Women naturally have wider set hips than men, so we are more prone to knee stress + pain [2-8x as likely — yikes!] This means we need to take extra precaution + care of our bodies. The good news is there are plenty of ways to help reduce these issues. Of course, we want to be able to crush our workouts without anything getting in the way, so here are some tips on how to avoid + reduce knee pain —
>> Warm up // cool down — make sure to stretch your legs before + after every workout
>> Wear the right shoes for the specific sport or exercising you’re doing [++ make sure they’re fit well + feel good when you move around in them]
>> Rest! — rest is necessary [always listen to what your body needs]. Try giving certain muscle groups rest by adding variety to your workouts each day.
>> Use “RICE” [rest, ice, compression, + elevation] anytime you have knee pain caused by a minor injury
>> Be mindful that high-impact exercises can worsen knee pain + injury. Avoid *jarring* exercises that might be harsh on joints, like running, jumping, kickboxing. At least be careful if you have knee pain + are passionate about these activities!
>> Stack your joints! Alignment is SO important + talked about a lot in yoga. When doing any exercise or move [yoga poses, lunges, + squats] stack the joints so that your weight is evenly distributed + no one joint is taking on more stress than the others.
>> Focus on your strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, + quads — work those legs! Strengthening these muscles will help your knees exponentially by stabilizing the knee cap.
>> Yoga helps increase balance // flexibility + strengthens all the muscles surrounding your joints
>> Knee flexion
>> Stretching with resistance bands [hip abductors + clam shells]
>> Walking up stairs // hills [treadmill on incline + stair climber]
>> Riding a stationary bike
>> Swimming + water aerobics [*gentle* is good : )]
>> Tai Chi [focus on posture + body placement to add support around joints]
>> Knee-strengthening exercises *without* equipment [leg raises, step-ups, calf raises, + wall sits]
Remember that muscle soreness after working out is totally normal, but sharp, shooting, or sudden pain in joints // muscles are signs of stress + injury, so make sure you’re always listening to your body! Keep all these tips in mind + try some of these exercises to see if they help you any. Let us know if you feel relief in your knee pain after trying them out + if you have any tips // exercises to add!
++ Cassie [@cassiem_inchaarg] // Belmont University