Resistance Training And Knee Pain In Old Age
You may have some inflammation/joint problems in old age from exercising too hard in young age, but these issues are way better than the issues that you may have to face for having not done exercises.

Read in this article: Is Strength training/weight lifting bad or good for knees in old age & what you can do to avoid its damaging effects?

Are you looking for exercises to strengthen your aging knees? Yesterday, a visitor to my blog asked me: “I am 60+ of age. I do workout and weightlifting. It gives me plenty of energy and good feeling. But my knees hurt enough to make me wonder how long I can keep up the workouts. Do you have any suggestions?

So, I decided to write a post on the subject. Read on..

Can Strength Training Damage Knees And If Yes, How To Avoid?

I am myself of 65 age. I have been doing workouts in gym for the last about 2 years now. Hereunder, I will share my views and experience:

Doing any type of weight or resistance training on a regular basis can in fact be beneficial to people suffering from chronic joint pain, according to “Arthritis Today.” But, the caveat is: “Using improper form, lifting too often or lifting weights that are too heavy can lead to joint problems.”

To prevent any joint pain (including knee pain) and the damage induced by weightlifting, it’s essential to follow a basic set of guidelines before starting a resistance training or weight lifting routine.

I advise to everyone, especially the old people, to follow these tips:

Pre-Workout Stretching

Stretch before you do any workout or weightlifting. Stretching for 5 to 10 minutes immediately before lifting weights or resistance training helps to prepare your muscles and joints for the upcoming stress. Do static stretching as it works best. This means that you hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds instead of bouncing back and forth. Keep in mind that jerks are not good for the health your joints,tendons and muscles.

Warm Up

Just after a good stretch, warm up your muscles by walking briskly, jogging or lifting light weights for 5 minutes. This will make the blood flow throughout your body by increasing your heart and breathing rate. Massaging the joints, which often experience pain while you work out, for example the knees or shoulders, can be beneficial too.

During Workout Routine

Avoid weights that are too heavy for you, particularly if you have felt joint pain in the past. I use this thumb rule: “Use a weight up to a limit with which you can do the weightlifting exercise or strength training for not less than 10 repetitions.”

Trick: You can build strength and muscle size even by using lighter weights and performing 10 to 15 repetitions per set. Don’t copy the bodybuilders. They mostly use heavy weight and low reps to build muscle. They are professionals, so as an average person we should avoid this type of training.

Do Those Exercises To Strengthen Muscles That Support Your Knees

According to Joseph Hart, an assistant professor of kinesiology and certified athletic trainer at the University of Virginia, who often works with patients with knee pain:

“ Robust leg muscles, especially those at the front and back of the thighs, stabilize the knees.”

An effective exercise to strengthen these muscles is squat. Although, you might have heard that squats harm knees. But to quote Dr. Hart: “Squat exercise is actually “quite good for the knees, if you do it correctly”.

He further says: “The correct way is to stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend your legs until your thighs are almost, but not completely, parallel to the ground. Keep your upper body straight. Don’t bend forward because that movement can strain the knees. Dr. Hart recommends, initially try to do 20 squats without using weight. When that becomes easy, hold a barbell with weights attached.

Another exercise, which is beneficial for knee health is straight leg lifts. Sit on the floor with your back straight and one leg extended and the other bent toward your chest. In this position, lift the straight leg slightly off the ground and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 to 20 times and then switch legs.

Here is a useful video that shows few other exercises that focus on strengthening the knees: See this video:

Post Workout

(i) After a workout, remember to repeat your pre-workout routine for 5 minutes to avoid your muscle and joints getting cooled abruptly. The stretching and jogging after workout will help your body to begin the recovery process as well.

(ii) Recovering from a resistance or strength training workout takes 1 to 2 days, so get enough rest and do not lift the next day so as to not risk damaging your joints or limiting your muscle gains.

Use the above tips to avoid injuring or damaging your knees or joints while working out, that is do pre-workout warm up properly, lift lighter weights, rest enough, do the exercises for strengthening knees and post-workout stretching.

Bonus Tips:

(i) Keep your weight under control. Carrying extra pounds definitely strains knees and contributes to pain and eventually arthritis.

(ii) Before you begin any workout regime, talk to a physician, especially, if your knees often pain, feel stiff or emit a strange, clicking noise, which could be symptoms of arthritis.

(iii) Best ways to getting fit after 60.

Are you having any knee or joint pains? What precautions you are taking while doing weight lifting or strength training? Please share your views with us.

Renu Bakshi AKA Fitness BuffhqAbout Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Health Coach. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “I am now healthier and fitter at 68 than I was at 28. For me age is just a number!”

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