There are two specific threads of
discussion on this topic.
- A walker must improve his flexibility and style to ensure that his style helps him land with a straight leg and then lends itself to rotating through the stride with a leg that remains straight. I will discuss this at some time in the future as this is a big topic.
- The knee must be generally healthy - ie have a range of movement and be strong and able to support a straight legged action on an ongoing basis.
In this article I will restrict myself to the second of these two points - how to build up knee strength and health. We are really talking here about the sort ot exercises that a physiotherapist might subscribe for someone after a knee operation. Here is what might be given to you by way of recuperation exercises:
Perform these exercises sitting on the floor with your back against a wall. Note that exercises A-C can be carried out standing up if no floor space is available.
- Stiffen knee by pulling knee cap towards you with foot turned up. Hold for 10 - 30 seconds, then relax. REPEAT 10 TIMES HOURLY.
- Stiffen knee as before, lift with leg straight then lower slowly with knee straight - Relax muscle when leg lowered. REPEAT 10 TIMES AT LEAST TWICE A DAY.
- Stiffen knee as before, lift one inch off floor, take
leg out to side and back, keeping knee straight - Relax muscle when leg
REPEAT 10 TIMES AT LEAST TWICE A DAY.
- Stretching exercise. Whilst standing, grab foot and bend leg backwards as far as possible, hold for 10 seconds and perform as often as you like.
Once you are comfortable with this and feel the extra strength and suppleness in the knee, progress onwards..
- Build up to 3 sets of 10 lifts (ie. 30 lifts), pause for 30 seconds between sets. When 30 lifts become too easy, add weight (eg. 1kg to foot and repeat as before.
- Lift weight on side when ready, lying on good side.
- Lying on stomach, cross legs at ankles - bend knees to
45 degrees resisting own knee bending - Hold for 10 seconds and relax.
10 TIMES AND THEN CHANGE LEGS - TWICE A DAY.