Staying Injury Free (2)
Allowing The Knees To Go Forward During The Squat
THE squat is one of my favourite exercises. It can be layered to work many different muscles at the same time and should be on your exercise list.
However, when done incorrectly can very easily damage your knees and lower back.
When doing a squat the wrong way, the knees will move forward excessively towards the bottom of the motion.
This will leave the knees far in front of the toes, which should not happen, as it puts a lot of pressure directly on the knees.
When done right, the movement should be the same as going from a seated to standing position. This means that as you lower your body, the hips are pushed back, allowing the knees to stay fairly stationary behind the feet.
Stand in front of a chair or by a wall if you need something to hold onto for balance. It may be more comfortable for you to spread your feet out.
Have someone watch your knees or stand in front of a mirror while you squat to help you monitor this.
You should feel your weight through the front of your thighs, your bum all the way to your heels and nothing on your knees.
When you look down, you should always be able to see you are the tips of your toes. If you can’t, push your hips back some more,
Rounding Of The Back
My mum used to say, “sit up straight,” “don’t slouch.” The same holds true in exercise. Slouching in general is not good for the posture.
Slouching when handling weights, however, is just plain dangerous. If you are rounding your back forward, you cannot engage your deep core muscles and so, the lower spine and surrounding muscles will be under a lot of pressure. So, focus on:
– Keeping your chest up, shoulders relaxed and sliding down your back and your head up to stop your chin from being buried into the chest.
– You can also imagine you have a stack of books on your head with a cup of water on the books.
– This posture applies for all exercises that involve pressing, rowing, squatting and even walking.
Moving The Head Around While Exercising
Another common cause of injury during exercise is the unnecessary movement and throwing of the joints, especially of the head, knees and elbows.
It is very easy to strain the neck with quick movements, especially during exercise.
When using weights or your body as resistance, keep your head still. Going back to my recommendation for abdominal crunches, find a focal point during each move and continue to look at it.