Basketball players constantly jump and run, which puts a lot of stress on their knees. As a result, knee injuries are common in basketball players. There are several things that basketball players can do to strengthen their knees and reduce their risk of injury.
Different Steps To Strengthen Knees
Step 1. Strengthening The Muscles Of The Feet
One of the best ways to protect your knees is to strengthen the muscles in your feet. Strong foot muscles help take the load off your knees, reducing pain and preventing injuries. There are many simple ways to do this, such as calf raises, toe raises, and heel lifts.
Step 2. Strengthening The Tibialis Anterior Muscle
Here are a few exercises that can help strengthen the anterior tibialis muscle:
- Standing calf raises: Place your feet hip-width apart and hold onto a sturdy object for balance. Slowly raise onto your toes and then lower back down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
- Seated calf raises: Sit with your legs extended in front of you and place a weight on your thighs just above your knees. Slowly raise your heels as high as possible and lower back down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
Step 3. Strengthening The Calves, Quads, Glutes, And Hamstrings
Calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings work together to support the knee joint and prevent injury.
- Begin by performing a few calf raises. Slowly lower your heels below the level of your toes, then raise onto your toes as high as possible. For an added challenge, try doing single-leg calf raises.
- Next, move on to squats. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Be sure to keep your knees from moving forward past your toes during the squat.
- To target the glutes and hamstrings, try lying leg curls. Lie face down on a weight bench with your legs hanging off the edge. Curl your legs up towards your butt, then squeeze your glutes at the top of the curl for maximum benefit.
Step 4. Be Aware Of Training Volume, And Don’t Progress Too Quickly
Training volume is essential to consider when trying to strengthen your knees.
You don’t want to progress too quickly when increasing your training volume. A sudden increase can lead to knee pain and other injuries. It’s essential to be aware of how much you’re doing and increase gradually.
Listen to your body and pay attention to any pain or discomfort you may be feeling if you experience any backoff, and take a few days’ rests before trying again. By being aware of these things, you can avoid potential injuries and keep your knees healthy and strong.
Step 5. Build Stability And Correct Motor Patterns Around The Knee Joint
Building stability and correcting motor patterns around the knee joint is essential for preventing serious injury. Here are four exercises to help you strengthen your knees and get back on the court:
- Hamstring curls with resistance band
- Goblet squat
- Double-leg calf raise
- One-legged balance on Bosu ball
Step 6. Build Strength & Power Around The Knee Joint
Several exercises can be performed to build strength and power around the knee joint. One exercise is called the single-leg Romanian deadlift. This exercise works the hamstring muscles responsible for stabilizing the knee joint.
Another exercise that can be performed is the leg press. This exercise works the quadriceps muscles responsible for extending the knee joint.
What Are The Most Common Knee Injuries For Basketball Players?
Some basketball players’ most common knee injuries are patellar tendonitis, ACL tears, and MCL tears.
Patellar tendonitis is inflammation of the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone.
Knee Sprains And Strains
Knee sprains occur when the ligaments that support the knee joint are stretched or torn. This can happen when the knee is suddenly twisted or bent beyond its normal range of motion. Strains occur when the tendons or muscles around the knee joint are stretched or torn.
There are two types of meniscal tears: inner and outer. An inner tear occurs when the knee is flexed, while an outer tear happens when the knee is extended. Meniscal tears are common in athletes, especially those who play basketball.
ACL, MCL, And LCL Ruptures
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are basketball players’ most common knee injury. The ACL is a ligament that connects the femur to the tibia and helps stabilize the knee joint. An ACL tear can occur when the knee is hyperextended or when there is a sudden change in direction while running or jumping. Symptoms of an ACL tear include pain, swelling, and instability of the knee joint.
Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears are less common than ACL tears but can still occur in basketball players. The MCL is a ligament that runs inside the knee and helps stabilize the joint.
To strengthen your knees for basketball or any high-impact sport, it is important to do a combination of weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing exercises. These exercises should target all the muscles around the knee joint, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
Clyde Jackson III is a basketball coach and the founder of GCBC Basketball, a basketball-related learning and informational website that focuses on helping young players develop their skills on and off the court. With over 15 years of coaching experience, Clyde has worked with players of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to professionals.