“I have a full knee replacement and would like to know which exercises I can do without damaging my knees.” – Jenny
This is a great question and is applicable to anyone who has general knee pain or knee osteoarthritis. Stabilization of the knee is critical before beginning any lower body workout. You can do this by doing hip-strengthening exercises first. Once you have the knee stabilization, you should be able to do most lower body exercises without the risk of damaging your knees.
Some of the best hip-strengthening exercises include:
- Side-Plank Leg Abduction
- Glute Bridges
- Standing Single-Leg Abduction
- Single Leg Squats
We have instructions for some of these exercises here on the blog, but if you have any questions, ask a personal trainer to demonstrate the move with you.
Some key guidelines to always remember for a knee-friendly lower body workout include:
- Always start with hip-strengthening exercises to warm-up.
- For all lower body exercises, always make sure the knees stay in line with the feet.
- When squatting and lunging, make sure the knees never cross over the toes.
- Avoid plyometrics or jump-squats, which increase pressure in the knees.
Remember to discuss any new workout routine with your own physician before you go to the gym to make sure that exercise is safe for you.
On January 5, 2012, The New York Times published an article on the risks of practicing yoga. With extreme examples of paralysis and stroke, author William J. Broad inevitably will scare the average yogi to terminate her practice. However, as a medical professional and yoga-enthusiast, I believe there are risks involved in any physical activity we participate in. The best way to ensure a safe and effective workout, regardless of the technique, is to listen to your body, always ensure proper form, and go at your own pace. In response to the Times article, I’d like to offer these five simple tips to help you keep your yoga practice safe and injury-free.
Tip #1 – Go at your own pace.
Yoga is designed to be all about the individual. Focus on how far you can move into each pose without competing with the woman next to you. We all have past injuries and structural imbalances that may prevent us from holding certain poses.
Remember that it’s completely acceptable to sit out of certain poses if your body isn’t ready.