Best Exercises To Prevent Knee Injuries

Sports trainers recommend training programs that help women learn to run, jump, and pivot with knees bent to avoid knee injuries. In sports such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball, women who bend their knees and play low to the ground have fewer knee injuries than women who run and pivot with stiff legs.

Daryl Laws / Special to the Times-News

Q: I do a lot of running and read that weight training is beneficial in helping to prevent knee injuries. What would be the best exercises for me to do? 
A: To assist in the prevention of knee injuries, you need to follow a program that is hamstring-dominant. By making hamstring exercises the focus of your training, placing them in the beginning of your workout and doing several different hamstring and hamstring/glute exercises, you can build balance between the more naturally dominant quadriceps/glutes and your hamstrings. 
Hamstrings are utilized during the deceleration phase of running. Randy Hadley, who trains multiple professional athletes including 110-meter Hurdles World Champion David Oliver, has developed a very effective hamstring- dominant training system. One of the exercises he uses is Single Leg Hip Bridges. 

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Prevent knee injuries by performing these 5 exercises to increase the strength and stability of the joint.

Knee injuries can be devastating—and even career ending—especially if the ACL is involved. “Once torn, an ACL requires a more aggressive treatment due to the fact that an ACL doesn’t tighten and heal the way the other ligaments do,” says Edward Laskowski, MD, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. (Try these ACL prevention exercises.)

Injuries can take up to nine months to recover from because they need time to heal; and you need to restore mobility and function, rebuild muscle tissue and restore coordination. Needless to say, the process can be arduous. Worse, returning to play can take even longer mentally because you must have confidence that you won’t reinjure your joint.

However, not all the news is bad. There are ways to prevent a knee injury. The following five exercises are frequently used in the rehab setting, but they can also be used to fortify the knee joint by improving its strength, stability and mobility—or to help restore strength after you have completed physical therapy.

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