We all have a love-hate relationship with exercise. After a long day of work, it can be hard to even think about going to the gym. But don't worry! These four exercises will strengthen your joints and help you stay healthy so that you can enjoy life without worrying about future joint pain!
When we begin our fitness journey, we try to focus on becoming stronger and that usually means focusing on our muscles. Little do we realize that our tendons are what produce a lot of our strength and even more so, it's our joints too. Our joints are where a lot of our muscles and tendons attach. So it only makes sense that we need to strengthen your joints and should be the main focus of your fitness journey in the beginning.
Once you have a stable base on which to base your muscle and tendon strength, then you can begin to see some improvements. Firstly, your joints need to be flexible and strong. So what can you do about this? There are some techniques to strengthen your joints that I am about to show you that can be done in conjunction with a fitness routine. So there is not a lot of static strength techniques here, you have to be mobile and working out for these to be effective.
Uphill and downhill running
In other words, running on both an incline and decline gradient. Why? Well, when our body weight is above the knees, central, and evenly balanced, it's not going to challenge our joints that much. However, you do not want to have improper running techniques which will artificially place uneven pressure on your joints. Case in point, we do not want to encourage heel striking purely to strengthen knees and ankles. What you want is good form, but for the gradient to give you the challenge you need to strengthen your joints.
So find somewhere you can run uphill and downhill. This will mean, when you run uphill, the pressure will be on your knees and ankles as your bodyweight is thrust back and your joints have to essentially pull you up the hill. When you run downhill the opposite happens.
Your joints will be tasked with stabilizing your body weight as it's being thrust forward. This relies on your hip joints and your knees once again. It's a great way to awaken your flexors as well, such as in your hips but also your IT band which will be conducting the show as it tries to stabilize your entire leg from your hip to your calves. This workout will help strengthen your joints by working them out in a different manner and having them stretch in different aspects.
Eat more oil
Oils are not all equal, but they essentially perform the same action to strengthen your joints. They are there to lubricate the joints, giving body and flexibility to our cartilage. But as mentioned, not every oil is going to perform as well as the next. Here are some healthy oils you can eat to boost your joints.
- Nuts – Nuts are full of great oils and have been known to reduce joint pain after consistent consumption. The types of nuts you should be eating are macadamia nuts which have the highest healthy fat content of any nut. But, walnuts, Brazil nuts and regular old peanuts are most welcome in anyone’s diet.
- Salmon – The most healthiest of all fats in the world. Salmon is very fatty, oily and juicy. The oil from salmon is superb at lubricating our joints, limiting pain and helping our joints to remain flexible.
- Olive oil – There are so many cooking oils and all of them are good. Coconut oil is great but if you want to keep things simple and there’s only one type of oil you can regularly have in your diet, it should be simple plain old olive oil. It helps your joints and skin to remain strong and healthy.
Products and supplements
Listen, if you want to have strong joints, you should be including at least one type of product and supplement. We all know how hard it can be to consistently eat the right thing. So if you don’t want to remember certain foods and different workout techniques, you might be more in favor of remembering to use certain products or supplements in your quest to strengthen your joints.
One item is flexiseq gel, which is known to help increase mobility in joints. This gel is drug-free. It's got a clinically proven formula, which aids in the reduction of pain and discomfort. So if you have joint pain and thus, cannot exercise to strengthen your joints, this is a gel you can use to get rid of that boulder that’s blocking you from achieving your goals. It makes movement easier, so you can do that uphill and downhill running, or perhaps strength training.
One way to vastly strengthen your joints is to do static holds or rather, isometric holds. These are done by holding a weight or pulling a weight while maintaining a rigid posture usually with straight joints.
So for example, an isometric hold that is commonly used to enable better knee and hip joint strength is just to hold a deadlift at the peak of the range of motion. So you will try to maintain straight legs, back, and hip alignment while holding a heavy barbell. What this does is to put pressure on your muscles in the eccentric phase of a rep, i.e. extending from contraction. This creates more microtears in the muscle, tendons, and ligaments than any contraction. So just by holding still, you can produce incredible strength as you try to maintain a rigid posture with heavy weights in your hands or legs.
This can be done for both legs and arms. Take a look at the kind of isometric holds you can do for specific body parts and joints and tailor your workouts to include at least one or two. The holds generally need to be held for about 30 seconds or more to be effective as this is when the body begins to realize you require prolonged and consistent engagement from muscles and joints. Preferably, aim for anything above 45 seconds to gain the most.
You can do so much to strengthen your joints and it should be part of your fitness routine to include something like a supplement, isometric hold, or different kinds of gradient runs.