1..2..3..Strengthen your knees!

1) Sit in a supportive chair or on a couch so that the entire thigh (femur) is in contact.


2) Sit tall with relaxed shoulders and your Transverse Abdominus Contracted. Click Here to learn.

3) Extend both knees fully and feel the side of your knee caps with pointer and middle fingers.  You will feel the tendon for the muscles on either sides tighten and track the patella (knee cap).  Be sure the knee cap and toes are facing the ceiling.

4) After repeating 10 repetitions, hold a contraction in extension and then plantarflex (point) and dorsiflex (flex) your ankles.  This changes the muscles being recruited to stabilize the knee.


5) After pointing and flexing 10 times, return to extending at the knee, but this time you will add internal and external rotation of the femur to change the quadricep muscles being used. 


6) You could do another 10 repetitions with the rotation and then take a rest. 

There are many other variations on this simple movement.  I used to do this with an arthritis class I taught and after performing it myself twice a week for a few weeks I began to feel the strength in my running and other sports.  Never underestimate the power of simplicity. 

This exercise helps to alert and strengthen the stability components within the knee as opposed to larger dynamic movements such as squats and lunges, which build upon the power of those muscles. 

Combining this exercise with multi-directional squats and lunges would create a well-rounded strength program for most healthy individuals.  Always talk to your doctor if you have an pre-exsisting pathology in the knee joint before beginning an exercise program.

While performing the exercise tune into the joint.  You may notice small asymmetries in the way the knee extends as you transform between the variations.  This could provide valuable information to a practitioner like myself to help more specifically fine tune your exercise program and avoid potential stress and injury on the joint.


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