Author Topic: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?  (Read 668 times)

FootsieDAX

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exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« on: January 06, 2020, 10:04:28 PM »
Hi, can anyone suggest some off-ice exercises that would help me strengthen the muscles around my knees? I am doing lunges and squats, but I don't think they're enough. I am asking because, when I try to do forward lunges on ice, I cannot come back up! My forward leg is just not strong enough for me to be able to stand up on only that leg. So unless I somehow shift part of my weight on my back leg, I cannot stand up from that lunge  ;D Of course, because of this, I don't go down too deep into the lunge in the first place, so I'm not actually doing a lunge, what I do is rather something like "fearfully dragging one foot behind on the ice". Any advice is appreciated!

Leif

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Re: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 07:20:07 AM »
There are many Iím sure. I had bad knees, and did and do a range of exercises that have worked wonders. The main one is the Bulgarian split squat. Stand in front of your bed or a chair with your back to it, one foot in front and about two feet from the bed/chair, one foot behind and resting on the support. Now move your body downwards, keeping your back straight, until your front knee is a right angle. Then rise up. Use your front leg, not the back, to lift. Repeat ten times on each leg. Videos on YouTube will make this clearer.

It is very unpleasant, I loathe this exercise, but it works and does strengthen muscles around the knees. You can also do simple squats without weights. Maybe place a gym ball behind you against a wall as a partial support. Squats with dumbbells too. Gyms have machines that allow you to push against weights, that might help.

I can skate on one leg, and drop down, I canít do the teapot (pistol squat).

FootsieDAX

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Re: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 10:27:31 PM »
Wow, thanks Leif, I tried this today, it's very difficult but exactly what I need, I think! I couldn't do three in a row, let alone ten, so I have a lot of work ahead  ;D
Strangely enough, I can almost do a teapot on skates (after more than a year of trying and failing). I definitely can do it without skates, holding one leg up with my arms for about 20 seconds. But when skating, I fall over backwards -- it's probably because I don't lean forwards enough. It takes practice but I am slowly getting there.

Leif

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Re: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 09:03:12 AM »
Thatís impressive, the pistol squat is an advanced move. Iím surprised you canít do many Bulgarian doodahs, but they are hard at first.

WednesdayMarch

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Re: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 03:22:09 PM »
One I teach is Plies but for skating rather than ballet. ie moving and with no turnout.  You skate forwards on the flat of the blade with the free leg stretched out behind you (not necessarily high), then bend and rise slowly on the skating leg, all the way - or as far as you can go - down the length of the rink.  Not only does it help develop those lovely thigh muscles, when done properly it starts you utilising the "hidden push" by shifting your weight to the back of the blade as you rise up, creating a bit of very useful momentum.

Ballet plies (without without a barre) are also extremely good for developing the strength needed for lunges/drags.
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Phantom Para blades. It's still a bit slippery.

Leif

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Re: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2020, 01:15:43 PM »
One I teach is Plies but for skating rather than ballet. ie moving and with no turnout.  You skate forwards on the flat of the blade with the free leg stretched out behind you (not necessarily high), then bend and rise slowly on the skating leg, all the way - or as far as you can go - down the length of the rink.  Not only does it help develop those lovely thigh muscles, when done properly it starts you utilising the "hidden push" by shifting your weight to the back of the blade as you rise up, creating a bit of very useful momentum.

Ballet plies (without without a barre) are also extremely good for developing the strength needed for lunges/drags.

That sounds very useful, I will try it.

FootsieDAX

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Re: exercises to strengthen knee muscles?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2020, 09:37:03 PM »
Leif, a month later I can do 10 Bulgarian splits  :) They have helped enormously, thank you very much for suggesting them!

WednesdayMarch good tip those plies, I will try them next time I am at the rink. I took a break for a few weeks as I've been away but I was back at the rink today and it was great.