After having total knee replacement surgery, many people get concerned regarding the amount or types of exercises they can do with their operated leg or legs to keep their strength and increase their mobility.
There is no excuse to allow your legs to lose strength after a total knee replacement. Strength training after surgery once medically cleared, is one of the best things you can do to keep your new knee and body in excellent health.
One of my favorite exercise to keep my total knee replacement strong and functioning 100% after having surgery over 18 years ago is the air squat.
Air squats is an exercise that you use with your body weight only. I also immediately superset the air squats with leg extensions, for instance, to add intensity to the exercise. I may for instance 20-25 air squats and immediately follow with 15 leg extensions or, you can go immediately to hamstring curls. I perform three to four sets total with 30 to 60 second rest period between sets.
I may, for instance, complete 20-25 air squats and immediately follow with 15 leg extensions or, you can go immediately to hamstring curls. I perform three to four sets total with 30 to 60 second rest period between sets.
Use your imagination with your exercise routine, the combinations can be endless.
This is not only a good strengthening routine for your legs but, a nice cardiovascular workout as well.
talk about burning body fat and keeping your legs strong, that is a winning combination.
The idea with the air squat is to lower yourself as deep as possible, not only does this work your quadriceps and hamstrings but, kicks in the glutes as well, a muscle group that most older Americans if asked, think that it is used for sitting only.
Another exercise combination I use to keep my knee replacement and, legs in general strong are air squats combined with barbell or dumbbell straight legged deadlifts. These work again not only your glutes but, is a great compound exercise for your hamstrings.
The key that I have mentioned in multiple posts over the years is the importance of keeping your knee replacement strong by strengthening the muscles that support the knee joint itself.
Preventing muscle imbalances and maintaining strength and flexibility is key to a successful and long-lasting knee replacement that will serve you well.
Walking alone will not get it done. The geriatric crowd of course depending on your starting physical condition, for instance, would not be able to do air squats or progressive hamstring work that I have mentioned however you can if you start slowly.
Modifications in most cases will have to be made for safety and to be sure you are using good and effective body mechanics.
For you boomers like myself that are not ready to roll over and die because “I have a joint replacement”, these are just a couple of effective exercises you can do.
I have done them for over 18 years now so I am living proof they will not harm you. Just make sure if you are not active, to begin with, to work yourself up slowly to the exercises mentioned.
Remember everyone will react differently to certain exercises, find what will work for you when it comes to the type of machine you choose or, the amount of weight you use, but heavy is not good in this case.
If you work out in a gym or fitness center, seek guidance from someone that has knowledge on the staff that can help guide you with the air squat.
Keeping your legs and body in general strong and with lean muscle as we age and after surgery is the best way to assure a better, more vibrant quality of life and looking pretty darn good isn’t so bad either.
Richard Haynes PTA,CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC