Hitting the open road for a run is one of the great ways in which you can build endurance and tone your body. However, should you experience a sharp pain in your knee, which is also known as runners’ knee, it could be due to your form rather than the fact that you have been running for so long.
What causes the pain?
Contrary to the myth that running will blow out your knees, your form is a major contributing factor to feeling such pain in your knees. Every step that you take is a high impact that your joints need to support to keep you going.
The cartilage in between each joint acts as a cushion to protect you from the impact and friction that comes with each step. It’s the way that people run that can cause an uneven distribution of muscle weight on your bones which results in pain or injury. Here are some ways in which you can protect your knees when running or jogging.
Replace your shoes
The type of shoe you run in can support or ruin your form. Having shoes that have great arch support and reduce the shock that comes with each impact you make is beneficial. Couple this with workouts that help you maintain good form for a run such as hip cradles, hamstring stretches, frog kicks, runner touches, and single-leg raises can help reduce the overall pain.
Give your knees what they need
Like any part of your body, your knees need TLC from time to time. This can be done by doing stretches before and after each run. Switching up your workout regime can also help ease the strain. On the days where you are not running include exercises that will strengthen your knees such as:
Jump squats. Jump and land softly on your feet. Doing these four times with 15 reps can help improve your knees.
Walking lunges. Keeping the focus on your legs and knees, do three sets of walking lunges that include 15 reps in each set.
Mountain climbers. With less impact on your knees, mountain climbers can help you get in the work without making your knees toast. Do three sets that include 15 reps. You can do more but remember to listen to your body.
Side lunges. Keeping with three sets that have 15 reps do side lunges. Remember to maintain good form instead of focusing on speed.
Baby steps are the way to go
Taking wide strides when running can lead to a poor form that can create runners knee. Avoid taking strides where your feet are ahead of you. Your feet should not swing forward but should always swing rearward. Doing this will help your knees absorb the shock better without damaging your knees.
The bounce effect
Keeping your knees soft and bent can come in handy to get the most out of your running. It is also a great way for you to avoid over-striding or keeping your legs straight which sends waves of shock that hurt your knees.