Injury Prevention: Knees

By: Alvie Hafen

Do your knees ache? Is it hard to get down into a full squat? Do they just have an overall tightness to them? Most likely the problem does not start with the knee. You don’t have a strained or torn MCL or ACL. The most likely problem lies above your knee. Here are two different mobilities that will help your achy knees.
Quad Smash
The quadriceps allow you to run, jump, 300lbs, and do your everyday activities. However if this muscle is tight or locked up it can cause pain in the knee. I want you to take a lacrosse ball and foam roller and target this large muscle in your leg. I challenge you to work your quad for at least 3-5 minutes each side. You need to stay on the tissue UNTIL you make a change. A change will not happen in 30 seconds. Give your body the time it needs to make a change. You can smash and floss the tissue or you can contract onto your lacrosse ball for several seconds and then relax. Don’t just complain about knee pain, do something about it.  (Becoming a Supple Leopard pg. 324)
Couch Stretch
This is an excellent stretch to open up the quadricep and the hip flexor. This stretch needs to be done at least 2 minutes each side. You can do this stretch up against a wall, box, or even at home up against the couch. If you are not sure what the couch stretch is you can refer to the Supple Leopard book pg. 331 or just ask one of the DE coaches! We are here to help! Use us! No one likes being in pain, but we can’t help you if you don’t talk to us.
The more you work out, the stronger you get, the more gains you make, the more mobility you are going to have to do to keep the body functioning and moving pain free. It is just the cycle of things. Your car doesn’t run forever without constant input of gas, oil changes, and regular maintenance. The human body is the same way. If we just workout 7 days a week, come in GO hard as we can and then walk out of class without any mobility or cooldown eventually something is going to break down. Take care of your BODY. You take amazing care of your brand new car, why don’t you take care of the only body you have? I challenge each of you to take 10 minutes at least a couple times a day and work on your problem areas.