No More Knee Pain! 8 Tips for Avoiding Injury During At-Home Workouts
Posted on April 6th, 2020
Alright, guys, let’s tell it like it is: now’s an ‘interesting’ (read: challenging) moment for physical fitness. Most gyms are closed. And we’re not so motivated to move when quarantine living mostly inspires binge-watch sessions. But friends: this too shall pass. And when it’s over, you don’t want to look like you spent quarantine working, watching and stress-eating. Which means it’s time to try home workouts. Of course, we want you to do this safely (and not end quarantine with knee pain or worse)!
So, we’ve scored tips from top fitness trainers to get you started. Today, we’ll share their advice for avoiding home-workout injuries. Plus, some of our best CBD product recs in case things don’t go as planned. Ready to get moving? Join us in the virtual studio!
Tip One: Successfully Set up Your Home Gym
According to Myrna Brady, a certified fitness trainer and founder of MyrnaBrady.com, an online Fitness, Arts and Motivation company, finding the right room with ample space is one of the biggest home-workout challenges. To be safe, “Make sure you have a space that’s free of obstruction,” she says. That means moving things like tables and chairs out of the way. Crunched for square footage? No worries, says Brady. You don’t need too much room—“A 6×6 space is fine.”
Found your spot and ready to get going? Great! Next up? Tuning in to your own body.
Tip Two: Score Some Medical Advice
If you’re a veteran gym rat, you can probably jump right into a home. But if you’re new to exercise, and taking this quarantine as an opportunity to get ripped, be warned: you must seek medical advice before starting a new fitness routine.
Got ailments like knee pain or joint pain? Not to worry, says Brady, you can still work out, you just need to make modifications. If you’re taking an instructor-led online fitness class, she suggests telling your teacher about your trouble spots—before class begins. And if you’re trying a self-led routine? “Be sure to adapt so you can meet your needs,” and avoid any discomfort or injury. If necessary, seek medical advice on what those adaptations must look like. Then, it’s time to pick the perfect workout.
Tip Three: Pick Your Level
When you work with a trainer or catch a gym class, you get guidance on difficulty levels. At home, however, it’s not easy to tell what kind of challenge you’re facing. So, Brady says, “When you’re new to home workouts, it’s best to start basic. Begin with a bodyweight workout, or a barre or yoga class. Ease into your new routine.”
Already working out regularly? It’s o.k. to push a bit harder now, says Brady. “Try a Tabata or boot camp class,” she says. “They’ll really push you and be a little bit more intense.”
And for the couched Crossfitters out there? “H.I.I.T. (high-intensity interval training) workouts are good advanced level classes.” But these aren’t for beginners—to work out at this level, you should already be exercising four to six times a week. Otherwise? Stay away, or you’ll risk a real injury, not to mention additional knee pain, or new or worsened joint pain.
Tip 4: Warm Up (And Cool Down)
When you’re working out IRL, your instructor will likely lead you through a basic warm-up to get your juices going. But home videos or even live-streaming classes may skip this part due to time limits. And, according to Kari Johns, a New York-based group fitness instructor who currently offers Zoom workouts to her quarantined clients, that’s a mistake. Her biggest tip for avoiding home workout injuries? “Make sure that your warm-up is relevant to the workout you’ll be performing at home, to get those muscles prepped and ready to go. And when you’re finished, don’t skip the cooldown or stretching! Your body needs to stretch just as much as it needed the exercise. If you stop short, you’ve missed the full benefit,” leaving yourself more vulnerable to discomfort or injury.
Tip 5: Fuel Your Burn (The Right Way)
Let’s face it: you can get a great workout in your house. But it still ain’t no gym. And, as Brady points out, that means you’ll be training with less than optimal ventilation. The good news? This will likely translate to more sweat. The bad? You’ll dehydrate faster.
Now, don’t use this as an excuse to skip your workout. Just be smart, says Brady, “And have things around you to accommodate the change in your body temperature.” This should include plenty of liquids—Brady loves adding a splash of lemon or citrus to her water bottle, to help take in some additional nutrients. (Or go with our personal fave, a few drops of Tanasi’s water-soluble, hemp-extract drink concentrate. We’ll tell you why in just a bit.)
Next, make sure you’re hydrating all throughout your workout, says Brady. And when you’re done? “Have a post-workout meal with some protein, good fats, and carbohydrates.”
Tip 6: Watch that Form
Your living room may not be a studio, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in a mirror to watch your work. In fact, says Johns, this could be crucial to staying safe! “Being by yourself at home is great if you can motivate yourself into a workout. But try using a mirror to view your body, even if you are following an online Instructor. A little tweak in form goes a long way. Alignment is key to exercising properly and for longevity, so practice good form at home!”
Tip 7: Engage in Moderation
Are you going a little crazy in quarantine? Is your solution to work out? All. Day. Long? Props to you for the motivation, but let’s dial it back a bit, shall we? According to Johns, “When you’re taking classes in the gym or working out, the Instructor or Trainer most likely has a regimen in mind that let’s certain body parts rest and recover.” If you overdo the solo workouts, you’ll lose that crucial rest time, leaving you more susceptible to pesky knee pain and the like. Worse, Johns explains, “You won’t see the benefit you’re looking for from your body…only extra fatigue and lack of performance.”
Tip 8: Heal the Hurt (Injury Related or Otherwise)
Alright, let’s say you followed all these great tips. And you still hurt. First off, don’t sweat it—as long as it’s just a little knee pain or something similar, you’ve probably avoided major damage (but seek medical advice for sharp pain, especially if you also notice swelling, changes in skin color, or other major signs of damage.) Barring a sprain or fracture, you could pop some pain relievers, to take the edge off your immediate discomfort.
But for a less invasive, and long-term option, consider the Tanasi topicals: our CBD salve or hemp-extract lotion. Both CBD oil products are designed for applying to areas where you feel achy—especially the kind of ache you feel after upping your exercise routine or trying new movements. Now, our customers say that many other CBD oil products help with athletic recovery, but research suggests that topical CBD is particularly effective for joint pain. Which means we’ve got you covered in the new-workout hurt department! Shop from your couch and score your CBD ASAP, thanks to the miracle of home-delivery!