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-   -   best low impact excercises to strengthen knees and legs? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446196)

2ndServe 11-19-2012 09:23 PM

best low impact exercises to strengthen knees and legs?
 
What are some good ones to strengthen the knees?

Itagaki 11-19-2012 09:44 PM

Well....properly performed below parallel squats should count

corners 11-19-2012 09:58 PM

Stairclimbing while carrying weights or wearing a weighted vest is pretty good.

charliefedererer 11-20-2012 08:13 AM

Hard to beat squats and deadlifts for low impact strengthening.

After an increase in muscle strength, elastic muscles are better able to absorb shock that otherwise would be transmitted to tendons and ligaments.

Tendon and ligament strength is also usually increased with properly performed exercises like squats and deadlifts.
[Although I am quite sure that overzealous exercise can also lead to an overuse injury.]


Cartilage responds favorably to weight bearing loads - up to a point, and as long as osteoarthritis [OA] has not already occurred.

"In general, exercise and loading of joints within a physiological range appears to have beneficial effects over normal day to day activities characterised by modest movement. The anabolic changes induced by exercise appear to enhance the load bearing properties of cartilage and may help explain how lifelong physical activity protects the joint from OA during later periods in life."

["Several in vitro studies have examined the effect of physiological mechanical loading on chondrocyte function and matrix synthesis (Table 3). Indeed, stretching of cells in monolayer cultures and compression of chondrocytes in hydrogels or explants generally leads to anabolic signalling cascades and protective effects. For example, aggrecan and collagen type II gene expression was increased by cyclic pressure-induced strain, hydrostatic pressure or fluid-induced shear stress in chondrocyte monolayers [57–59]. In agarose, dynamic compression at low frequencies increased cell proliferation and proteoglycan synthesis following 2 or 21 days of stimulation [60–63]. In cartilage explants, cyclic compression at frequencies of 0.01 to 1 Hz increased proteoglycan synthesis and gene expression of extracellular matrix constituents, aggrecan, fibronectin and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) [20, 22, 64–66]." ]
- http://www.hindawi.com/journals/arth/2011/979032/

However, it is difficult to say what weight loads could lead to deletarious effects.


It is clear that in joints already suffering from osteoarthrits, heavy loads or heavy impacts can result in worsening problems, as the chondrocytes [the cells in cartilage] seem to be re-programmed to produce more inflammation.

"Normal and OA chondrocytes from diseased joints transmit mechanical signals via the α5β1 integrin, resulting in markedly different downstream signalling events. For example, mechanical stimulation of normal chondrocytes release the chondroprotective IL-4 in contrast to OA cells which produce IL-1β [169]. It is possible that chondrocytes from OA cartilage have been reprogrammed to respond differently to their altered mechanical environment, and it may be necessary to target structural components of the cell such as the actin cytoskeleton [170]. This may allow reversal of biomechanical changes developed during OA disease progression allowing the beneficial effects of moderate exercise to be gained at the tissue level."
- http://www.hindawi.com/journals/arth/2011/979032/

fuzz nation 11-27-2012 02:07 PM

Now that I'm beyond my warrior years, I have a keen appreciation for the things that keep me stronger and more functional on the courts. Even when I was younger, I would maybe ride my bicycle to get around, but now it's my #1 leg workout. If I get a moderate ride at least twice a week, my endurance is much better overall and my legs are typically issue-free.

I ride a road bike and have shoes with those "cleats" that snap onto my pedals, so my legs can both push down and pull up to turn them gears and work more of my legs. Cycling is about as low-impact as we can get and I've seen more than just one or two pros (not just tennis players) mention it as part of their conditioning package. Many athletes love how the bike doesn't put any additional pounding into their legs... works for me.

LeeD 11-27-2012 02:59 PM

Problem with biking for me is that while I can just ride 52 miles a day in 4 hours, and then 40 the next in 3.2 hours, when I hit the courts, I'm pooped after 2 doubles sets.
Just different movement, more sprinting and stopping in tennis, and those cement courts don't give an inch.

boramiNYC 11-27-2012 03:19 PM

most common knee problems are due to forward leaning center of gravity in feet usage. whatever you do place most weight on the heels when you do any exercises. when heels must be lifted there should be very good reason.

Lame_Backhand 11-28-2012 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charliefedererer (Post 7026124)
Hard to beat squats and deadlifts for low impact strengthening.

After an increase in muscle strength, elastic muscles are better able to absorb shock that otherwise would be transmitted to tendons and ligaments.

Tendon and ligament strength is also usually increased with properly performed exercises like squats and deadlifts.
[Although I am quite sure that overzealous exercise can also lead to an overuse injury.]


Cartilage responds favorably to weight bearing loads - up to a point, and as long as osteoarthritis [OA] has not already occurred.

