We regularly see clients with painful injured knees here at Fire & Earth. When you understand the ways we use them and the pressure they’re under, it’s easy to see why knee injuries are so common
The good news is, there are some simple ways to keep your knees healthy that aren’t just “lose weight” and “lift with your back”. Ready to learn how to keep those important joints pain free without issues? Read on. 

Keep moving 

With joints, the more you move, the less stiffness you'll have. I know it’s common knowledge, but it’s easy to forget! You might be sitting for long stretches of time whether it’s working at a computer, watching television or having a coffee and cake with some friends. It’s important to take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active whenever you can. 
If you’re working from home, screen breaks can double as ‘putting the washing on’ breaks so you’re moving around whilst getting your chores done! Even walks on your lunch breaks will help strengthen your joints. 
Doing more outdoor activities regularly on a weekly basis is a good plan. Don’t like walking outside? Going to the gym can increase functional strength and flexibility in the legs through the right exercises. 
Either way, starting your day off with a workout can be excellent for waking your body up and will provide you with more energy for you to use throughout the day. Add some mindfulness to your workout and get some mental energy too! 

Try and reduce the impact 

Trust us; don’t overdo it. You might feel like a beast doing endless amounts of cardio, but it’s not going to make you maintain weight and lose weight consistently. It’s more likely to cause wear and tear on your joints. 
Instead, try shorter bursts of exercise but with more intensity. Not a fan? Try adding 20 to 30 minutes of cardio at the end of a workout as you’ll burn a lot more calories than you would at the beginning of a workout. Leave your continuous cardio for after the weights, you’ll burn more and protect your knees. 
There’s little benefit in doing high-impact movements if you don’t need to be doing them. Try and do low-impact cardio sessions and volume training as this will benefit you more in maintaining a good figure than lifting heavy weights and doing too much intensity. 

Work on your core strength 

Some ways you can work on your core: 
• Functional core strength exercises. 
• Functional full-body exercises. 
• Glute isolation exercises 
• Isometric core exercises. 
• Postural exercises. 
Consider cable machines and specific weighted workouts as they can be a great source of training to strengthen your core. Doing side crunches, leg raises and crunches isn’t the most effective way, but if you’re not sure what any of the above exercises are, just ask us and we’ll be happy to run through them. This includes any adaptations you need for your body. 

Work on your flexibility/range of motion 

There are a few legs muscles that you should stretch
• Hip flexors. 
• Gastrocnemius (calves). 
• Quadricep muscles. 
• Glutes. 
• Hamstring muscles. 
• Peroneal muscles (shin area of the foot). 
• Abductor muscles. 
• Adductor muscles. 
• Soleus. 
The three major muscles to focus most on to stretch would be the front thighs (Quadriceps), the hamstrings (back upper section of your legs), and your hips/glutes. 
To maintain your current flexibility: Hold for 15 to 20 seconds. 
To improve flexibility: Hold for 30 seconds to 90 seconds and repetitively. 
Doing ankle mobilisation work in your ankles will also help mobilise the knees, especially into the hips and glutes. It helps to try to repeat exercises more than once and use a variety of stretches for each muscle and not just one all the time. There are different types of stretching that you can do: 
• Ballistic stretching. 
• Dynamic stretching. 
• Active stretching. 
• Passive (or relaxed) stretching. 
• Static stretching. 
• Isometric stretching. 
• PNF stretching. 
Dynamic stretches are used more in warming up for workouts or just in general as a warm-up to do static stretches in depth. We recommend PNF the most for improving flexibility. 
Feeling sore? Book a massage online today and we’ll get you feeling relaxed and healthier in no time. 
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