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dodgy knees...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
hi all, i have dodgy knees from years of imact sports such as gymnastics and trampolining and now i am going to really dedicate myself to skiing and try and spend as much time as possible doing it, i'm worried my knees won't be able to stand the intensity. It is mostly cartilege (sp?) issues which cause the joint to become inflamed and my kneecap to displace. I am taking glucosamine to build the cartilege back up but was wondering if anyone had any good gentle knee strengthening exercises i could work on as heavy squatting etc seems to aggravate the problem too much. Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 9
All low intensity leg excercises will help. I have loose knees, no damage yet (knock on wood) but the ligaments are not very tight, so my knees are not as stable as I would like them to be. Doing reisitance/weight training helps big time. When I ski I always use neoprene knee supports with patella alignment provisons built in. Keeps knees warm, and tighter than without.
post #3 of 9
I have bad knees too (cartilage). Commmon exercises like squats and leg extensions, put extra strain on the knee joint. I have always been recommended to do straight leg raises to strengthen the VMO muscle which apparently is the key muscle in knee stability.

I have good luck and comfort wearing CW-X Pro-Stabilyx tights on most days and the neoprene brace on tough days.
post #4 of 9
Try drinking alcohol. It acts as a solvent to help dislodge most traces of pesky dodginess. But remember, 'it's a treatment, not a cure!' So repeat as necessary.
post #5 of 9
When skiing, never, ever, put a side load on your knees. If you get advice to point your knees in the direction of the turn or something similar, play deaf.

You can reduce the straight-ahead load on your knees by learning retraction turns. That is one of the PSIA Stepping Stones that is way up in the advanced corner for no good reason I can discern. Basically, you keep your outside leg as straight as possible, most of your weight on that leg, and the inside leg retracted and light on the snow. When it's time to turn, simply relax the old outside leg. Your momentum carries your body across the skis putting them on the other edge. You do not forcibly extend the new outside leg--you allow it to extent to maintain contact with the snow.

Also, never acquire the bad habit of sitting back on your heels. The skis don't perform, your quads get tired, and your knees are stressed.

Here's Bode demonstrating the position before he ends the turn:
http://www.zoom-agence.fr/galerie_ph.../img_b/05.html

Here's Didier Cuche demonstrating the end of his left turn and the beginning of his right turn as he relaxes his right leg:
http://www.zoom-agence.fr/galerie_ph.../img_b/08.html\

It works as well for duffers like me as it does for the world's best.
post #6 of 9
What Richie says. Neoprene sleeves keep e-thing tight and warm. Good prophylactic measure for old jocks.

I upgraded one of my sleeves to the type with metal hinges for my "bad" leg. I am thinking of another one so both legs.

I also espouse a neoprene wrap for lower back support. Again keeps e-thing warm and loose. Also, you will need fewer inuslating layers as this REALLY keeps the core warmer.

As for Doogie's comment...while there are few bigger fans of alcohol than I, I do NOT like to drink and ski. I would feel like an @$$ if I tweaked myself on the slopes for the sake of a cocktail (or 7). Go like hell from first chair to about 1:00 (lunch is for sissies) and pound all afternoon (assuming no 3 hr ride home).

Old jock tip #2. Keep a ziplock or grocery bag in the pack. Apres, fill with snow and wrap onto the knee(s) with aforementioned neoprene back wrap or ACE.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
Commmon exercises like squats and leg extensions, put extra strain on the knee joint.
Try something I learned rehabing after knee surgery called "quad sets". Take a small towell and fold it into a pad an inch or two thick, sit on the floor with your legs extended and put the pad under one knee and press down on it and hold for a bit then release, do a number of sets and reps. Don't recall exactly what was recommended, but you prob. get the idea. Another low impact quad builder I like is wall squats - sit against a wall like you are in a chair but not (the more horizontal your thighs are, the tougher this is) and hold for as long as you can till the muscles literally begin to fail and they just begin to smoke then relax and repeat untill you have totally "wrung them out".Then give them DAYS of recuperation/hydration/light activity. Don't need a spendy health club with a bunch of fancy eqipment to get a good workout. These are just some things I have found work well for me.

*Disclaimer - I am not a health professional and do not purport to be one. as always consult your personal physician before beginning any excercise or diet program.


HTH
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
wow, thanks everyone for your replies, have found your advice really helpful and will definitely give the exercises a try, i also like the tip about keeping a bag on you to ice the joint on the way home, definitely a sensible plan! thanks again!
post #9 of 9
I would suggest leg extentions - sitting down, knees bent, ankle behind a padded bar that pivots with a light weight on it - straighten your leg to lift the bar. Do with light weight and lots of reps.

Stationery bike is good as well, since you can adjust the tension for your level of recovery.

Also try an elliptical trainer - no impact and adjustible tension.
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