Strength for Endurance Athletes: Injury Prevention/Rehab for Knee
In sport, it is not uncommon to experience an injury. Injuries are not necessarily caused by a certain exercise, rather injuries are a product of muscular asymmetry, dysfunction, trauma, or overuse. If your goal is to maximize your personal strength and performance, it will be important to appropriately prepare the muscles and joints to perform the tasks necessary to achieve your goal.
In both recreational and competition sports, knee injuries are some of the most common. Whether you are training to be elite on the field or simply to improve your general health, quality of movement and strength in the knee will dictate stability and overall performance. We have selected a few exercises to help demonstrate how to restore function back to the knee and hips.
The first exercise in the video, the Petersen Step Up, is a great exercise to use to "re-program" the muscles of the foot, ankle, and knee to be responsive to the forces of the ground. This exercise specifically activates the quadriceps, particularly the VMO (Vastus Medialus Obliquus), which helps to stabilize the knee.
The second exercise is a Front Foot Elevated Split Squat. This exercise will help restore function back to the hips and knees, bringing balance and strength and often relieving back pain for those with tight hip flexors. When the legs are able to operate independently and efficiently, you reduce compensatory patterns which eventually build up to injury.
Both of these exercises can be easily modified and progressed to meet the needs and ability levels of the athlete. Try them out, let us know how you feel!