By Jo Cordell-Cooper*
AS a water-based exercise specialist, I regularly meet clients for exercise programs to help tone and strengthen leg muscles in the lead up to and weeks following knee surgery.
While it is good advice to go into surgery with as much fitness as possible, it can be quite another thing to find exercises that do not create pain.
Water bridges the gap. Here are my top four exercises that will help retain leg strength prior to surgery:
In deep water, use a noodle behind you and under your arms to keep you buoyant. Now stretch out front and back mimicking a cross-country skiing action. Keep shoulders over the hips and ankles as deep as possible. This tones the buttocks and thighs.
Again in deep water and using a buoyant aid, cycle your legs like you have really big pedals on a bike. Again, have shoulders over hips and ankles deep. This tones thighs and hamstrings, as well as buttocks if you really stretch and lengthen.
Suspended in deep water, this move is on the spot. Sit like you are on a chair and widen your knees. Without moving your hips, extend one leg and bend the other to touch your own bottom. Bend, straighten and repeat, Think of a Russian Cossack dancer – that’s the move – it’s just suspended in water. This tones the thigh muscles, focusing on the quad or front of the thigh.
Come to the pool edge and have everything in contact with the poolside. Keep the hips still and lift the heel to kick the bottom – left, right, bend, straighten. This tones the thigh muscles, focusing on the hamstrings (back of the thigh).
There are many exercises in addition to these that will ensure you are in the best shape possible prior to your surgery.
And if you are confident with these movements when you have recovered, you can return to the pool with your body already familiar with these movements.
You can then pick up where you left off, but with a nice new knee to move forward with.
Thirty-minute sessions are available at Friends Health & Fitness and can be booked with Jo Cordell-Cooper directly on 0409 862 206. All 30-minute sessions come with a written program for you to take away and work with at your own convenience.
*Jo Cordell-Cooper is the owner of the award winning business Active Solutions and Health Network. Make contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0409 862 206.