"In general, exercise and loading of joints within a physiological range appears to have beneficial effects over normal day to day activities characterised by modest movement. The anabolic changes induced by exercise appear to enhance the load bearing properties of cartilage and may help explain how lifelong physical activity protects the joint from OA during later periods in life."

["Several in vitro studies have examined the effect of physiological mechanical loading on chondrocyte function and matrix synthesis (Table 3). Indeed, stretching of cells in monolayer cultures and compression of chondrocytes in hydrogels or explants generally leads to anabolic signalling cascades and protective effects. For example, aggrecan and collagen type II gene expression was increased by cyclic pressure-induced strain, hydrostatic pressure or fluid-induced shear stress in chondrocyte monolayers [57–59]. In agarose, dynamic compression at low frequencies increased cell proliferation and proteoglycan synthesis following 2 or 21 days of stimulation [60–63]. In cartilage explants, cyclic compression at frequencies of 0.01 to 1 Hz increased proteoglycan synthesis and gene expression of extracellular matrix constituents, aggrecan, fibronectin and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) [20, 22, 64–66]." ]
- http://www.hindawi.com/journals/arth/2011/979032/

However, it is difficult to say what weight loads could lead to deletarious effects.


It is clear that in joints already suffering from osteoarthrits, heavy loads or heavy impacts can result in worsening problems, as the chondrocytes [the cells in cartilage] seem to be re-programmed to produce more inflammation.

"Normal and OA chondrocytes from diseased joints transmit mechanical signals via the α5β1 integrin, resulting in markedly different downstream signalling events. For example, mechanical stimulation of normal chondrocytes release the chondroprotective IL-4 in contrast to OA cells which produce IL-1β [169]. It is possible that chondrocytes from OA cartilage have been reprogrammed to respond differently to their altered mechanical environment, and it may be necessary to target structural components of the cell such as the actin cytoskeleton [170]. This may allow reversal of biomechanical changes developed during OA disease progression allowing the beneficial effects of moderate exercise to be gained at the tissue level."
- http://www.hindawi.com/journals/arth/2011/979032/

So Charlie Federer, I have OA in my left knee. I am told by my Physician that I am too young to have knee replacement (49 years old), that if moderately active, would have to be replaced again in 10-15 years. At this point, I can no longer play doubles tennis without the pain and swelling impacting my ability to walk for the next (2) days afterwards. I tried cortisone and it only lasted for maybe 3 weeks and the pain and swelling returned.

I have lost 25 lbs., but are there any exercise plans which would/could strengthen the knee/legs enough lessen the impact and allow me to play some tennis without all the swelling and pain? I realize that exercise is just a minimal part, that stretching and icing and other maintenance would have to occur, but at this point, it is frustrating to hear from my doc that I am SOL until I older. I have a great group of friends that I play tennis with, and would like to be able to participate, and be able to walk afterwards.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ramos77 11-28-2012 06:51 PM

I am not an expert on this matter, but maybe speak to a qualified person about riding a bike?

Pretty low impact...

Borrelli 11-28-2012 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramos77 (Post 7037157)
I am not an expert on this matter, but maybe speak to a qualified person about riding a bike?

Pretty low impact...

I'd probably even go with a stationary so you don't need the "pulling up" associated with clip-in shoes.

charliefedererer 11-28-2012 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lame_Backhand (Post 7036654)
So Charlie Federer, I have OA in my left knee. I am told by my Physician that I am too young to have knee replacement (49 years old), that if moderately active, would have to be replaced again in 10-15 years. At this point, I can no longer play doubles tennis without the pain and swelling impacting my ability to walk for the next (2) days afterwards. I tried cortisone and it only lasted for maybe 3 weeks and the pain and swelling returned.

I have lost 25 lbs., but are there any exercise plans which would/could strengthen the knee/legs enough lessen the impact and allow me to play some tennis without all the swelling and pain? I realize that exercise is just a minimal part, that stretching and icing and other maintenance would have to occur, but at this point, it is frustrating to hear from my doc that I am SOL until I older. I have a great group of friends that I play tennis with, and would like to be able to participate, and be able to walk afterwards.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

The best would be to check with your doctor who has a more specific understanding of your knee problems.

However you may find the following information from a review article useful:

"Conclusions

Impact loads are the most likely to result in injury to articular cartilage. Having well-developed muscles decreases the loading on the cartilage and thus has a protective effect. Animal research suggests that exercise--at least when done in the form of running--is not harmful to normal joints even under high loads and over long distances. In contrast, similar exercise of an injured joint leads to arthritic change. The literature suggests that in humans, athletic activity is associated with a slightly increased risk of osteoarthritis. Athletic individuals seem to tolerate similar radiographic levels of osteoarthritis with less disability than nonathletic individuals. Joint injury is the primary factor that increases the risk of arthritis developing in athletes.

