Bad running mistakes that are killing your knees

If you’re a runner, you should probably have your own cardio routine in place. To ensure you stay on top of your game and in good health while you take these steps, we spoke with Stephanie Thomaspersonal trainer Fitwhich shares some very common, but harmful things Management Mistakes that kill your knees. (For those who didn’t know, Fyt is the nation’s largest personal training service that makes expert-guided fitness—whether virtual or in-person—comfortable and accessible to everyone.)

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started your running journey or have been doing it for years; Any runner can suffer an injury. according to Berkshire Independent HospitalThe most common joint to sustain injury from running is the knee. If the structures inside and outside of your knee joint are weak, you may have a sprain, dislocation, fracture, or tear in your hands. Runner’s knee, which is when you feel pain in your kneecap or patella, is the most common condition runners deal with. You’ll notice when you run and test Pain around your knees.

Quitting any bad habits and keeping up with the good ones that will boost your performance and help you avoid pain is key. So without further delay, Thomas reveals the running mistakes that are killing your knees. Keep reading to learn more so you can address it as quickly as possible.

Woman doing strength training, plank outdoors
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A very common but harmful runner’s mistake is not to perform strength training along with cardio sessions. Strength training is essential to help build and maintain lean muscle mass as you age, considering that you lose 3% to 5% of it every 10 years after you reach the age of 30 (via Harvard health publishing). So don’t skip it!

“If you don’t include strength training, you may experience muscle imbalances, which can cause problems like runner’s knee, resulting in your knees being sore and achy,” Thomas explains. If you want to become a stronger runner, you need to train your entire body. Thomas suggests incorporating two to three days of full-body strength training into your weekly cycle.

Related: What Running Every Day Does to Your Body, Expert Reveals

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If you run incorrectly, you are likely to experience knee pain. If you’re not conscious of your form, you may put too much pressure on your knees and let your knees skip a step or collapse. This can also happen if you don’t activate your buttocks and core muscles, which can lead to injury or pain down the road.

What does Thomas suggest? Have someone record a minute-long video of your running so you can study your form and see where the necessary improvements can be made. Be aware of good running techniques and signals the next time you hit the pavement. “Once you correct your running form, you’ll realize that proper running form is key to making running fun and ‘easy,'” says Thomas.

Related: Avoid These 6 Things That Are Making You Age Faster Than You Should, Experts Say

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Stretching is critical to a runner’s performance, yet many runners don’t do it enough. according to Harvard health publishingStretching ensures that your muscles remain strong, healthy and flexible, which is essential to maintaining your range of motion. If you don’t stretch, your muscles can become tight and short. When it’s time to turn those muscles on, they’re weak and won’t be able to stretch to the best of their ability.

Thomas suggests extending at least five minutes before you head out for a run. “If your muscles become too tight as a result of running, you may be more prone to injury,” she explains, “and to keep your knees safe, it’s especially important to stretch your quadriceps, quadriceps, and hamstrings.”

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Another of the running mistakes that kill your knees? Your sneakers may be to blame! It is important that you wear the right size of running shoe. If you wear shoes that don’t fit properly, you can experience knee pain and likely use incorrect running form.

“Old shoes often lose their cushioning and support, so don’t feel bad to part with your old pair of shoes,” says Thomas, adding, “It is very important to invest in a quality pair of running shoes. Your local running store. You won’t regret!”

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According to Thomas, increasing your mileage too quickly while sprinting is important. This can put more pressure on your knees, which can lead to pain or soreness. Thomas explains, “As with any physical activity, you want to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. Increase your mileage little by little each week to keep your joints and muscles happy.”

Make absolutely sure that you don’t push yourself too hard; If you are, you will have to shrink it down. When overtraining, you may experience mood swings, muscle fatigue, mental fatigue, body aches and pains, insomnia, poor sleep quality, and an elevated resting heart rate.

Thomas explains that you know you need to seek help from a medical professional or physical therapist if your pain interferes with your daily responsibilities, you are dealing with real pain and not just soreness, the pain returns when you exercise (even after resting for a good portion of the time), The pain is constant, you cannot perform movement exercises without the pain, and you generally feel like something is off.

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