Day 4 Exercises
As with a lunge, begin by standing upright and taking a very large step forward with your affected side. Keep the toes of your back leg planted and your knee in a slightly bent position. As with squats, keep your forward knee in-line with your foot and knee behind your toes. Now bend your front knee to lower your body and touch your back knee to the ground. Then, stand and step back to your starting position. Next, step to the side with your affected side and bend at the knee to lower your body but keep your non-affected leg straight. Step back to starting position.
Last, step backwards with your affected leg and bend at the knee so that your knee is almost touching the ground and both knees are bent. Step forward back to starting position.
Switch to your non-affected leg and repeat all the steps. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds for each leg.
Lateral Band Walks
Lateral Band Walks are a great hip strengthening exercise. Stand with feet close together and knees slightly bent. Place the looped band just above your ankles so that it is snug and there is a very small bit of resistance. Take a step to the left with your left foot and follow it with your right foot, bringing the feet together again. Take a total of four side steps in this manner. Then, in the same manner but leading with your right foot, take four steps back to the right. Be sure you are taking large enough steps that you feel the resistance of the bands. Repeat in both directions five times.
As if you were going to sit, stand in front of a chair with your weight on the foot of your affected side. As you squat down to sit in the chair, lift the non-affected leg out out in front of you. Once your buttocks touch the chair – and without actually sitting on the chair – use your affected leg to return to a standing position. As you get stronger, use a lower surface. Complete 10 times with each leg.
As you are now very familiar with squats, you will see that this is essentially jumping from the lowered squat position.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outwards. Push your buttocks back and bend your knees, keeping your knees in-line with your feet and your knees behind your toes as you would a standard squat. Forcefully straighten your knees and leap into the air, pushing yourself upwards with the balls of your feet. Land on the balls on your feet with your knees slightly bent, then slowly control your gentle descent back into the squat position. Repeat 10 repetitions.
Lay on your stomach on a firm surface. Prop yourself up on your forearms and lift your pelvis in the air. Doing this should leave just your toes and forearms on the surface. Keep your stomach muscles tight to keep your body in a straight line. Start with trying to hold for 15 seconds. As you get stronger, continue to progress the time you hold the plank with the goal being one minute.
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 towards 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 towards 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.