A personal trainer suggests avoiding knee pain during leg day and building lower body strength by choosing the right exercises and preparing your body correctly. Squats and deadlifts are great exercises, but if you experience joint pain could be due to a lack of stability through the full range of motion. It’s best to work with a professional to identify the source of the issue for long-term health and fitness.
Assess Your Movement
According to Marshall, it’s a good idea to have a few sessions with a personal trainer before working out alone, even if you’re experienced. A professional can help you identify issues and create a safe workout plan. Sometimes, joint pain results from tightness or imbalance elsewhere in the body, known as the “bad neighbor theory.” For example, knee pain could be due to limited hip or ankle range of motion, as the knee takes on a lot of lower body movement.
Make Sure You Warm Up Properly
Skipping your warm-up is a frequent workout mistake, according to Marshall. To optimize your session, start with dynamic exercises and soft tissue work, like foam rolling or a massage gun, to get your blood flowing. Avoid static stretching as a warm-up and practice movements similar to those in your workout, such as glute bridges or calf raises for a lower body day. Marshall explains that static stretching is not a great way to retrain movement patterns.
To Prioritize Good Form, Use Moderate Weights
Marshall suggests choosing a weight that challenges you but is still manageable to prevent injury. She means starting with lighter weights and gradually increasing them. Marshall prefers a moderate level of stimulation that helps build a connection with the targeted muscle group. Feeling completely exhausted after a workout isn’t necessary for success, as over-damaging muscles can lead to injury.