Strong Knee’s: How Do I Strengthen My Knee’s? CORE in Austin, Texas Can Help…

Stephen:
All right, hey, hey guys, what’s up? It’s Stephen Dunn with CORE Therapy and Pilates, and welcome to Mindful Movement Monday. Today we have Alexis teaching a class, and it’s all about strengthening your knees. So if you’ve got knee problems, you have trouble going up and down stairs, trouble standing on one leg to put on your britches, well, time to try this little knee-strengthening class out.

Alexis:
Hi, everybody. All right, so we’re going to strengthen all the muscles around the knee so that the knee itself doesn’t have so much stress, it doesn’t get so much pressure. And like Steven said, when you’re going up and down the stairs, when you are on your vacation walking. So, start by straightening out one leg, and flex the foot.

And kind of find how you want to pull up the kneecap, up into the quad muscle. Pull up the kneecap towards your nose and then lift that leg up about 10 centimeters. Not as high, just hand-width off the floor.

Megan:
Inches?

Alexis:
What is this in inches? I don’t know, what this is this in inches.

Megan:
4 inches.

Alexis:
4 inches, yes. Not that high, it’s more like floating off the floor.

Megan:
Right here.

Alexis:
Yes and obviously what you want to also be paying attention to is, that you can’t contract so make sure that you’re not arching your back off of the floor and you hold this for about 10 seconds and then we switch ours. So I think you’re all good and we can switch and keep reaching out, through your heels, breathing. And switch back to the first leg. And then in here, you can really pay attention, make a note to yourself, does the right side want to turn on more? Does the left side want to turn on more? Switch sides. And if it’s the case that there is a really a big difference then start with your chocolate side, so start with the side that has an easier time with their exercise and do that a couple of times and then we check the other side.

Alright, bring your legs back in and then we go onto regular bridging so bring your feet about hip-joint wide apart, you don’t have to bring them that close to you but just bring them a little bit closer together and then slowly and consciously lift your butt off the floor and go into your comfort zone bridge. Doesn’t have to be super high, activate your quads, activate your glutes and reach your knees out over your feet, as if you want to make that diagonal of your body longer. And then slowly and consciously, settle back down, one vertebrae at time, let your back sink back into the mat. And one more time, lift up and then you want to bring in the upper body and think you pushing into their pinky line, the outside line of your arms to help you lift up. And slowly, come back down.

Good, and we stay in bridging for the next routine, you put the ball between your knees so you can just have a little bit of resistance on the inside. Find it all the way between the knees and then same thing, press your pinky line from your outside the arm all the way across the shoulder, go into the floor and lift up, reach your knees out, long yes. They are all doing this perfectly, they keep breathing really nicely, I don’t even have to say anything.

Good and slowly come back down. And come up one more time. So here I only have them repeat the exercise once or twice, when you do this at home, obviously you can repeat this a lot more often but I would not go past 10 repetitions and you will see where your body feels good, keep checking in with your body and come back down. And then we switch from the ball, which by the way you can use pretty much anything that gives you a little resistance like yoga block or cushion or soccer balls, basketballs, whatever you have at home then you switch to the theraband and put the theraband above your knees or right around the knee which they all now have, I gave them the loops but you can use just an easy resistance band that you pull and you make into a knot. Make sure that in here, your feet are still parallel and hip-wide apart and same thing, to a bridge and just like before with all the other cues, you bridge up slowly and reach your knees out and think you want to keep this theraband here taut between your knees. And slowly come back down.

And one more time, come on up and the sink back down into the mat. Alright, then you can come out of the theraband, before I put you all to sleep! Hop onto standing, they’re all super tired of laying down this Monday. So come on, let’s get standing and we’re going to do squats. These ladies, they are all fine, but if you already feel like in the previous exercises, it was a little too much then the squat might not be quite yet for you but I want to give you just a variety for laying on the floor and for standing. Parallel feet, regular squat, think you want to reach your butt back as you come down and it can be a mini squat so you don’t have to go all that far down. Make sure that your knees are behind your toes

Megan:
I can’t, my knees are too bad.

Alexis:
Good to know, you can do this next rotation, you can open up and then I would say don’t go down as steep. Come back up, leave your hands on your thighs, you can also in the beginning find something to hold onto, like just behind a chair or a countertop. How’s this when your an extra rotation?

Megan:
It’s better, I can find my heels then.

Alexis:
Okay, so just like with Megan, you can find your own personal comfort zone, whether or not you want to open your legs wider or whether you want to have them parallel, whether or not you want to be a little bit in an extra rotation. Do one more time or in order to find more balance like Shayla’s doing, you can reach your hands further forward. In the next one when we’re standing, we’re going to lunge and so in the lunge, we’re not going to do a walking lunge so you just take a big step forward and then the back heel can come off the floor and just think you want to sink straight down, same thing, you want to bring the knee behind your toes and come back up and give me about 5 on each side. How is this for your knee, bend the back knee, as you break the back knee down into the floor?

Megan:
Yes, it’s better.

Alexis:
So don’t shift over the full foot. And then something else with the squats, if you feel this is too deep of what these ladies are doing, they are almost at the floor then do a mini lunge. You will activate all the same muscles even if you go just a few inches up and down. It doesn’t have to be a big move. As you develop more strength and as you develop more stability, overtime you can make this move bigger and you can increase your repetitions. I don’t know where you’re at, you are counting all yourself, wonderful. When you’re done with that, come back into a parallel stance, just find a comfortable stance, you can take a few steps to know where and then we are going to do a heel raise, that’s our last one for today.

When you start out with that, you feel like balance is an issue, find something to hold onto like a back of the chair, kitchen table. See if you guys want to do this without something to hold onto so you raise your heels up high and you will notice that some of us will be a little wobbly and slowly sink back down. That’s totally fine, it just means that your foot starts to adjust and your leg muscles start to adjust and as they talk to each other, find the balance, there’s going to be, some days more and some days less balance. Alright, and then come all the way back down, and then turn towards facing the center. Take a few steps to know where and then just to bring it all back together, take a big inhale and exhale, swallow and done.

Awesome, so that was my little pre-segment for a video for our thrive program that I will hopefully get to present to you very soon and if you have questions, leave me a comment or talk to us when you will see us next in the studio and I’ll see you.

Call 512-215-4227 to learn more about our Physical Therapy, Pilates and GYROTONIC® programs…

If you need some assistance with your knee pain, if you need to walk better or if you are avoiding stairs, it is time to come in for a FREE Discovery Session »

Stephen Dunn

Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans. Immediately interested in hands on therapy, he began to study with known manual therapist Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in Santa Monica at retroFit Pilates in 2002 and is Certified through The Pilates Method Alliance. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind body awareness exercises using Pilates concepts was the start of his whole body treatment approach.
Stephen Dunn

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