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Functional Strength for the Body: Knees

Functional movement is a key component to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle. Without functional strength in parts of your body like your knees, shoulders and back, you can find it difficult to complete simple daily activities. Playing with your children or grandchildren or even picking up a fallen object can become a painful task.

We have put together a 3-part series filled with basic movements to help you gain back functional strength. Today, we’ll start by strengthening the knees. See the moves demonstrated in the video below.

Hamstrings

Hamstring Curls: Hold on to the back of a chair or a wall for balance.  Bend your affected knee and raise your heel towards the ceiling as far as possible without pain.  Hold for 3-5 seconds, and then return to the start position.

Calves

Calf Raises: Stand with your weight evenly distributed over both feet.  Hold on to the back of a chair or a wall for balance.  Lift your unaffected foot off the floor so that all of your weight is placed on the affected foot.  Raise the heel of your foot as high as you can, then lower.

Quadriceps

Straight Leg Raise: Lay on your back with one leg bent and one leg extended out straight.  Tighten your muscles on top of the thigh of the extended leg.  While keeping the knee straight, lift your leg up about 12 inches. Hold for 3-5 seconds, and then return to the start position.

Glutes

Side Lying Clamshell: Lay on your side with your legs stacked and bent to a 90-degree angle in front of you.  Your head is rested in your hand.  Keeping your feet together, slowly rotate the upper leg towards the ceiling using your gluteals.  Keep your upper body still.

A large majority of our Guests perform all these exercises10-15 times each. Your range of motion may be small at first, but will improve as the muscles strengthen.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our ‘Functional Strength for the Body’ Fitness Series next Friday!

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