15:36 PM

High-Impact Exercise Is Actually *Good* For The Body. So Why Did It Get Such A Bad Rep?

Women's Health Magazine reports on the benefits of high-impact exercise and what you need to know about this misunderstood method in an interview with experts including Samantha J. Stuek, MD, sports medicine physician at HSS. 

There is no bottom-line scientific study that revealed high-impact exercise is bad for joints and a recipe for pain. But exercise that feels uncomfortable or even painful at times when performed incorrectly or by beginners can create an anecdotal narrative over time.

So, does knee pain mean high-impact exercise is a total no-go? Not so fast. “People can focus too much on impact exercises without doing enough resistance exercise and cross-training to strengthen other muscles—which can lead to injuries,” said Dr. Stuek.  “A muscle imbalance may make younger patients think they have ‘bad knees.’” If your quads, glutes, or core are weak, that can cause knee pain. Fight back with lower-impact activities, like cycling, which can help power up your quads and glutes while building overall conditioning. Straight and lateral leg raises can help with quadriceps strength and glute strength, respectively. “For core strength that can lead to healthier knees, I recommend Pilates and planks,” Dr. Stuek advised.

And dial in on form across the board. You want your knees slightly bent when you land from a jump. Also, do squat jumps by a mirror so you can check for what’s known as “valgus knee” —when your knees point toward each other, which puts stress on the inside of the knee, where arthritis builds up. “If you’re in pain, your body is telling you something. It’s important to listen,” said Dr. Stuek. (It just might be saying something different than what you think!)

Read the full article at womenshealthmag.com.