03-27-2008, 09:43 AM
I like running but I feel that my knees are too stiff and my joins are stressed. Is there any good exercises to strengthen my knees and help me relax when I run?
03-27-2008, 02:10 PM
The knees are the largest joint system in the body, and so easily injured. When it comes to joints, the keys are flexibility and strength. You can't strengthen the joint itself, but you can increase the strength of the muscles that support it. In addition to that you want to make sure that the joint has a full range of motion which means flexibility training. This is not to be confused with holding a stretch for a few seconds and moving on. To get the benefit of flexibility training you need to hold your stretches for around 30 seconds or so.
It is also important to warm up before you run- if you have not run for a while, start by walking. Think of your body like a car starting in the winter- it has to warm up first. Moving the muscles lightly will release sinovial fluid into the joints allowing them to move more freely and also to provide that cushion the joints need for jarring movements such as running/jogging.
When working your legs- think about the muscles that attach- quads, hamstrings, etc. Try to find exercises that you can do one leg at a time because when you run, you are stressing one leg each time you strike, so single leg squats, lunges, standing leg curls for the hamstrings. Also be sure to work your ankles in there as well- heel lifts for the calves also serve to strengthen the joints in your ankles which also receive stress during running.
Here is an article from coolrunning.com (a great resource) about stretching as well: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml
http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/183.shtml Here is a link to specific exercises that aid in common problems among runners.
Again, the goal for any program is one that contains the three elements of fitness- cardiorespiratory, strength, and flexibility. In order to provide for those joints, strength and range of motion are key. It may benefit you to exercise as mentioned above on a rebounder, or elliptical to ease back in with a lower impact activity.
I hope this helps!
03-27-2008, 05:10 PM
thank you so much. You provided me with very helpful info. I will try some more exercises that you recommend.
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