Knee and Back Pain when Training

A top strength and conditioner once said to me:

"Exercise does not hurt you; it’s the way that you are exercising that is hurting you".

Ever watched someone squat and their knees are bowing in (knee valgus)? This can be down to a number of reasons; weak glutes, weak foot arches allowing foot pronation, or adductors are too tight. Maybe all three? 

Exercise technique is sometimes ignored in the fitness industry by gym users and fitness professionals alike. This is probably down to poor education, lack of knowledge of human movement, obsessed with burning extra calories, wanting to beat previous performances or maybe they do not know what muscles are weak, tight, or inhibited.

An example could be that you develop knee pain after squatting, cycling or running after weeks of training on a new regime or programme. You or the trainer quickly blame it on old age, shoes, or it’s cold not realising that flexibility, core strength and technique may have been on the decline. You have been pressed for time and have skipped the pre-mobility exercises and the strength training that supported the activity. Your life consists of sitting at a desk job and your posture is not as nature intended leading to a tight lower back and poor core stability.

A doctor may prescribe you an anti-inflammatory for the short-term but let’s be honest you are merely mopping up the wet floor and not fixing the leaking pipe here. The knee may not be the problem here but rather the supporting mechanisms around the knee and the pain being the result of it all.

Establishing basic human movement, core stability and flexibility must be on the fitness professional’s agenda before prescribing any complex movements such as weighted squats, bouncing movements, Olympic lifts or any exercise that is not the correct technique.

We recommend spending some time on your glute muscles before lifting very heavy loads to avoid any unwanted discomfort. 

On our Personal Training courses we establish quality of human movement so that you can prescribe the very best exercise for your clients so they keep coming back!

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