Knee Injury Prevention Tips for CrossFit

Knee Injury Prevention Tips for CrossFit

While you may be trying to train and perform at optimal levels, overuse or strain may lead to knee pain, which can hinder your performance. Athletes and active individuals who lift heavy weights and perform repetitive bending activities, such as CrossFit workouts, may notice increased stress and strain on their knees. Fortunately, there are solutions to help alleviate knee pain and reduce stress. Continue reading to learn a few causes of knee pain and some knee injury prevention tips that can help!

Common Knee Injuries


The bursae, fluid-filled sacs found in various joints, including the knee, play a vital role in cushioning and reducing friction. However, repetitive activities like kneeling or squatting can lead to bursitis—a condition characterized by inflamed bursae. The repetitive stress can irritate the bursa, causing pain and swelling, and individuals engaged in such activities should be cautious to prevent this injury.

IT Band Syndrome

The iliotibial band, or IT band, is a thick band of tissue that runs along the side of the leg from the hip and down to the outer part of the knee. Overuse can develop adhesions on the tissue which may become painfully inflamed. Runners are also susceptible to this injury because of the repetitive motion of the joint and stress of the foot striking on the pavement.


Our knee joints are connected to muscles via strong, ropelike tendons. When these muscles, such as the quadriceps, become strained and tight, they can pull on tendons surrounding the knee. When these tendons become overused or irritated, they can develop into tendonitis.

Tendonitis is a painful condition that can cause swelling, tenderness, and loss of mobility in the affected muscles. One of the most common tendonitis injuries is called patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, due to its prevalence in sports that require jumping.

Exercises for Knee Injury prevention

In some cases, the source of your knee pain may be caused by muscular imbalances or tension experienced in other parts of the body, like the quadriceps, adductors, or IT band. Below are simple foam rolling exercises you can perform to help reduce tension and release adhesions on these muscle groups that may be causing your knee pain.

*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

Foam Roll Quads

The quadriceps, or quads, are the muscles in the front part of your thigh that connect from the front of your hips to the front of your knees. To foam roll the quads, follow these instructions:

  • Place a foam roller under your quads & balance on your elbows in a plank position.
  • Brace your core & keep your low back straight. Roll from just above the knee to right below the hip joint.
  • Hold the foam roller over any tender areas for 10-20 seconds or until the pain lessens.
  • Spend no more than 2 minutes on the foam roller.

Foam Roll Adductors

The adductors are the inner muscles of the thigh. Follow the instructions below to learn how to foam roll your adductors.

  • Begin this move balanced on the elbows and the toes of the opposite leg.
  • The foam roller should be placed under the inner thigh of the opposite leg with toes pointed outward.
  • Next, slowly roll from the inside of the knee up to the groin to release any adhesions on the muscle.
  • Scan slowly and hold on tender spots until the pain diminishes.
  • You can also shift your body weight towards the foam roller to apply more pressure.
  • Spend no more than 2 minutes on the foam roller.

Foam Roll IT Band

Your iliotibial band, or IT band, is a band of tissue that runs along the outside of your thigh and knee. To foam roll your IT band, follow these instructions:

  • Start this movement balanced on your forearm with your outer thigh on the foam rollers.
  • Next, slowly roll from the top of the knee to the top of the hip rotating at five degrees as you work your way past the hip to avoid rolling over the hip bones.
  • Scan for tender spots and hold this position until the pain diminishes.
  • You can also lower your top leg down and place your foot on the ground to help support you in the movement.
  • Spend no more than 2 minutes on the foam roller.

How Airrosti Treats Knee Pain

If left untreated, knee pain and related conditions have the potential to turn into chronic pain. You should always seek treatment from a healthcare professional for knee pain that has begun to affect your athletic performance and quality of life.

At Airrosti, our Providers conduct thorough injury assessments to identify the true underlying cause of your pain. By pinpointing the cause, they can treat the pain directly at the source rather than just treating the symptoms. In addition, you will have a personalized treatment plan, which includes education, so you are equipped to perform active recovery exercises at home to further boost recovery.

If knee pain has been keeping you from doing what you love, schedule an appointment with Airrosti. We offer both in-office and virtual appointments to best suit your needs.

For more information, call us at (800) 404-6050.

Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

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