Easy on the join workouts???

blb078

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Easy on the joint workouts???

I've been hitting the treadmill since Jan. At first it was all ok, but recently I've noticing my knees and ankles hurting(I don't have the strongest knees to begin with and some minor ankle issues). Can anyone recommend some low impact workouts that I can do at home or my gym that will help my cardio like a treadmill will? I've tried an elliptical but it's not the same even when I go longer on the elliptical than what I normally would compared to a treadmill I don't notice it as much.
 
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shaun

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I have knee problems also so I stick to low impact. I do the stepmill 99% of time but also do elyptical here and there. Are you taking anything for joint health?
 

ohhiitznik

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I've been hitting the treadmill since Jan. At first it was all ok, but recently I've noticing my knees and ankles hurting(I don't have the strongest knees to begin with and some minor ankle issues). Can anyone recommend some low impact workouts that I can do at home or my gym that will help my cardio like a treadmill will? I've tried an elliptical but it's not the same even when I go longer on the elliptical than what I normally would compared to a treadmill I don't notice it as much.

You may need to change how you run. Do you land with your heels out in front of you? That can cause a lot of shock to your knees/heels/ankles/back. Check out https://www.youtube.com/results?sea....180.1088.10j4.14.0...0.0...1ac.1.WgaHVgjQcSE

It may help your knee problems/ankle problems. Because what it sounds like is you have some damage from the shock of heel striking while running, especially if everything was fine to begin with and the only thing you do is run.
 

ohhiitznik

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Basically midfoot striking in a nutshell is making yourself have a smaller stride, and try to focus on staying upright and landing on the balls of your feet while you run. You know how you walk when you try to sneak? Thats basically what mid foot striking is in a nutshell. Try to run quietly and it should alleviate all pain in your knees. The constant pounding you hear while running is taking a toll on your joints.
 

Jeff Martin

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Stepmill !!!

Alternate between HIT (2min smokin / 2 min slow) and heavy pack on the step mill. You will be ready !
 

Darren Best

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Pulling or pushing a sled and kettlebell swings.

Also like another poster said, examine how you run.

I am a firm believer in ditching the long distance running and doing sprints instead.
 

Slim Jim

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I've been running for years and just recently my right knee is giving me some aches and so now I'm looking at buying a road bike before I start having some serious issues. Road bikes are a great workout with low impact the only problem is they're not cheap
 
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blb078

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Thinks for the tips. I'm definitely a heal strike runner so I'll look at changing that up to midfoot strike. For those that do just short sprints, how long do you do them for?
 

RosinBag

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Stair Climber with a pack on is an ass kicker....mountain biking is also very good along with swimming....
 

jmez

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As for the sprints, until you can't do anymore. To start out run a 100m and then turn around and walk back, soon as you get back go sprint again. Do that until you can no longer sprint. I do them up hill and by the time I'm ready for elk hunting I can do 15-20 of them. Also mix in some burpees if you really want to make it hard. Do 10 burpees then immediately sprint for 100 yards, walk back and go again. I can only muster 10 sets of this when in elk shape.

Also what Rosinbag said.
 

Jager

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All good info offered imo.

I used to be a competitive distance runner, know my knees just cannot handle it. One of my favourite alternatives is to spend an hour on the treadmill at 7 to 8 km/hr at a 6% minimum incline, low impact but does the trick.
 

Racethesunset

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Did triathlons for a long time, and understand the soreness you are talking about pretty well.

I found that trail walking or running is easier on the knees than a treadmill, but the treadmill is better than concrete.

Make sure to stretch the ITB like no other regardless.

Swimming is your best bet for low impact fitness outside of antigravity / low gravity treadmills, which are amazing if you have access to them.

IMO cycling is counterproductive for running and hiking because of the mass it builds in antagonistic muscles (for hiking and running), and because of the strain on the ITB. Cycled for a decade and had to bust my butt to get any sort of run fitness to balance out.
 

Darren Best

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Treadmill isn't the same as real walking and flat land work doesn't compare to mountains. Swimming doesn't carry over very well, neither does bike work, tried it all and had numerous conversations with a guy that tried it all also and he had come to the same conclusions and he had been killing elk on the north fork of the St Joe for almost 30 years.

Sled work not only gets you over in nearly the same angle but works the same muscles as climbing a mountain, the only thing it leaves out is thinner air and the downhill.

