Hip, Knee & Leg EBook - US

Step 4: Enhance Your Joint Strength (cont.)

How to improve your joint strength Strengthcomes fromperformingtherightexerciseswiththerightamountof control. You are far better off doing small, specific strengthening exercises, than trying tomove large weights. It is safer and you will achieve a better result. A lot of strengthening actually involves restoring your brain’s ability to connect with the right muscle groups again. This develops the neural pathways and activates the right muscles at the right time. When you performexercises, suchas squats, do themslowly and focus your thoughts on tightening your gluteal and thighmuscles, controlling themovement. The pelvic and hip muscles are an important part of strengthening your whole lower extremities. Weak hip abductor muscles fail to take the load when walking, change your posture and knee mechanics, resulting in more strain on the knee, hip, and spine. Performing leg lifts out to the side and back help to strengthen the hip musculature. Perform coordinated strengthen exercises. For example, doing mini- squats while keeping your abdomen tight helps to engage the core, pelvic and leg muscles together. How physical therapy helps your joint strength Physical therapists have years of training in kinesiology, which is the study of human movement. Through proper evaluation of what muscles are weak in your legs, we canpinpoint the exact area that needs strengthening. We then teach you specific exercises that target these particular muscle groups. We help you naturally progress from very simple exercises to more complex coordinated exercises as your muscles heal and begin to work together. You are empowered with the knowledge of how to keep your body strong and healthy.

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