Did you know that the knees are the largest and most complex joint in the entire body? If you’re an athlete, that probably makes perfect sense, given how much you rely on your knees to perform your best on the court or field.
As crucial as they are to movement, knees can be fragile. In fact, knee injuries are among the most common of all joint problems. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, 150,000 athletes tear their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) each year in the U.S. (1) Whether it’s a torn ligament, tendon or meniscus, a stress fracture or worn-down cartilage, if you’re dealing with a knee injury, you’re most likely looking at significant time “on the shelf” and out of the game.
Here at SWEAT IT OUT® COOL COMPRESSION®, we’re all about helping athletes prevent injuries, and our compression tights for knee support do just that! Men and women of all ages and levels of athletic competition nationwide count on our compression gear to help stabilize their knee and hip joints, so they can train hard without their body breaking down.
In addition to wearing our gear during and between training sessions, here are a few other ways athletes can prevent knee injuries:
Stiffness is the enemy! Your knees work in concert with your hip and ankle joints, as well as your hamstrings, to support your weight as you run, jump and cut in different directions on the field or court. To reduce stress on your knees and promote healthy movement patterns, it’s crucial to develop and consistently maintain a stretching routine that limbers up your entire body.
In addition to stretching before activity, a warm-up period is another big key to protecting your knees. Warming up gets the blood flowing through your body and dissipates the stiffness from joints. Launching right into full-speed competition without giving your body time to adjust and coordinate its movements is an injury waiting to happen.
Get to the Core
Core strength is about more than just having good-looking abs. It’s about developing the muscles in the entire torso, as well as the hips and rear end so that when you move, your entire body remains stable. A strong core takes pressure off your knees and enables you to execute all the powerful movements necessary to be successful in your sport.
Make Time to Rest
No matter how much you stretch or how strong you keep your core, if you don’t allow your body time to rest and recover between strenuous activities, you’re looking for trouble. A tired, weakened body is apt to move sluggishly or aimlessly, which can lead to all kinds of tweaks, pulls and even false steps that can damage your knee in the blink of an eye.
Watch Your Diet
Maintaining a healthy weight is a vital element of your overall health, and when you keep excess pounds off your frame, you put a lot less strain on your knee joints. A healthy weight starts and ends with your nutrition. Cutting down on your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates and making sure to get enough protein and healthy fats will not just boost your athletic performance, it will also keep your knees free of pain!
It’s also important to remember to hydrate! Water is the key to all the body’s systems, and in order for them to function properly, athletes should drink at least a half-gallon of water each day (eight 8-ounce glasses). Even mild dehydration can drag down performance and energy levels, which can leave you susceptible to injury.
While injuries can happen at any time, following these tips can help athletes put themselves in a good position to stay healthy and enjoy a long, successful career in their chosen sport.
In addition to offering the best compression shorts for hamstring health on the market, SWEAT IT OUT® COOL COMPRESSION® cares about your health and your success as an athlete. To learn more about protecting your knees or to place an order for our superior quality compression gear, contact our team today.