High power activity is key to making workouts fun and dynamic. Many high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts include plenty of full-range squats, crouches, and jumps. Our knees tend to take a lot of the impact and are therefore increasingly exposed to the likelihood of knee injury.
Ease the Squeeze on Your Knees
A better option than deciding to skip leg day or working out altogether is to take precautions to avoid knee injury. It is actually easy to prevent pain and discomfort when you follow proper athletic form and injury prevention techniques.
Proper Crouching Technique
Crouching is important to many sports activities and exercises. Positions that involve extended period of crouching, like being a catcher in baseball or holding a sprinter start form, should focus on using proper technique to avoid muscle fatigue and injury. Proper form feels both active and restful and involves a measure of muscle stamina in preparation for quick bursts of movements.
Practice different forms of crouching and positioning on your own to explore the range of mobility available to your body. Your feet should be just wider than your hips and your toes pointed out at a near 45 degree angle. This keeps the knee joint open and unclenched, avoiding stress on the knee. Keep your feet flat with your weight evenly distributed throughout its surface. If you put all your weight into your toes, your knees can shift forward and cause painful knee strain.
By learning this technique, you will be able to stay in a crouch for a prolonged period, giving you an increased competitive edge.
Fitness Tips for Squatting
Squats are essential to many full-body workouts, from the most basic to the most complex. Squat movements involved the largest muscles in your body and are key for building overall strength and balance. However, as they sound so simple, a lot of people assume they know how to do a squat and never bother to learn the proper form. Make squats more comfortable on your knees and gain all the benefits by following these fitness tips:
Practice with a Box
Using a 12- to 14-inch high box will help you build strength in your glutes and hamstrings, rather than just in your quads. This will help you gain better balance in your squats and take pressure off the knees. Place the box behind you and gently sit on it as you squat down
Just before your squat, take a deep breath in. Exhale as you squat down. This will keep your core engaged and help you maintain your focus.
Before starting any physical activity, you need to warm up your muscles and elevate your heart rate. You should never try to squat cold. Carry out a few calisthenic drills focused on opening up your hips and warming up your quads, glutes, and calves.
How to Jump Like an Athlete
You can learn to jump like an athlete even if you’ve previously suffered from a knee injury or have never practiced any sport involving jumping before. When you start, it is important to avoid overtraining. Your knees can only handle so much — if you put too much pressure on them, you may damage the tendon.
If you feel any soreness, take time to recover. Tender muscles and joints can be a common side effect in the beginning, especially if you’re jumping a lot. Never wait for discomfort to turn into an injury; you’ll only end up spending a long time rehabilitating your knees — time you could be spending having fun at your workout. If you suffer from any conditions that put you at higher risk of a knee injury, such as a loose kneecap, tight IT band (common for runners), or over-pronation of the foot, talk to a medical professional or trainer for further advice.
Finally, dedicate some time to strengthening the muscles around the knee joint. You should stretch your quads and hip flexors every time you work out. You should also consider receiving a sports massage.
Once you’ve learned how to crouch, squat, and jump correctly, you’ll be ready for any sort of dynamic workout. Remember to always check your technique to protect your knees and enjoy the full benefits of exercising.
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