Staying in shape is vital to a happy and healthy life, but when you undergo knee surgery, your usual fitness routine won’t work. This can be a frustrating experience for many patients, especially those who are runners, athletes or lead a very active lifestyle. The following five exercises will help you formulate a new fitness routine that can help you stay active and in shape while recovering from knee surgery, and will also work if you are looking for exercises that can be done when you suffer from bad knees or limited mobility.
Straight Leg Lifts
This specific exercise will help strengthen the quadriceps and improve the stability of the knee joint. Strengthening the quadriceps muscle helps reduce the risk of re-injuring. Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended. Lift your leg about several inches and hold for 10 seconds.
Although this exercise involves very small movements, it’s quite important. Performing ankle pumps helps to circulate your blood back to the heart and reduce the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). While lying flat on your back, flex both ankles and point your toes toward the ceiling. Keeping your toes pointed, rotate your foot clockwise and then counter clockwise for a total of 10 repetitions.
This specific exercise will help to activate your abductor muscles and gluteus medius muscle. Both of these are important for maintaining pelvic stability. To perform a leg slide, begin by lying on your back. With your toes pointed up, slowly slide your leg out to the side and return to the starting position.
This exercise helps to build strength in your hamstrings and improve active range of motion of your knee. To perform a heel slide, lie on your back with your legs straight. Slowly bring your knee into a bent position while keeping your foot flat on the floor. Then gently slide your foot back to the starting position. Work up to 10 repetitions.
To aid in the reduction of swelling and initiate weight bearing after surgery, standing on your toes is a great exercise. When given the okay by your physician to begin weight bearing, begin by holding onto a sturdy surface such as a counter or sturdy chair. Slowly rise onto your toes using both feet. Try to distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Hold the position for five seconds and lower back to the floor. Strive for 10 repetitions performed twice a day.
After surgical intervention, following a well-structured rehabilitation program, like those suggested by Noyes Knee Institute, will help you return to your daily activities and an active lifestyle. Always consult with your doctor or specialist to ensure that it’s safe to begin exercising and to what degree.