I have two main pieces of advice for girls who want to do, or who are doing, Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide* (or any high impact workout, for that matter): 

1. Have fun.

Don’t take yourself or the guide (especially those transformation pictures) too seriously. You’ll drive yourself crazy. Enjoy the journey, and don’t focus solely on the so-called “destination”, or end result. 

2. More importantly, protect your KNEES.

Our knees are so much more fragile than we think they are. We work them really hard with jump lunges, jump squats, jumping rope, weighted leg exercises, etc.

I used to love these moves because they would help me break a good sweat and contribute to a heart-pumping, invigorating workout. And while they are excellent plyometric exercises, if we are not careful, these moves can do (potentially long-term) damage to our knees. 

I did Kayla’s guide for six months, 3-4 days a week, with a walk, run, sprints, or the elliptical on non-resistance days. Then, I stopped this workout program because of light-to-moderate knee soreness. A few weeks later, the pain started to get very bad. Simple squats hurt, and it wasn’t cute.

After thinking that the pain would simply “go away” (it didn’t), I finally went to a orthopedic doctor. It turns out I have patella tendinitis.

Now, I wear a supportive CoreFlex knee brace when I workout. This is not the worst thing that could have happened, and I don’t need any type of surgery — for this, I’m grateful.

Going forward, though, I plan to be extremely careful with my knee. I’m only 20, and as someone who gets so much joy out of exercise, I do not want to do further damage to this crucial part of my body. Thanks to my newfound love for yoga, I’ve been able to work on strengthening while resting my left knee, but I still get twinges a few times a week.

I ice my leg every night now, and I can no longer do jumping, plyometric exercises or sprinting, which I used to enjoy. Maybe one day I’ll be able to, but definitely not now. 

 

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I encourage my fellow fitness enthusiasts and high-impact doers to be extremely careful and loving to those knees of yours. If you don’t experience any knee pain and ensure safe practices when it comes to jumping or other high-impact exercises, good for you! Keep going.

For those of you who do exerpeicne knee pain, I totally get it — it’s so easy to want to fight through the pain because you want to see results, or because it’s “leg day”, or because this set has 30 jump lunges, but you’re only on number 15. 

Let me tell you from experience, though: pushing through the pain will enable you to see results, sure. Just not the kind you’re looking for. Instead, you’ll start to see sharp pains while going up stairs, feeling like something’s wrong in your kneecap each time you walk, and the inability to perform those same high impact exercises without an excess of pangs. 

 

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If you ever feel sharp pain, don’t push through it like I did. You can still achieve an amazing workout, get your sweat on, and make fantastic progress in muscle strength by doing lower impact exercises. 

I encourage you to honor and protect your knees — you’ve only got two, and you have a whole life (filled with fitness!) ahead of you to live.

Check out these articles: 

*To read about my experience with Kayla’s BBG guide, read this article. For answers to more questions about BBG, check it out here

 

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About The Author

Hannah is a third-year at Northeastern University in Boston. A yogi, chocolate & coffee lover, and grocery store aficionado, she writes recipes, college advice, and skincare reviews on wholesomelyhannah.com (@wholesomelyhannah on Insta).

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