Thursday, January 15, 2009

Equality.

This morning's PT report:

- Flexion at 138°, full extension.
- Approved for slow-count kicks with the operative leg only, supporting on the non-operative leg. Cool!
- Step-down exercises are assigned to work further on strength and smoothness of transition when walking down stairs.

My last measured flexion in the other knee was 138°, so they both seem to be about the same. Further flexion is limited simply by my physiology, at least until I can kneel and sit on my feet!

Using 2lb. ankle weights for straight leg exercises (raises, abduction, adduction, standing hamstring curls). I can do about 20 reps without a pause, working up to 30 solid reps before increasing weight. By the end of the program, the goal is 10 pounds, 30 reps.

My non-operative leg is no stronger than my operative one, so I'm making an effort during PT to emphasize both legs equally.

For those who don't know what they are, slow-count kicks are an excellent exercise for strengthening your hip flexors. Their purpose is to enable greater height and control of kicks.

You begin in a fighting stance, then kick in 4 steps.
This example is for round kicks:

1. Pick up your kicking leg in its chambered position.
2. Slowly extend it out.
3. Slowly swing it just across that centerline.
4. Slowly swing it back.
5. Repeat 3 and 4 until your leg drops like a lead weight.
6. Re-chamber the kicking leg.
7. Put your kicking leg down (if it hasn't dropped of its own accord!)
8. Switch your stance and repeat with the other leg.

They are murder to do at first, but I've grown to enjoy slow-count kicks. When you begin, start on a wall or with a barre to grab, gradually progress to doing them without holding anything for support. Your hip flexors will be crying for mercy, so watch those first steps when you're done! If you do them for a while and they start to feel too easy, try adding ankle weights. Even 1/2lb. at the end of your leg is a huge challenge.

Kicking high takes two things: flexibility and strength. Leaning the torso way back does very little for improving kick height if you don't have strength, and slow-count kicks are probably the best exercise I know of to develop that strength. Enjoy trying them out--I know I will!

3 comments:

Michele said...

You recovered your ROM fast! That is great news.

BobSpar said...

Your recovery abilities are truly amazing. Are you sure you're middle aged? :-)

Hack Shaft said...

Bob, if I'm not yet, I'm certainly willing to learn!

Trust me. Every morning I'm reminded that my external age is definitely higher than my internal age.