Jeffrey Rice (Jeff Rice) wrote:
Are there any particular exercises or stretches people think would be particularly useful in reducing the chances of a knee injury in aikido?
(no comments from the peanut gallery on knee injuries in running, I've heard them already. :P )
Squats. Deadlifts. Lunges.
Although the impact forces in running seem to add up to much more than what you will apply with weighted squatting and lunging exercises, for some reason the studies show that weight exercises tend to do more to strengthen all the structures of the lower limbs. The important part is doing them correctly and allowing for adequate recovery, which can be tricky if your knee-stressing schedule is already loaded.
Incidentally, as with squats, much of the popular hype/belief about running being inherently bad for the knees is nonsense. In the absence of pre-existing pathology, biomechanical problems or running form errors, there is no reason that even fairly large doses of running should necessarily be detrimental to knee function.
In general, if you do a lot of running without knee problems, you are probably way ahead of most Aikidoka in staving off knee injury.