Bad habits for breaking your knees right now

TThere’s a joke going around on TikTok about people discovering they’ve been “wrong.” It may sound silly, but it’s true: we often grow up without adequate posture, and then we’re shocked when we’re in pain.

Sure, it’s something most of us do every day—yet we’re doing it in a way that’s counterproductive. It is so common for our daily habits to have negative consequences when we take them away from us.

A common victim of our subconscious habits is our knees. The good news? “There isn’t a lot [day-to-day] Positions that are going to wreak havoc on your knees,” says Christine Torres, DPT, a physical therapist in California. So standing in itself may not be the problem. However, “some mechanical—preventable!—problems are bad for your knees, and [can] causes primary osteoarthritis,” says Dr. Torres.

Here’s how to stack the odds in your favor and avoid knee pain by breaking these three bad habits for your knees.

Bad habit 1: Not wearing the right shoes yours two legs

The primary culprit behind knee damage? “Bad shoes for your feet,” Dr. Torres insists. “Now, everyone’s feet are different. But for the most part, you want to have good flexibility and mobility in your foot in the shoe and not make them too tight.”

That, whatever your arch like, he said always We recommend a shoe with a wide toe box, a minimal shoe or maximum support style.

He knows it may sound like a weird tip for knee health. But “the knee is home to two powerhouse joints: the ankle and hip joints. “Knees need to be strong in order for them to be strong,” she says. The right footwear helps your joints function harmoniously and stay in healthy alignment, thus preventing injury and pain.

Bad Habit 2: Not Exercising Your Glute Meds

“For not ruining your knees, you need Have strong glutes—primarily a strong gluteus medius,” says Dr. Torres. When your “glute meds” are weak, your femur internally rotates too much. “This causes a valgus ball (or knee injury) in the knee joint,” she says. “This can lead to early medial (or inner knee) osteoarthritis.”

The solution? He recommends incorporating gluteus medius exercises into your movement routine as often as possible — as often as every day. Think: side leg lifts, and single-leg squats.

Bad Habit 3: Not stretching

We know, another annoying reminder you hear all the time: stretching is really important. “One of the best tips I can give you is for your knees Always expand before exercise,” says Dr. Torres. “It doesn’t matter if it’s running, weight lifting, HIIT, cardio workouts, Pilates, or anything else, when you go into a workout with muscles that aren’t warmed up, you’re setting yourself up for failed form, which will negatively affect your range of motion. .”

His recommendation to his clients is to use dynamic stretching to warm up, followed by any static stretching as a post-workout cooldown.

Dynamic stretching, he says, is a series of active, fluid stretches in a repetitive pattern (as opposed to static, where you hold a certain position for several breaths). A dynamic warmup “gets blood flowing to the muscles, allowing you to go deeper into the range of motion each time you move,” says Dr. Torres. Think leg swings or walking lunges. “Here great for your body, and can prevent both injury and early-onset osteoarthritis.”

Static stretches, on the other hand, stretch muscles to help them relax after a workout, Jordan Gould, founder of stretch studio Stretch Zone, previously told Well + Good. It can help increase flexibility and relieve pain.

“Moral of the story: Stretch every day!” Dr. Torres said. “Take those 10 minutes and do it. Your knees will thank you later.”

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