Of course, what’s going on?
“We have a member here and his knee is hurting him. Could you talk to him?”
No problem, that’s what I do!
I approach the member and exchange some small talk at first covering such fascinating topics such as the Saints being awesome and LSU’s chances at yet another national title.
OK, maybe not about that…but small talk none the less.
It turns out he had been a member for about 2 months and his knee started to hurt while running.
He had been doing an hour on the treadmill about 3-5 times per week and had experience some pretty awesome weight loss.
However, now he can’t run and isn’t sure what else to do to keep the weight loss going or how to fix his knee.
I am ecstatic that he saw results.
However, I am not surprised that he is now injured and cannot continue his routine.
I was there once too. Plugging away endless miles on the ‘ol Treadmill. Doing just fine until out of nowhere…boom, I tore my ACL. No not the lively, local festival – the ligament 🙂
It was extremely painful and definitely not fun, but on the bright side it spurred me to begin researching. I was determined to find the reason behind my knee injury. Why did this injury occur? What steps should I employ during rehab? And ultimately, how could this injury be prevented in the first place?
An interesting piece of evidence that I found was that there is a positive correlation between treadmill sales and ACL injuries. More treadmills and more people on those treadmills mean more bad knees.
Why is this?
Over 85% of Americans have what is known as Anterior Tilt. This means that they have tight sitting muscles (top of thighs) and weak standing muscles (your butt).
There is a repetitive action involved with running on a treadmill that makes anterior tilt worse…..and it’s the same with the elliptical, bike, and stairs machines.
When you are on the treadmill, or any other traditional cardio equipment for that matter, the top of your thigh is always resisting gravity each time the foot is lifted.
The front thigh muscles get a really great workout (you feel the burn.
Unfortunately, the back of the leg gets almost no work at all!
This is because you are on a conveyor belt and there is nothing to push off of.
Every time your foot pushes off of the conveyor belt, the conveyor belt is moving as well.
That’s why it always saddens me to see a member who has the best intentions, but gets derailed from their workouts as soon as they start to see results.
However, when you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
We get out of bed every morning and spend half an hour or so commuting in to work, once we arrive we proceed to sit another 8 hours at our desks, then we are sitting again on our back home, and if you are like most, you are tired after a long day at work and decide to relax by relaxing on the couch while you read or watch tv…and oh yeah! How do we eat? That’s right, most folks eat sitting down.
Then it comes time to exercise and the most popular choice (“What are you working on today?” “Oh, just thought I would do an hour of cardio!”) Continues to feed this dysfunction.
We just can’t win!
So what are we to do?
A few ideas:
Switch to exercises that you can do on the ground. The choices are almost endless. Here are the first dozen that roll of the top of my head.
2) Smash the Heavy Ropes
3) Wave the Heavy Ropes
4) Mountain Climbers
5) Bear Crawls
6) Prisoner Squats
7) Jog in Place!
8) Medicine Ball Slams
9) Dumbell Snatches
10) Push Press with Dumbells
Pick a “work” interval for each exercise like say 30 seconds. Perform as many reps in 30 seconds as possible
Then pick a rest period, say 30 seconds also.
Rest for that time before moving on to the next exercise.
Continue doing this for a pre-determined number of rounds…..
Then pass out on the ground in a pool of sweat and enjoy that while the rest of your body (read body fat) may hate you now, but at least your joints are OK!
And if you feel awkward doing those things on your own or don’t know any of them?
There is hope for you too.
1st perform a mobility warm-up to fix all those muscle imbalances (more information on this coming in future posts).
Pick a machines to use like the elliptical or stairs. Then simply go for 20 seconds as hard as you can (this is relative to the individual) and then “recover” for 40 seconds.
Continue to do this for no more than 15 minutes.
If it isn’t hard enough, then you need to increase the speed, shorten the recovery time, or increase the “work” time. Just never exceed the 15 minutes.
Then end with the mobility work again as a cool down.
You will end up burning a lot more fat than the traditional hour straight of cardio, plus your joints are going to love you because you aren’t overloading a bad pattern for yet another hour.
So let my pain be your gain. I have found a way to burn tons of fat and keep your joints healthy in a fraction of the time.
With all that being said, at the end of the day it’s not what you know that counts.
It is what you DO with what you know that matters.
Till next time,