Day 4 Exercises
As you continue to work on strength, there are ways to incorporate strengthening exercises into your life. One example is to perform squats while sitting and standing. When going to sit, assume the technique for a squat (feet shoulder width apart, feet turned out slightly, leading with your hips, bend your legs while keeping knees in-line with feet and knees behind toes) and lower yourself as slow and controlled as possible. When standing, keep the same form and try to not use your hands; drive up to standing position just using your legs. If it is too difficult to sit and stand from a standard chair height, place a pad (such as the one available in the Knee Kit) on the chair. Start with two pads. Once one pad becomes easy then remove the pads and lower directly to chair. Perform 10-15 times. Incorporate this technique while sitting and standing during your usual daily activities.
Reverse lunges use the same mechanics as squats, with keeping your knee in-line with your foot and your knee behind your toes. Begin by placing your hands on a counter top or chair as with squats. Step back with your non-affected leg and lower yourself by bending the affected leg. Maintain your form and go as low as you can, then return to standing position. Repeat the process with the legs in the opposite positions. Aim for performing 10 times for each leg, going as low as possible every time.
Standing Hip Abduction
Stand with hands on a stable structure, such as a counter top or chair. Keeping toes pointed forward and your knee straight, lift your leg out to the side as far as you can go. Keep your shoulders level with the ground (try to avoid leaning to one side and maintain standing up straight). Perform 20-25 times.
Band Hip Extension
Secure the band around a stable post, such as a table leg, chair leg, etc. The band should be a circle (meaning the ends of the band should be secured together). Step into the band with your affected leg and pull the band up so it rests behind your ankle. While standing up straight, contract your quadriceps muscle keeping your knee in full extension. Then lift your leg up as high as you can behind you while keeping your knee straight. Return to starting position and repeat. The goal is to perform 20 times. If this is performed without much difficulty, step back further and/or change the band to increase resistance.
Lie on your side with your knees bent, one leg lying on top of the other. Keep your feet together and lift your top knee as far as you can without rotating backwards. Lower your leg back to the original position and repeat 20-25 times. Repeat with the other leg.
In addition to strength, having good balance is important to safely perform activities of daily living. Exercises that improve balance can help prevent falls and allow individuals to manipulate unlevel surfaces, such as grass, gravel, unlevel sidewalks, etc. Click the picture to perform your balance exercises for the day.
Good flexibility helps maintain optimal knee and lower extremity function.
Each stretch should be held for 30 seconds.
Bring your knee toward your chest and wrap the strap around your foot. Keep your hip flexed to 90 degrees and slowly, with the use of the strap, extend your knee until you feel a stretch in the back of your upper leg and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
Hold on to something stable (like the back of a chair) or against a wall. Step back with the affected leg, keep knee straight, and toes pointing forward. Bend the knee of the opposite leg while leaning/lunging forward. Keep your back heel on the ground. You should feel the stretch in the back of your calf. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
Knee to Shoulder
Bring your knee toward your chest. Grab your knee with both hands and pull your knee toward your chest. You should feel a stretch in your buttocks and/or lower back. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
It is highly recommended to take the time to ice your knee after your exercises. Prop your heel on a bolster from your Knee Kit, or the LRU Pillow, and wrap the ice wrap from your Knee Kit. Rest for 20 minutes.