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Four Exercise Modifications For a Knee Injury

By May 2, 2017Move, Workouts

Knee injuries due to exercise are common and can be really frustrating to work around. If you have knee pain or are recovering from a knee injury, consider these four modifications to your workouts.

1. Lunges

Stationary or reverse lunges instead of walking or forward lunges not only prevents further knee injury, but also helps strengthen the leg muscles that affect your knee. With a forward lunge, your momentum of stepping forward puts all of your weight into the front leg. Couple this with improper form (like your knee going in front of your toes) and you place a lot of strain on your knee. Stationary lunges (where you stay in the lunge position and dip for each rep) or reverse lunges (where you step the leg back into a lunge for each rep) will prevent your momentum for going where it shouldn’t.

2. Running

Swap out your running routine with a more low-impact cardio option to reduce the stress you put on your knee. A few of the most popular options are cycling, swimming, or elliptical training. 

3. Leg Extensions

Rear-foot elevated split squat are a safer alternative. Leg extensions apply constant pressure on your ACL, and target only your quads (and not your hamstrings). Add in a heavy weight and you’ve got a drastically higher change of injuring your knee! To target your quads without this stress on your knee, try the rear-foot elevated split squat. Check out how to do one below!

4. Squats

Squats are an essential movement to any lower-body routine and can be harmless for your knees if done CORRECTLY. The first step is to make sure you have the right shoes on. That means lifting shoes or some other type of sneaker with a solid, flat bottom (no running shoes with tons of padding!). Additionally, make sure to warm up before you squat heavy and always check your form (via a mirror or a workout buddy). 

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Author Lauren Folk

Lauren is a 3rd year student at Northeastern University who loves dogs, brunch, trashy reality TV and Crossfit (not necessarily in that order). When she's not studying for her Industrial Engineering classes, she can be found wandering around Boston or cooking for her friends. Follow her on Instagram at @lfolk or @thebuffchix!

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