But experts say discomfort doesn't mean you have to quit exercising. Making adjustments to common strength moves you perform in the gym can help ease pain while protecting your knees. Here's a look at five exercises and modifications you can make while doing them to protect your joints.
A common mistake while doing squats is to lower your body beyond what you can comfortably manage, which puts excess strain on your knees. A common rule of thumb is to never bend your legs to a point where your knees stick out past your toes as this puts extra pressure on the kneecap.
One modification is to use a physio ball to support your lower back and ease pressure on your knees. Position the ball against your lower- to mid-back as you stand with your back against a wall, and then squat.
If you do a squat without good form and then add jumping to the move (as you do with burpees), it puts a strain on tendons and ligaments. Before you do burpees, practice good form with your squat: keep your chest forward and back straight while placing your weight on your mid-foot and heels. Your weight should then be felt in your hamstrings and glutes, not your upper legs and knees, as you squat. Once you're consistently using proper form, then add single-leg squats to the mix.
3. Glute Kickbacks
You can bring on knee discomfort with this exercise simply because you don't have enough padding around your knees to properly support yourself. Add a second mat, or spongier one.
Lunges can cause knee pain if your legs aren't strong enough, or if you do more reps than you should. Relieve pressure from your knees by doing stationary lunges instead of moving ones. Stand with one foot forward while anchoring the other in place. Bend your forward knee into a lunge while feeling the pressure in your glutes.
5. Box Jumps
The key to box jumps is to start small, both with the force of your jump and the number of reps/sets you do. Start with standing jumps first.
Working with a professional trainer can help you reach all of your health and fitness goals while ensuring that your workouts are effective and safe. Contact one of the trainers at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo today.