Prevention of Injury of the Hip and Knee Joint
The hip is a rarely injured area of the body. However, maintaining a good strength and conditioning program, as well as proper footwear with adequate cushion and support will reduce the chance of injury greatly. Because many actions that involve the knee also involve the hip a balanced conditioning program is essential. Be sure to stretch all muscle groups that attach at the knee and hip (as shown in the stretching handout).
Prevention of Injury of the Lower Leg, Ankle and Foot
Proper footwear and a strengthening program is always the first and foremost step in injury prevention regardless of the joint or area being used. But you can´t forget flexibility. For example, tight hamstrings can lead to lower back pain and a tight Achilles tendon can lead to plantar faciitis (you can stretch this area by wrapping a towel around the toes and slowly overextend the toes as well as isolating the soleus by bringing the foot in during a typical calf stretch and bending the knee). Strengthening the foot can include toe curls (using a towel), picking up objects with your toes (marbles or dice) and balance activities. Strengthening the ankle and lower leg include the tracing the alphabet from A-Z (3x with capital letters, 3x lower case letters), using the resistance tube, and balance activities.
A basic strengthening program for the lower body is all that is needed to increase your strength for walking or running. You want to make sure that the exercises are balanced from front to back and all major muscle groups are targeted. However, a truly balanced program will include upper body exercises as well.
Here is a typical formula used in the FIT principle to address the components necessary for a complete program.
- Frequency: 2-3 times a week
- Intensity: 12-15 repetitions, 2-3 sets
- Type: squats, lunges, toe raises, leg extensions, leg curls, lower back, abdominal crunches. You can also add various foot, and ankle exercises.
If you have questions, email Jenna directly or call her at (250) 216-3353. Customized exercise programs can be developed just for you. 1-on-1 consultations and work outs are also available to help you reach your fitness goals.