Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Knee-Safe Exercises

4 Knee-Safe Exercises: Keep Those Joints Healthy

Here are several suggested exercises to help prevent knee injury:

Squats build strength in the lower body with an emphasis on the quadriceps (front of the thigh). If one is overweight, then chair squats without the use of weights can be performed. A lowering to a parallel position is not critical for those with excess weight. In fact, a partial lowering may be a better strategy to initially protect the knee while strengthening the quadriceps.

Chair Squat

Starting Position:
--Perform this exercise with the aid of a sturdy chair.
--Stand in front of the chair with your back toward the chair and feet shoulder-width apart.
--Keep your head up as a natural extension of your spine.

--Begin to sit in the chair lowering your body until your legs are at a 90-degree angle (if possible).
--Contracting your quadriceps, slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of the legs being fully extended. Keep a slight bend in the knees.

Key Points:
--Inhale while sitting in the chair.
--Exhale while raising yourself from the chair.
--As you get stronger, you will want to add resistance such as dumbbells in your hands.

Here's one anyone can do. If you're experienced and have access to gym equipment, you can use the prone leg curl machine. For beginners, try the one below. Again, we are attempting to strengthen surrounding muscles of the knees to reduce stress on the knees.

Lying Double Leg CurlLying Double Leg Curl

Starting Position:
--Lie on your stomach with both hands under your head for comfort.
--Ankle weights may be worn to increase intensity.

--Contracting the hamstrings muscles, curl both legs toward your buttocks stopping when your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
--Slowly return to the starting position.

Key Points:
--Exhale while you curl your legs up.
--Inhale while returning to the starting position.

Now we move to the inside of the legs -- also referred to as the adductor muscles. Our goal is to completely strengthen the upper leg to protect those shock absorbers.

Lying Leg AdductionLying Leg Adduction

Starting Position:
--Lie on your right side with your right arm supporting your upper body.
--Your right leg should be straight and your left leg should be bent.
--Support your weight on your right arm and left leg.

• Contracting the inner thigh muscles, lift your right leg up until you feel a contraction of the inner thigh muscles.
• After completing the set on the right side, perform the exercise on the left side.

Key Points:
--Exhale while lifting your leg up.
--Inhale while returning to the starting position.
--You may use ankle weights to increase the level of difficulty.
--If you are an intermediate exerciser, you can add resistance to the inner thigh as you are lifting. You can resist your inner thigh with your hand or use a weighted object.
Now, let's make sure we strengthen the muscles below the knee. People seldom work their calf muscles and this is a critical muscle that helps support the knees.
Standing Calf Raise

Starting Position:
• Stand with your feet 12-inches apart with your weight on the front or balls of the foot and knees slightly bent.
• You may wish to use a chair or wall for stability.

• Contracting the calf muscles, lift your heels off the floor until you feel a full contraction of the calf muscles.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of your heels touching the floor.

Key Points:
• Exhale while lifting yourself up.
• Inhale while returning to the starting position.

Perform the above exercises for one to three sets of 12 repetitions on two to three alternate days of the week and use impeccable form.
The exercises above combined with a nutrition program that focuses on body fat reduction will greatly assist in preventing knee injuries. Make sure to add upper body strength exercises, cardio and flexibility exercises to your program as well.

Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.


Eve :-)


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