Tag Archives: Strength Training

Weak Knees : Exercise to Strengthen Weak Knees

Weak knees affects a few runners. A reader of this blog sent me an email asking me what she can do with her weak knees.

The New York times had an article on the issue of running and knees.

Running Makes your Knees stronger

In a Stanford University study researchers followed middle-aged, longtime distance runners (not necessarily marathoners) for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1984, when most were in their 50s or 60s. At that time, 6.7 percent of the runners had creaky, mildly arthritic knees, while none of an age-matched control group did. After 20 years, however, the runners’ knees were healthier; only 20 percent showed arthritic changes, versus 32 percent of the control group’s knees. Barely 2 percent of the runners’ knees were severely arthritic, while almost 10 percent of the control group’s were.

Debunking the myth that Running leads to degeneration of the knees

The word on the street is that running may weaken your knees but In another scientific study runners knees were scanned before and after 1997 Vienna Marathon. Ten years later, they scanned the same runners’ knees again. The results were striking. “No major new internal damage in the knee joints of marathon runners was found after a 10-year interval,”

According to Ross Tucker, a South African who blogs about running injuries he said the best solution for weak knees is targeted strength training. If you work on the the muscles that support your knees, hip stabilizers, quads, hamstrings you will have strong knees. It is weakness in one of these muscle groups that causes knee injury.

Another interesting solution I picked from comments on the NY times article was this one by a Dr. “The issue is weight, not running. The more you weigh, the greater the chance you will develop osteoarthritis as you age. The key is to remain slim lifelong.”

VIDEO : EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN KEY LEG MUSCLES TO PREVENT INJURIES

This video should help

Quad Muscle Strengthening Exercises

The quads muscle is one of the key muscles used in running together with the calf. Doing targeted strength training exercise on the quad can help a runner to run faster and minimise injury.

Strength training exercise on the quad can help to make the quad stronger, increase endurance and minimise the incidence of injury.

The following livestrong video shows how to strengthen the quads.

John Goodman Weight Loss Tips : How He Lost 100 Pounds

When you have been overweight all your life it is very easy to say I was born like that and there is now way I can loose weight. John Goodman, the famous actor, is evidence with will power nothing is impossible. Three years of hard work has seen him lose some amazing 100 pounds.

One thing I loved about this story, it was nice to see a celebrity lose that much weight without drugs, some fancy diet or surgery.

John Goodman Fitness Tips

The actor shared his weight loss tips with Mens Health magazine,  He quit drinking three years ago, hired a health coach, exercises six days a week now and doesn’t eat sugar.

Cardiovascular/ Aerobic exercises on Elliptical Machine

Because of painful knees he couldn’t do outdoor running so his workouts included aerobic exercises on the elliptical machine and recumbent bike. He also did a lot of strength training with resistance bands, and boxing twice a week.

Thats it!

Best Core Exercise For Runners

The best way to ensure you remain injury free is to combine your regular running with some targeted core exercise.

The core exercises will strengthen your abs, back and pelvis for better banlance and stability.

This idea of working on core exercise came to me while reading an interview of a 56 year old runner, Reno Stirrat who just finished 2010 Boston full marathon in 2.40s. This Dude has been running sub-three hours marathon since 1970s.

To be able to run that fast over the years you need to work hard on your fitness to ensure you remain injury free.

When Reno was asked his injury prevention secret, core exercises, especialy for the hips. he answered.

He was kind enough to describe his exercise routine,

For the upper body I do pull ups, push ups, dips, running arm motion with 10 lb. dumbbells and curls. For the legs I do one-legged squats with 15 lb. dumbbells and lunges with 15 lbs. I also do one leg hip exercises with a band for the hips. Sit ups, plank, side plank and reverse plank are what I do for core . I do this 2 to 3 days a week.

Do some of this core exercise/strength training exercise and you will becomen a better runner. You will train harder, run faster and run injury free.

Read Reno interview at runners world

Visit Reno coaching website distance running tips

Left Knee Pain While Running : Cause & Treatment

I was reading the latest US president Barack Obama Health report, the doctors certified him “fit to rule” but one item that caught my knee was this one : Obama suffers from occasional pain in his left knee. Medics call it chronic tendinitis.

Left knee pain is a very common injury in people who run. I remember my first year of marathon training, the left knee pain dogged me right to the day of the race. I still remember turning up at the start line holding an anti inflammation gel on one hand and the other hand rubbing the gel on the knee.

Why Left knee and not right knee?

My guess as to why the left knee and not the right knee is affected has to do with the fact that majority of humans are right handed. We use the right leg to kick stuff around and that effort makes it stronger. On the other hand, the left leg is never used seriously, leaving it a weak partner. Have you heard of the statement “USE IT OR LOSE IT!”? It makes sense to me.

Cause of Left Knee pain while running

Apart from my theory of “neglected left knee” medics say the cause of knee pain is due to excessive training; running too much. Another cause is when you suddenly switch from running flat routes to running hilly routes.

Prevention of knee pain

I believe prevention is better than cure. One way to prevent a sudden attack of knee pain is switch your running speed gradually. A sudden change of pace will be a shock to the system leading to injury.

Four step Treatment of knee pain.

  1. Icing – The first line of treatment, sometimes this alone is enough to fix it!
  2. If the pain is too much take a pain killer
  3. Rest – take a break from running.
  4. Strength training exercise, see my video demonstration of how to strengthen your knees

If you don’t get well soon (one to two weeks), see your Doctor/ physician.