Knee injuries are both annoying and tricky to treat. Some of the more serious injuries, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), are avoidable with the right warm-up.
The warm-up programs, formally known as neuromuscular training, are designed to reduce knee injuries through a series of exercises that teach you how to properly land, shift direction and move. The New York Times explains:
Most of the scientifically studied programs consist of about 15 to 20 minutes of exercises including marching, jumping, squatting and side-to-side shuffling that, Dr. Swart said, “help to wake up the brain and nervous system” and get the entire body moving with sharper coordination. The programs also emphasise landing with knees bent and in the proper alignment.
Among the most thoroughly studied neuromuscular training options are the PEP (Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance) program, which was developed by the Santa Monica Sports Medicine Foundation, and the FIFA 11 program, created by the international governing body of soccer. Both programs are free, and coaches need no training to teach them to athletes.
You’ll find a guide for PEP in the video above. It’s a pretty simple program and if you’re doing anything that bangs on your knees too hard, it’s not a bad idea to give the warm-up routine a shot.
How a Warm-Up Routine Can Save Your Knees [The New York Times]
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