Sunday, April 20, 2014

Best Initial Knee Exercise: The QuadCrunch (TM) (Knee OA Part 2)

There are dozens of knee exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles around your joint.  One crucial muscle to strengthen is the quadriceps or "Quad".  Too often, however, this muscle simply does not cooperate.  We need a simple way to get started.  We need an exercise than can be done anywhere, anytime without any equipment.  Now, we have one, the QuadCrunch (TM).  

The QuadCrunch (TM) helps initiate and reinforce the contraction of the most important component of the Quad---the Vastus Medialis Obliquus or VMO for short.  

QuadCrunch (TM) Video
video

Simply, straighten out your leg and place your fingers over the inside portion of your thigh just above your knee.  This is where the VMO lives.   With your leg fully straight and your heel on the ground, push your leg toward the ground and try to contract the muscle.  If you are successful, you will see your kneecap move.  The reason to put your fingers on your muscle is to help your brain know it is contracting the muscle.  This helps reinforce the contraction.  

I recommending doing a set of 5 contractions, holding each contraction for 5 seconds, 5 times per day.  

This elementary exercise is often ignored but serves as the foundation for more advanced strengthening programs.  It can be helpful for people who want to strengthening their legs for any reason.  It may also be useful for patients with knee arthritis, patellofemoral pain, knee tendonitis and even meniscus tears.  (Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program)

Good luck and get started today.  Remember, this exercise can be done in shorts, pants and almost anywhere.  Simply place your fingers on your quad muscle and straightening your knee with your heel on the ground.  It is best if your are sitting on the edge of a chair.  

It is best to record how many sets per day you do.  That will help you be compliant with the exercise.  We will discuss exercise compliance more in a later post.  

Post any questions, comments or suggestions below.




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