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Exercise tips to injury-proof your knees

If your preferred sport or exercise involves high-impact landings or quickly changing direction, your knees may be vulnerable to common injuries. Safeguard your knees with some simple knee prehab.

Running. Football. Tennis. Netball. Basketball. Plyometrics. If you’re returning to a sport or exercise that involves high-impact landings and demands speed and agility, you probably know the perils for knees. These and many other sport and exercise types generate significant force through the knee, so it’s not surprising that the body’s biggest and most complex joint is commonly injured or subject to conditions that affect its movement. Common knee-related conditions our physios and sports chiropractors see among exercise and sports enthusiasts include ACL injury and Patellofemoral syndrome – each of which can mean a frustrating layoff and rehabilitation. So what’s the good news?

While there is no way to guard against knee injuries and conditions entirely, it is possible to reduce your risk by undertaking proper knee preparation. Aside from factors such as stance, running technique and shoe type, which can help to optimise your biomechanics, one of the best ways to protect knees is with an appropriate knee-focused warm-up targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves and hip adductors and gluteus muscles. Here are a few moves to get your knees sport-ready. (If you’re not familiar with these exercises or correct form, please consult an expert before commencing.)

Easy knee prehab moves to minimise injury risk

  1. Crab walks

Targets: Glutes 

How to: 15 steps x 3 sets

      2. Spanish squats

Targets: Quadriceps, gluteus, adductors

How to: 10 squats x 2 sets

     3. Glute bridges

Targets: Hamstrings, glutes

How to: 2 bridges x 30 seconds

     4. Calf bounces

Targets: Gastrocnemius

How to: 2 sets x 15 seconds

Have a question about preparing your knees for your chosen sport or activity? Our sports physios and chiros are experts in devising personalised injury-prevention plans and would love to share their knowledge. Visit our Instagram for free advice or book a consultation at our Craigieburn or Thomastown clinic.

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