Dealing with knee pain can be an extremely frustrating injury. The knee is a crucial joint for almost all forms of movement, from resistance training to running to most other athletic endeavours. That is why successfully rehabilitating an injured knee is crucial to building long term movement and health.
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Using eccentric exercises is a great way to place a specific body part (in this case the knee) under a great deal of tension for a long time. This allows us to move through a rather short range of motion but for a long enough time that it can still create a stimulus. If these exercises were performed with any sort of speed they would be ineffective. This is why adding an eccentric nature to the exercise is extremely beneficial.
Eccentric exercises can be extremely effective when working to rehabilitate a specific body part. This is because they allow us to put emphasis on building stability and control, while focusing on technique.
Eccentric exercises for the knee allow us to provide the knee with a very small stimulus that can ensure that we are both avoiding pain signals but also progressing in terms of strength and stability.
Working around injuries during a well designed full body resistance training can be an excellent way to ensure you are staying in great health whilst rehabilitating your injury. If you already do plenty of strength training, then this is by far the best option that will make the rehab process much easier to deal with.
If you are short on time or just not interested in strength training outside your rehabilitation then pure rehab sessions will be very effective. These can be monotonous, so make sure that you’re planning them into your week and that you are getting them done. Also, do not pick multiple exercises to work the knee during one session, this will be exposing it to too much stimulus. It goes without saying that any strength training your planning on doing should be discussed with your physiotherapist beforehand.
In order to progress from where you are to where you want to be, you will need to apply progressive overload, the slow and methodical increase of work to the exercise you are trying to improve. This means starting light and easy, then progressing intensity once you have adapted to the stimulus.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.