Which type of exercise can be complex on the joints? Do you have squeaky knees? Sore shoulders? A hip that keeps popping? Maybe it’s not just getting older. Perhaps it’s your training routine.
If you’re interested in home training or an hour at the gym, you’ve probably met an instructor who wants you to make tons of jumping jacks or lunges, or burpees. Do not feel bad if you are not interested in it. It’s not your joints either.
If you do not love jumping jacks, know that repetitive movements like this can end up being more harmful than hurtful. Think about all the pressure your ankles, knees, and hips are exposed to in these activities. The higher mass you have (if you are overweight) plus, the faster you walk (fast movements), the higher the force on your joints.
A known study by Messier et al. concluded that for every kilogram lost in the study participants, there was a fourfold reduction in the force exerted on the knees as they walked.
Conversely, you exert 4 pounds of pressure on your knees with every extra pound. The pressure is much more remarkable when you land on your knees from a run or other workout. It’s just when you walk.
What exercises can be harmful to my joints?
Running, jumping, plyometrics, jumping, lunges, skipping ropes, and everything you jump in the air before you land again, are tough on your knees.
When it comes to your elbows, shoulders, and wrists, you can injure any activity that involves brisk movements or a weight that is too much for you.
Are you the guy or girl at the gym who likes to throw in the weight pile after each repetition? Then you force your joints to make repetitive movements, which is a recipe for injury.
It can be dangerous to lock your knees on a leg press, especially if the weight you are using is too high. You risk overstretching and getting injured.
When doing these movements, go slow and controlled, with a challenging weight, so that your muscles are challenged but the joints remain intact.
Swimming at your gym, the local pond, or the backyard pool is a great workout. It is much easier for the joints because it reduces the effect of gravity on your body.
Try to tread water for as long as you can muster. Or swim from end to end. Or play a game with others, jump out of the water to nail a ball to the other back.
You can ride using a stationary bike. One nice thing about stationary bikes is that you can change the resistance. Try doing your version of high-intensity interval training.
Turn up the resistance for 45 seconds and try to step as fast as you can. You will notice that it will not be swift. Then lower the resistance until it is super easy to step on for 45 seconds. Then screw it up again. Please do it for only five minutes. So breathe and hydrate!
As promised, you do not need to use anything extra to train in a way that protects your joints. Here is a list of good exercises:
- Wall seats
- Arm raises
- Pelvic curls
The thing is, there are lots of exercises out there you can do at home. Google is your friend, so find someone who has little impact and make them bright.
Be slow and controlled in your movements, do not do anything that puts too much pressure on your joints (you will feel it), and let the muscles do the hard work.