Knee Injury Prevention Part 2

In Knee Injury Prevention Part 1 we discussed how to decrease knee pain and increase knee joint stability. Once you’ve cleared the first 2 phases by passing the progression milestone tests, Phase 3 integrates your new knee strength into complex lower body movements, while Phase 4 develops the ability to safely change directions during everyday activities and field sports.

Phase 3: General Physical Preparedness

A minimum level of strength is required for all human body’s movement. To prevent joints from becoming excessively stressed, developing a surplus of strength and flexibility is critical. Almost nowhere in the body is this more true than in the knee.

Strength Exercise Regimen To Do Every 2-3x/Week. Complete Each exercise then move on to the next. Every workout try to do more reps in the 8 to 12 rep range or add more weight to the exercise.

  1. 4 sets of 8-12 reps of kettlebell deadlift with 60 seconds of rest between sets.
  2. 4 sets of 8-12 reps of goblet squat with 60 seconds of rest between sets.
  3. 4 sets of 8-12 rep/side of assisted single leg squats with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

Progress to Phase after 4 weeks of consistent training with Phase 3 with no pain.

Phase 4: Field Sports

Field sports are the apex of lower body strength, agility, and skill. The forces endured by the knee joint are high when compared to the ankle and hip. The knee is especially vulnerable as it takes the brunt of lateral stress due from stopping/starting/pivoting motions.

Part 1: Do 2-3x/Week. Complete Each exercise then move on to the next. The ideal progression is to start at 5 reps/set and work your way up to 10 reps/set. 

  1. Agility Drill: 3 sets of 5-10 reps each way Single Leg Front/Back Jump to Stabilize with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
  2. Agility Drill: 3 sets of 5-10 reps each way Single Leg Lateral Jump to Stabilize with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
Part 2: Once you can do Part 1 for 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise with good form, then replace Part 1 with Part 2, starting at 3 sets of 5 reps and working back up to 3 sets of 10 reps like you did in Part 1.
 
  1. Agility Drill: 3 sets of 5-10 reps each way Single Leg Lateral Jump to Rebound with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
  2. Agility Drill: 3 sets of 5-10 reps each way Single Leg Front/Back Jump to Rebound (Back Start) with 90 seconds of rest between sets.

These are explosive movements, meaning this training should be taken with care. Notice how I provide a rep range of 5 to 10 reps with all of the exercises.

Conclusion

With all 4 phases under your belt, you’ll strengthen the structures and muscles that stabilize your knee and teach yourself how to avoid movements that tend to cause knee injuries. This training gives you the freedom to pursue activities and sports without the fear of injuries that sideline large number of people every year. A little bit of work goes a long way.

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