Hill sprints are king above all else, but brutal in terms of will power to keep going and keep doing them. They are also amazingly easy on the joints.

A couple more I forgot about is weighted carries, I'm not talking about 50 lbs in each hand, 100+ in each hand is where the magic starts to happen. You won't believe how light you feel after carrying 300 lbs for 50 yards. :)

The other is single leg squats and it's progressions. The balance control, mobility and flexibility required are very good indicators of muscle imbalances.

Sprints are really hard on the body, you have go easy on them and make sure you are fully recovered before you do your next session, DON'T go on a schedule, go when your body is 100% ready. Sprint until your speed starts to fade and your wind doesn't come back as quickly as the first couple runs. This may be humbling the first couple of times, but leave the ego at home.

So it varies, it can be 3 - 50 yard sprints or 10 - 100 yards before you start to feel yourself get a little winded. I'm not talking about total exhaustion pile of goo, I mean when your speed is fading sooner and it takes longer to get your wind back. Go slow, go easy and work your way up.

Take your time, I cannot stress that enough. Getting stronger, faster and having more endurance don't mean jack squat if you are constantly injured.

I learned this lesson the very very hard way and deeply regret pushing myself WAY beyond what I should have, just because I was on a schedule and hunting season was just two weeks away. I ended up with tendonitis on my left ankle and knee that was so painful that even stepping off the front porch was nearly impossible.
 

Snyd

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I don't run anymore but still am able to haul heavy loads in the mtns and I'm 52. Rigorous cycling. Indoor and/or outdoor depending on weather. Squats if done PROPERLY!! Hiking up hills with a pack. Start low, work your way up. General active lifestyle. Walking, skiing, etc.
 

Jager

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Treadmill isn't the same as real walking

Very very true.

The reason I suggested training on a treadmill is it is a constant flat surface for the injured athletes foot to strike rather than the continual lateral angle changes when running on a road or trail, this is very traumatic for joints, particularly for those that are suffering joint issues, like knee and ankle problems. Definitely does not replace doing the miles in the fresh air, it is a good compromise though if suffering from the aforementioned conditions.
 

Ridge Ghost

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I agree with working on your form. Changing from a heal strike to midfoot strike often makes all the difference. If you have a hard time getting the form dialed in, try running barefoot on your treadmill and it should come pretty quickly. Ease into it though- your feet and calves will not be used to this new style and may get sore pretty quickly if you over-do it.
 

Racethesunset

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Another gentleman mentioned hill sprints - this is definitely king for fitness building, and easier on joints than you'd think as long as you take it easy on the downhill side.

I'm going to say it again because others have discounted it above and that's a mistake: low impact sports like swimming are a phenomenal way to gain fitness without the stress on the joints, and the transition to walking and hiking is less antagonist for low impact sports. Do not discount swimming if you are prone to knee, ankle, or hip injury. It is used extensively in PT, recovery, and cross training across sports. Another great option is cross country skiing, if you have the geography and climate for it. Cycling works well, however, you end up building mass in the legs (not a bad thing!).

Whatever you decide, listen to your body and make the decision based on that. A ten minute fit session in a local run shop will help get you in the right shoes for training. That might be a good next step.
 
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Racethesunset

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Very very true.

The reason I suggested training on a treadmill is it is a constant flat surface for the injured athletes foot to strike rather than the continual lateral angle changes when running on a road or trail, this is very traumatic for joints, particularly for those that are suffering joint issues, like knee and ankle problems. Definitely does not replace doing the miles in the fresh air, it is a good compromise though if suffering from the aforementioned conditions.

There's a lot of literature on running and walking forms, however, nobody seems to have nailed down a 'perfect' form. Across continents people with shoes, without shoes, people running five minute mile paces and twelve minute mile paces, strike the ground differently. Practicing different forms is a sure fire way to gain strength familiarity in the method you practicing, however, whether one form will prevent injury over another form is suspect. The benefit of cross-training forform is that you will use different muscles and ligaments in the foot, and hopefully strengthen those structures. Clearly there are 'bad' ways to run, e.g. striking overly hard, having too much vertical movement in your stride. These I would also pay attention to, and try to minimize.

Good luck!
 

Shane

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The more CrossFit and other strength training I do, the less my joints hurt. When I only focus on running, treadmill work, etc. without doing strength training, my knees, ankles, feet, and back hurt.
 
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