Do you love exercising? Having a bad knee and wearing a knee brace is definitely something that can distance you from doing what you enjoy the most - but it shouldn’t. Every exercise that you’ve done in the past can be modified so that your knee is safe from harm.
Knee braces are designed to provide additional support to your knee and help you maintain regular physical activity even if it targets thigh and calf muscles. Here are a few tips for working out while wearing a knee brace:
Limit your Range of Motion
In order to stay on the safe side of things, you have to pay attention to your range of motion. So how do you identify your limits for your range of motion?
Flex and extend the leg with the injured knee and identify the points where the pain starts to manifest. It’s crucial to do this when exercising and not when you are lying or sitting down. And never test this while in a lot of pain – it will only make things worse.
Once you get a bearing of your range of motion, limit your exercises to this range so you don’t injure yourself further.
Choose Softer Surfaces
If your workout involves moving, running, or jumping around, you have to pay attention to the surface you work on. You should consider investing in a decent fitness mat. The softness and elasticity of these materials will absorb the portion of the energy which would otherwise end up in your ankles, knees, hips, and spine.
Relieving a great deal of the pressure from your knees will enable you to go through your workout in a safer way.
Tips for Specific Exercises
We understand that everyone has favorite exercises and just because you’re wearing a knee brace that shouldn’t mean you should have to cut out some of your favorite exercises out of your workout completely. Here are a few tips on how you can keep some of your favorite exercises in your workout while also keeping your knee safe:
Explosive and Lateral Moves
Since you are wearing a knee brace, the additional support it provides will allow you to once again enjoy explosive and lateral moves. If your exercise includes many of those movements, make sure that you are using a proper knee brace fitted to your injury and knee size. Knee braces with additional patella stability are a great option for these types of exercises.
Running long distances is a great cardiovascular workout but can prove very inconvenient with a knee brace. This is why you should consider introducing a rowing machine or swimming to your cardiovascular workouts.
When swimming, water removes any impact on the knees from the equation. There’s no need to even wear a knee brace while swimming. On the other hand, using a rowing machine with a knee brace on is far more convenient than running, while it provides the same, if not somewhat better results.
Leg Extension and Leg Curl
Leg extensions and curls are one of the most popular exercises amongst people who wear knee braces. The key thing to do these exercises safely is to slowly build strength in your thighs. To achieve this, you want to limit the range of motion (limited flexion and extension) and use lighter weights when you do leg curls and extensions.
When doing squats with a knee brace, you also have to respect the limited range of motion. Use a chair for stability when doing bodyweight squats. Make sure that your knees are behind your toes and lean on your heels to push your body weight.
With all these modifications, you will be able to work out with ease even while wearing a knee brace. For a look at the best and most versatile selection of knee braces, browse DME-Direct’s knee braces today!