Activities that maintain flexibility, muscle strength, and coordination protect the cartilaginous surfaces and help to maintain joint function in joints that have already been injured and in which arthritic changes have developed or are developing. The forms of exercise that meet these criteria include bicycling, weightlifting (with emphasis on closed-kinetic-chain exercises), and pool exercises.

A good program to start with is an exercise bike with the seat positioned high and with resistance set to a low level. After the patient is able to spend 20 minutes on the bike, the seat may be lowered to deepen flexion, and the level of resistance may be increased. The patient may then add leg presses using a low weight and with a high number of repetitions (start with 20 repetitions at a time). Patients may progressively add weight to the leg press until lifting to their tolerance. I tell them to avoid knee extensions despite the fact that these machines are found everywhere. Reactive forces on the patellofemoral joint exceed body weight, even when light weights are used. For patients without access to exercise equipment, straight-leg raises are a good start. Wall sits are a substitute for leg presses, although it is often difficult for patients to start out with wall sits because they cannot exercise using less than their body weight. Patients should also work on a stretching program to maintain full extension of the knee.

For patients who have suffered a significant injury to the knee but who do not have arthritis, activities that include prolonged, repetitive impact (eg, distance running) are not the best choice for maintaining fitness. Other activities that the patient enjoys and that maintain physical strength and flexibility are probably acceptable if they do not cause pain. The best choices are bicycling, swimming, and weightlifting. Runners usually find this recommendation difficult to accept; many dedicated runners do not feel that any other activity makes them feel as good as running does. Sometimes a difficult decision must be made, however, and they must recognize that they exercise for many reasons and that the possibility that arthritis may develop may be offset by the cardiovascular benefit and the sense of well-being that they get from running. Doing any exercise--even one that is not especially recommended--is better than doing no exercise. If the choice were running or nothing, I would run."
- http://xnet.kp.org/permanentejournal...arthritis.html

I guess you could substitute "tennis players" for "runners" in the last paragraph.

TennisLovaLova 11-30-2012 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2ndServe (Post 7025563)
What are some good ones to strengthen the knees?

kettlebells workout is kinda complete

LeeD 11-30-2012 01:00 PM

Borrelli...
I've been riding bikes since 1966, always owned medium level road bikes.
You DON'T need to pull upwards on the pedals when you use clip pedals. The clips only hold your feet on the pedals, they don't tell you how to peddle.
Those stationary bikes your see in high end gyms are useless toys. The seats are crap wide, the crank arms too short, the handlebars too close to the seat, the the "resistance" just means inertia.

BertieWooster 11-30-2012 01:15 PM

Lame_Backhand: I'm in a similar scenario as you are. Keep in mind that strong leg muscles (particularly quads) help knees and swelling the most. Some exercises I do:
- Bike (stationary or regular) at least 3x per week. If I go for long durations (i.e. 1+ hour) I need some days for my legs to recover before playing tennis. I almost always bike for 15 minutes before tennis.
- Get some thigh weights (don't get weights that go below the knees) and do some straight leg lifts on the floor. Also, sit on the edge of a chair and write the alphabet in the air with your heel.
- Leg presses – one leg at a time. Best to use a machine that lets you lay flat on your back. Never let your legs bend more than 90 degrees.
- Step up – use a step and hand railing and work on very controlled step up focusing on your quads.
- Stretch – stretch hams, quads, calves and if possible stretch your IT band (IT band doesn’t really stretch but the attachments might).
When I’m diligent, I usually do ok playing tennis 2-3 times per week.

LeeD 11-30-2012 01:23 PM

While I can ride a road bike 40 miles without getting tired, in 3 hours...53 miles in 4 hours is my max.
And leg press on a Cybex machine 220 lbs at 70 reps... I weigh 147lbs.
I cannot run ONE step. Well, it takes at least 4 steps to get up to running steps, doesn't it?

Itagaki 12-01-2012 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BertieWooster (Post 7040146)
Lame_Backhand: I'm in a similar scenario as you are. Keep in mind that strong leg muscles (particularly quads) help knees and swelling the most.

I just have one disagreement with your statement here. I think the hamstrings are far more important to general knee health than the quads. They are often ignored and a lot of exercises have an insufficient range of motion about the knee to even incorporate the hamstrings to a decent degree.

Since a lot of activities are quad dominant, an imbalance occurs and this could be one thing that leads to unhappy knees.

ATP100 12-02-2012 01:42 AM

Easy Answer: Swimming

Thepowerofchoice 12-02-2012 10:13 AM

I'm a big fan of unilateral and balance training especially for tennis. Single leg squat is one of my favorite. You can start out w half range of motion until you are comfortable w full squat. This exercise works on quads, hamstrings glutes, core and balance.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/...p?exercise=117

When you become more flexible and stronger you can add weight and combine with other exercise (d-bell shoulder press, biceps curls...etc) :)

TimeToPlaySets 12-15-2012 04:55 AM

Start with prisoner squats.
Do 5 sets of 25 or something.


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