The "running man" challenge isn't just an internet sensation that features viral videos and cute campaigns. It's also a good way to describe someone with a desire to stay in shape, when they might have a little more trouble keeping up on the track after an injury or joint-related problem. While learning that killer running technique can be a great way to make you more competitive in your running experiences, and ensure that you get more out of your workout routine, it's worth noting that people with painful knees generally struggle far more when it comes to enjoying their cardio.
Fortunately, with a set of knee compression sleeves, and some helpful running tips and tricks taken directly from the professionals, even those of who you had already resigned yourselves to a life of avoiding your running shoes can get back on the track, and start beating your best times again. We've scoured the internet for the best advice and running tips for bad knees, so that you can get back to loving your run.
Get Started with Form 101
When it comes to running tips for bad knees, it doesn't matter how much experience you have with your local track, sometimes you simply need to stop and start from the beginning. With your knee compression sleeve at the ready to help you recover faster from a tough workout regimen, start a run with the intent to look carefully at the way your body moves, all the way from head to toe.
Experts everywhere, including a gait analyst from Performance Health Spine and Sport Therapy, suggest that the main thing to remember when running is that your form affects the way forces impact your joints, muscles, and limbs. In other words, if you've got your form all wrong, then all the running tips and tricks in the world won't help you to feel better. Instead, you need to think about adjusting your technique. If you're prone to injuries, particularly in your legs, begin by asking a friend to record you in action so you can closely examine exactly what you're doing wrong, and what you're doing right.
All running tips for bad knees start by adjusting your running position, and watching a video will allow you to see things you never saw, or noticed before.
Get Other Limbs Involved
Although it's fair to suggest that your legs will take the starring role during any run, getting your arms in on the action will help you to access the momentum you need to drive your body forward, without placing any additional strain on your knees. Instead of making your legs do all the hard work for an exercise that relies on your entire body, use your examination of form to see how you can adjust your running technique to allow your arms to work alongside your leg stride. Using your entire body to propel yourself forward will not only help you go faster, but it will also mean that your lower body doesn't have to take on all of the work.
Just try to remember not to take the concept too far. According to Mo Farrah's coach, if you notice that your arms are crossing or that you're over striding, you'll be losing force that you need. Instead, your posture should be as straight as possible, with your feet hitting the floor directly beneath your body.
Planning Your Run
If long runs make up a significant part of your training routine, then you're going to need to do some serious planning if you want to protect your knees, and get the weight-loss benefits you've been looking for. Although your knee compression sleeves can help to boost circulation and recovery, they're not the only accessory you're going to need to help you survive those hours of pounding the pavement, that's why many of the best running tips for bad knees suggest taking your run off the beaten track. The more time you spend pounding your feet against hard surfaces like concrete, the more strain you place on your knee joints. Instead, try softer surfaces like grass, wood, or dirt to minimize the amount of shock your joints have to absorb.
While you're planning out a route that will be gentler on your knees, remember to prepare yourself with the right gear too. We've already mentioned knee compression sleeves as a good way to improve your recovery speed, but a good pair of running shoes also goes a long way too. Running shoes are designed specifically to cushion your foot and take stress off your knees - particularly during lengthy runs.
Stretching and Resting
Finally, tracking down great running tips and tricks also means thinking about how to look after your knees when you're not on a run. While your knee compression sleeves should help you to boost your circulation and enjoy a more comfortable experience at the end of a workout, stretching before, and resting properly afterwards will make sure that you're less likely to fall victim to an injury in the first place.
Before you start running, make sure you stretch out the muscles and ligaments around your joints to avoid injury. Stretching your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps will keep the knee joint flexible, and remove any excess pressure on the lower half of your legs.
The longer you run, the more strain your knees have to deal with, so it's a good idea to take plenty of regular breaks if you suffer with bad knees. If your goal is to run for a period of sixty minutes a day, then try breaking that period down into three twenty-minute runs instead. This should give your joints a chance to recover between workouts, while still ensuring you get the right amount of cardio for a killer routine.
Run Towards a Healthier Life
At Active Gear, we cater for runners, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts from every walk of life. Whether you suffer with knee injuries frequently, or want to look for ways to improve your performance, it's important to have the right running tips and tricks handy to prepare you for every experience.