As I already mentioned, I’ve been a bit worried about my knees lately, since they hurt slightly when using them and creak a bit. It’s not a big deal, but better try to fix this, before it becomes a problem and painful or permanent. Especially since I want to continue picking stuff heavy up and putting it down again. So, after some research (some links at the end), here’s my plan.
- For two weeks I’ll suspend my leg training. – That’ll be really hard to do, because I love my squats and deadlifts.
- So that my core doesn’t feel neglected without squats and deadlifts, I will do some hyperextensions and abs work. Gotta get toned for summer anyway.
- Say goodbye to my gains (for now).
- If the knees feel better after that, good!
If not, time to see a doctor and get his opinion on the rest of my plan. (If he says I shouldn’t squat, I’ll try to find a competent doc.)
- After that I’ll start training the knee stabilizers with wall sits, lunges and maybe single leg squats, while also focussing on glutes and hamstrings (I’ve been wanting to try single leg romanian deadlifts for a while now, since I can do them at home with my limited weights).
- A few weeks later, I’ll try squats again.
- Work on flexibility and stretch more.
- Pay more attention to not lock my knees. – Of course in exercises, but also in every day life.
- Add glucosamine and chondroitin to my supplements.
- Review my diet. – Wanted to do this anyway. More omega 3, selenium, anti-inflammatory, anti oxidants.
- Finally get a foam roller.
- Consider getting knee sleeves. But only if I can’t go without them and not without a doc.
- Leg extensions: Never again!
Of course, I am already doing other stuff for quite some time and will just state that here for the interested reader, that might have similar worries or problems.
- Train the legs. – While I can also search the cause for my worries here, this is also the way to help the knees. Stronger leg muscles will support the knees. I hope I’ll just need to add a few exercises.
- Maintain good form when training. – Again, while I can also search the cause for my “problems” here and there’s often room for improvement, I’m quite confident my form doesn’t suck. I also often get compliments on it from more experienced lifters and novices ask me to coach them.
- Warm-up! – On Leg days, I’m running a few minutes as well as 2-3 warm-up sets. But I should pay attention to no cool out and if I do, warm-up again.
- Stop if it hurts. – Duh!
- Maintain a balanced diet and drink a lot. – Well, I mostly do that, but I have to admit, that I’ve been cheating a bit more lately.
I’ve read several articles on the topic and here are the most relevant and/or comprehensive links about it.
- eMedTV: How a Healthy Knee Works [Video]
- YouTube: Basic Knee Anatomy Video [Video]
- YouTube: Basic Anatomy of the Knee and Associated Injuries [Video]
- Wikipedia: Knee – Obligatory link
- T-Nation: No Need for Knee Pain – How the knee works and how you can counter problems with them.
- T-Nation: 18 Tips for Bulletproof Knees
- Stronglifts: 10 Tips to Stop Your Knees from Popping and Cracking