Strength training can help prevent knee injuries
The knee joint is one of the most frequently injured joints in recreational and athletic endeavors and is the main support and hinge of the longest lever of the body - the legs. Considering that the legs are utilized in most athletic movements, including running, jumping, walking, pivoting and kicking, it is understandable that this joint is prone to injury.
However, there are several ways to strengthen the knee to help prevent injuries, including many simple strength training exercises that can be conducted in a local fitness center or in the comfort of a home setting.
Shane McClinton, MSPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at Des Moines University Clinic and Human Performance Laboratory, and Dan Julin, an employee at the Buena Vista Fitness Center in Storm Lake, said it was important for anyone who exercises to recognize the significance of the knee and how much it helps people in both day-to-day and general exercise activities.
"The knee joint is actually two joints - tibiofemoral (the link between the two long bones) and patellofemoral (involving the kneecap) - that are stabilized by surrounding ligaments, muscles and other soft tissue structures," McClinton said. "Due to the lack of support from the bony structures, it is imperative that athletes acquire and maintain adequate muscular support and assure ligamentous integrity to prevent knee injury."
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