Weight Lifting & Strength Training Workouts
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Joint pain after workout routines is a common ache many exercisers deal with, but there may be ways to alleviate some of the pain you're experiencing, but be sure to check with your doctor for joint pain that persists. Sometimes, weight lifting exercise can help, particularly strength training workouts that hone in on the muscles in your lower body, like the glutes. You can get these strength training workouts in a number of ways, including, suggest the fitness advisors at WebMD, by walking up hills, or when using a treadmill indoors, "use a 5% to 7% incline grade." Other fitness and exercise routines for glutes can include climbing stairs at a stadium, using a stair machine, elliptical machine or arc trainer, or even inline skating.
Stop Joint Pain Now
Don’t let little aches sideline you. Here are five simple steps to keep your joints healthy and keep you on the move.
That pain in your knee? Yeah, you’re not alone. A recent national survey found that one-third of adults complained of having joint pain in the last 30 days, with knee and hip pain leading the way. Joint pain can sideline even the most serious fitness addicts for weeks at a time. The good news: You can minimize the risks. We talked to two experts about strategies for staying as pain-free as possible.
You might be surprised, but one of the best ways to keep joint pain at bay is to eat right. If you’re going to the gym frequently, you’re breaking down muscle tissue as you hit the weights, run on the treadmill, or bike, bike, bike. If you don’t have the proper nutrition, it’s hard for the body to keep up. “If the muscles aren’t staying strong—able to rebuild and repair—the extra stress might end up on the joint because the muscles can’t support the weight,” explains Adam Friedman, a Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer, kinesiologist and nutritionist.
Must Eats: Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as wild caught fish and walnuts, along with those high in sulfur such as organic beef and poultry, and spices such as tumeric that act as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Must Avoid: Grains that easily convert to sugar like bread, pasta and white rice, sugary foods and beverages like fruit juices, and sweet condiments like barbeque sauce.
Stretch it out
Your elementary school gym teacher told you to get your blood flowing for a reason. Instead of jumping straight into your workout, you should warm up properly with easy movements. “It’s all biomechanical,” says Dr. Walter Bortz, a health and wellness expert and marathoner. “It’s keeping the joint flexible and using it in its correct range, not too much, not too little.” The key is to make the movements dynamic rather than stationary. “Active stretching gets the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, flowing before you take on any serious activity,” Friedman adds.
Warm-up exercises to try:
- A light jog
- Slow lunges
- Jumping jacks
- Jump rope
Most joint pain stems from weak muscles. The reason: Weak muscles can’t
support a movement, which puts extra pressure on the joints. While it’s
possible to strengthen the tendons that connect the joints, it’s much more effective
to build up the muscle. “When we talk about strengthening the joints, it’s more that
we want people to focus on strengthening the muscles around the joints than the joints
themselves,” Friedman says. “It’s about keeping the body in proper alignment.”
Focus on these muscle groups to stabilize and protect your major joints:
- Core muscles for the spine
- Glute muscles for the hips and ankles
- Hamstrings and quadriceps for the knee
The single most important thing to do to prevent joint pain is simple: Keep active. Inactivity will only begat more inactivity, which will begat weaker muscles and more joint pain. “My whole thing is prevention,” Dr. Bortz says. “Inactivity is not an option. If you can’t run, swim. If you can’t swim, ride.”
Ice it down
After your workout, it’s vital to listen to your body.
Ice any areas that have been giving you problems. You might even want to consider
taking a quick ice bath. Friedman suggests dipping into an ice-cold bath for one
or two minutes, then applying a heat source, which can be anything ranging from
applying a heating pad or dipping into a jacuzzi. This will create a pump that pushes
fresh nutrients and oxygen into the muscle and can help keep your joints pain-free.
Or simply try the ice bath alone. “It’s cold, but the benefits are immense as far as
the way it constricts your blood vessels and pushes out a lot of toxins,” Friedman
says. “An ice bath gets rid of any excess inflammation. It also boosts your hormonal
system.” Trust us: It’s worth the chattering teeth.
If your workout routines are bringing you aches and pains in your joints, the first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor. Gold's Gym spoke with weight lifting and other fitness experts to find out ways that you can minimize the risks of joint pain so you can keep exercising pain-free. One idea these strength training workout experts suggest is to boost strength training because most joint pain stems from weak muscles, and weak muscles can’t support movement, which puts extra pressure on the joints. These fitness and exercise experts suggest focusing on the following muscle groups to stabilize and protect your major joints: core muscles for the spine, glute muscles for the hips and ankles, and hamstrings and quadriceps for the knee.
For workout routines that may help alleviate joint pain, consider core muscle workouts performed with free weights "in a manner that involves maintaining a stable trunk," suggest the exercise advisors at the Mayo Clinic, because these workouts "can train and strengthen several of your muscles, including your core muscles." Other weight lifting workouts to increase lower body strength and help stave off joint pain can include squats, which work several muscle groups simultaneously: your quadriceps or quads, hamstrings, and gluteals or glutes. Squat strength training workouts can be done correctly in a couple of ways. Try these fitness and exercise workouts without weights, by standing with your back against the wall, suggests WebMD, or use a "squat machine that requires you to sit or lie with your feet against a platform connected to a stack of weights. Never extend your legs so far that your knees lock because that could cause injury."