Health and Fitness: Dear Acho,

I have been training regularly for a couple of years now. Lately, however, I have started developing some pain on my left knee. It hurts every time I bend my knee. I am concerned. I would appreciate if you could help me. 

Nawang , 21. 

Dear Nawang,

Most joint pain or discomfort is a result of repetitive stress upon the joints. If you ignore it like most weight trainers do, an injury is imminent.

Injuries should be prevented at all cost. Most will never recover to their former selves once they suffer from a serious injury. Also, active individuals who train consistently, when forced to halt all physical activity do fall into some level of depression.

Common causes and solution to knee pain: 

1: Rest: As painful and annoying as it may be to rest, it is absolutely necessary to rest until your knee pain and inflammation subsides and disappears completely.

Tip of the week

Chondroitin, glucosamine and MSM supplements will help anybody with joint degeneration, pain and inflammation.

2. Not sufficient warm up:  It is absolutely necessary to warm up your joints and muscle prior to putting it on maximum load or stress. The older you get, the more warm up you need. Insufficient warm up can lead to joint and muscle wear and tear.

Solution: Warm up with isolated (single joint) movement for the major muscle that you are training on that given day. So, for leg training, I would recommend multiple sets of very light high reps (20 minimum) of leg curl and leg extensions.

3. Bad form: A very common mistake I have noticed over the years is descending too quickly and bouncing out the bottom on pressing movements like barbell squat and leg press. Doing so shifts the load from the muscles and onto our joints and connective tissue, leading to strain, pain and injury.

Solution: Slow down the negative part of all the movements. Doing so will ensure keeping the tension on the muscle, preventing injury and better over all muscular development.

4. Training too heavy:  “Heavy”, like most expression, is relative, by which I mean if you cannot lift a weight with good form for at least 10 reps it is too heavy for you.

Solution: Personally, I prefer to train legs with 20 repetition per set, that way you don’t stress your joints and really fry the muscle to force them to adapt and grow, most don’t train with 20 reps, because it’s so much more difficult than the popular 8-10 repetition workout. Challenge yourself and enjoy the results, few are fortunate or brave enough to enjoy.

5. Poor nutrition for joints: Most active individuals are either ill informed or ignore the need and importance of specific nutrients to keep the connective tissue and joints healthy.

Solution:  A supplement containing at least 1,000mg of glucosamine, 750mg of chondroitin, and 1000mg of MSM a day.

Tshering Dorji (three times Mr Bhutan winner), is a certified fitness trainer and specialist in performance nutrition


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