Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Warm-up exercises protect the knee

Knowing about knees
Risk factors for women
How does the knee work?
These warm-up moves developed by Cincinnati Sportsmedicine's Sportsmetrics program, coupled with strength and flexibility training, can help prevent knee injuries:

Toe/heel walk: Walk up on the toes with straight legs for 10 seconds. The heel of the foot should not tough the ground. Next, walk on the heels with straight legs for 10 seconds, not allowing the toes to touch the ground.

Straight leg march: Walk with both legs straight. Bring each leg up as high as possible without bending the knee or leaning backward.

Hand walk: Bend at the waist and place the palms flat on the ground. Keep the legs and back straight and walk using the hands and feet. Keep the legs shoulder width apart.

Forward lunge: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Face forward and step out with one leg as far as possible. Bend the knees and lower the back leg, stopping just before the knee touches the ground. Do not allow the front knee to extend past the front of the toe. Straighten up by stepping forward with the back leg and bringing both feet back to starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Backward lunge: As above, but step backward. Keep the body upright and centered over the hips.

Leg cradle: Walk forward, keeping the body straight. Lift the right leg in front of the body, bending it at the knee. Rotate the knee outward and the foot inward. Balance on the left leg for three seconds while holding the right leg with both hands. Repeat with the left leg.

Dog and bush walk: Pretend there is an obstacle directly in front of you. Face forward, shoulders and hips square. Rotate the right leg out at the hip, bring it up and over the obstacle, then plant the right foot on the ground. Repeat with the left leg.

Source: Cincinnati Sportsmedicine

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