is the knee tracking, i.e. the path/direction that the knee bends, it should track in the direction of where the toes are pointing. Perform 3 sets of 15 – 20 reps with minimal weight, ensuring a full range of motion. Doing squats is also one of the advised pre-knee replacement exercises when you’re going to undergo knee replacement surgery. This helps strengthen your knees and contributes to faster recovery.
3. Seated Vajrasana:
This yoga asana excels at stretching quadriceps and providing a deep release into the knee. It should be done without shoes and preferable on a soft surface.
Entering this asana, palms face the floor, place the fingertips of each hand into the bend behind each knee, and flatten the calves towards the heels as you sit slowly back onto your heels. Perform Vajrasana 3 times, holding the seated position for 10 – 20 seconds.
4. Seated Leg Extensions:
This is a great leg exercise for your quadriceps. Many people perform this exercise in a far too heavy and incorrect form. Biokineticists usually steer their clients away from this exercise due to the sheer force the knee undergoes. However, when the knee is well lubricated and warm, it can be very beneficial for the knee ligaments and quadriceps.
Adjust the seat so that the back of the knees lightly contacts the front of the padded seat, and make sure your lower back is firmly supported by the base of the chair. Select a lightweight that would allow you to complete 12 -15 repetitions.
Now set the pad that rests on your lower leg just above the ankle, activates the feet by lifting the toes in the direction of the knee, apply pressure against this pad so that the selected weight plate is hovering above the rest (Starting position). In a controlled fashion contract each quadriceps at the same time until your legs are absolutely straight (should take 2 seconds). Hold this top position for 1 second, then proceed to lower the legs with equal force to the starting position (Should take 3-5 seconds). Perform 12 -15 repetitions for 3 – 4 Sets.
The combination of joint supplementation and a balanced diet can only do wondrous things for your joints. Supplements such as Omega 3, Chondroitin and Glucosamine are able to enhance joint health and strengthen ligaments.
With this comprehensive warm-up and supplementation plan, a person will vastly reduce the chance of injury and greatly enhance their knee’s mobility. Depending on your level of fitness, this warm-up could very well be a workout on its own. As always, please consult your physician prior to commencing any physical activity.