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Quad/Ham Question (LisaMarie)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Lisa - you said:

"First of all, the reason for many skier injuries and poor technique is a hamstring/quad mucular imbalance. Since the quads are usually much stronger than the hamstrings, you seriously don't want to do an exercise like the leg extension mahine that uses them in isolation.

Leg exercises can either be open chain or closed chain. Open chain exercises like the leg extension allow the foot to move freely. They can cause shearing forces on the knee. Unfortunately, shearing, forces push the tibia forward and the femur back. The result is a whole lot of stress on the knee. Shearing forces are the same forces that cuase an ACL injury, so every set you do on the leg extension machine makes that injury more likely to happen."

Are there specific leg exercises you recommend instead of Leg Extensions then?? Such as: lunges, squats, etc....

Due to another sport I participate in, I need large quads and Hams so I need to build up both, yet want to be able to ski without injury and have good performance.

I *was* using the leg extension machine to try & build up my quads, but don't want to do so at the expense of my ACL....
post #2 of 6
I'd also be very interested to read the answer to this one, as I hear this problem is particularly prevalent in women. . . I do lots of squats and lunges (regular and curtsy) and wall sits and plyos and stay far, far away from the leg extension machine with my bad knees. What else could I be doing?

post #3 of 6
If you looked at my list - which included some stuff written by a trainer at our AIS - it included things like squats on unstable surfaces & lunges on & off unstable surfaces recovering in different directions etc etc etc....

add some weights to these... etc etc etc.... leg extensions were the exercise the sports doctor from the AIS hated the most... he may learn to love them now he is becoming an osteo-surgeon (oh those knee repairs)

Note - what exercises does H maier do now for his legs - since his accident? Does he need legs as strong as you do?
post #4 of 6
Disski has some good stuff. Recently, I "created" a new closed chain exercise, but it on works in a gym. Do you know the pull-up machine that has you knealing on a pad? You pull yourself up with your upper body.

For legs, but one foot on the step that goes up to the pad, and the other on the pad itself. Hold on to the upper bars. This will keep your spine in good alignment. When you put your foot on the pad, the knee will be bent. Now, simply push down to straighten the leg. Come up with control. Then repeat on the other leg.

Thanks for asking a great question!
post #5 of 6
Open chain - does this include hamstring curls where you are seated or lying down and bring your feet towards your butt? I stay away from leg extensions too but do use the hamstring machines. Are these harmful to the ACL as well? Other recommended hamstring exercises?
post #6 of 6
Good question. Ironically, no. In hamcurls, the patellar is not placed in the compromising position that would create a shearing force. That being said, you may want to add some closed chain hamstring exercises. The best is the stability ball hamstring curl. If you do a search, you'll find that exercise on dozens of threads in this forum.
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