How to protect your knees when running
Running, as we all know, is a wonderful exercise which makes us not only fitter but healthier.
But we also know that running sometimes may lead to knee ache. In order to prevent that from happening we should know how to protect our knees. In this article we’ll discuss what measures we can take to be less prone to injuries and knee pain.
Get the right shoes
There are 26 bones, 19 muscles, 33 joints and 107 ligaments in your foot. Each of them bears pressure with every step. So your running shoes should support the natural structure of your feet – pronation, supination, high arches, etc. – and diffuse the stress placed on your feet.
Avoid heel striking
While running be careful – your feet shouldn’t get ahead of the rest of your body. Don’t step past the knees. If your feet get ahead of the knees, you are putting too much pressure on the knee joint which can lead to various problems. Your feet should be landing beneath you.
Don’t lift your knees
Only sprinters should be lifting their knees. If you are an average runner, forget this advice. If you lift your knees your feet will get ahead of your body and you’ll be putting too much stress on the knees with every step you take. The knees should be swinging low while the heels should be up.
Don’t straighten your knees
Many people make the mistake of straightening their knees while their feet land. But this leads to placing a whole lot amount of pressure on the knees and the heels. Instead, keep the knees bent and soft.
Lean your body forward
While running the way your foot lands back on the ground leads to the creation of specific forces which impact the joint of the knee. To decrease these forces you should lean your body slightly forward. This way the knees won’t bear the weight of your body – your hips will. Thus, you can reduce knee ache and the chance of knee injuries.
Increase the rate of your stride
The stride rate is the most important factor which impacts the knee. When you run slow the quadriceps place less force on the knee and you decrease the load on the knee joint per stride but the overall load (aka the load for the entire run) increases. If you run faster, you can reduce the overall pressure which is put on your knees during the run.