Best Exercise for Hip and Knee Joints | Debra Stefan Fitness
Best Exercise for Hip and Knee Joints | Debra Stefan Fitness

Has Uncle Arthur come to visit you and he
just won’t leave?! Well, he’s a relative of mine, too. So, I can share how to cope with Arthur-I-tis. And it starts with a bike. I’m Debra Stefan, LCI- League Cycling Instructor
from the League of American Bicyclists and your Henderson Trail Watch guide with my series
of Smart Cycling “need-to-know” reasons to bike and to bike more often. If you’re like me, maybe you’ve already invested
in new hardware and replacement parts to keep your wheels mobile and efficient? And I’m referring body hardware. (show x-ray of hip hardware) Whether or not you’re ready for joint replacement, you are wise to offset weight bearing activity such as walking or running with non-weight bearing activity like biking. Biking is easy on the joints, because you aren’t
weight bearing. Yet, you do need a balance of muscle work to
improve joint health, strengthen your bones and connective tissue with load-bearing exercise. And that’s where strength training comes in
with low repetition, high intensity weight lifting. I’ll talk more about that later. If you’ve already installed new hardware,
some surgeons caution joint replacement patients to give up activities to avoid “wearing out”
the artificial joint. Hip implants typically last for 15-20 years,
and revision procedures are 90% effective. In my opinion, you’ll fare better by remaining
active and being smart about it. A word about prevention: Avoid overuse injuries
from just doing all walking or running. Yes. Even walking excessively can cause joint irritation
and inflammation over a period of time. Chronic inflammation is a precursor to arthritis. And once your Uncle Arthur comes to visit,
he’ll never leave… –until you cut him off, literally. Before it gets to that, just know that arthritis
and joint pain are made easier when joints are lubricated by movement. And without load bearing, so your ideal activity
is biking! The importance of a Proper Fit —
is the simplest and most common fix for avoiding knee pain and it involves
adjusting your bike seat. If you are sitting too high or too low, it
can affect how much your knee has to bend or extend as you pedal. Have your knee just past a 45-degree angle
at the top of the stroke, with a slight bend at the bottom of the stroke. Be kind to your joints with a proper warm-up
before cycling fast or uphill. Even if you consider bike riding to be recreational–more
than a workout, it’s still exercise. Your muscles and joints need to warm up before
you start exerting yourself. So, start your ride at a slower pace and less
incline then ease into a higher speed or climb. Sometimes years of wear, or past injuries
will cause knee pain for cyclists no matter what. Recumbent bikes take the pressure off your knees and other joints by placing your body at a different angle than an upright bike. Cycling is low-impact exercise and easier
on your hips, knees, ankles, and feet than running. But over time, even cyclists can wear out
their natural or replaced joints due to the repetitive motion. Make sure that you do a variety of exercise
and avoid overuse. Of course, we want the most results from our
exercise efforts. Your wheels, your lower extremities make up
the largest muscles of your body. Strengthening your legs involves more muscle
fiber recruitment and greater metabolic boost than any smaller muscle groups. So when we do weight training, bone will adapt
to progressive loads becoming stronger and denser right along with your muscles, tendons
and ligaments. That’s important to joint health. For best results, hit the barbell for lower
body work to spend half the time getting twice the results. This will bring up your leg strength and improve
muscle balance. Please, don’t be afraid of learning a proper
lifting progression. It’ll be the best thing you ever did for your
body. For cyclists, the repetitive motion of pedaling
your bike without a balance of leg strength can potentially bring on joint pain and injuries. If cycling is the only exercise you do, your
legs are going to be out of balance, with overused quadriceps and underused gluteals,
hamstrings, and calves. Balanced strength training is crucial for
keeping your joints pain-free. You’ll benefit from working all the muscles
in your upper body, as well, but we’re talking primarily hip and knee joint health. Although, a friend of mine is recovering from
an ankle replacement and she’s rehabilitating on a bike. Not sure what to do with a barbell? Anything you could do with dumbbells, only
better. You are stronger than you realize. Let me go into the wonderful world of barbell
training in another video. For now, let’s stay focused on healthy joints
and balance of activity. And before you start a running program, consider
jump rope for less impact, coordination development, and higher intensity in less time. But its all good when done in proper progression
and duration. Video for Later: I’ll share a full range of
leg exercises that should be in your repertoire to strengthen the muscles that support and
stabilize your feet, ankles, knees and hips; these include deadlifts for your hamstrings,
squats and hip bridges and your quads and glutes, and calf raises for your feet, ankles
and calves. Thanks for watching, I’m Debra Stefan, Henderson
Trail Watch guide with your biking community service “need-to-know” tips and best practices
from the League of American Bicyclists. I’ll see ya on the trail. (show cane strapped to bike frame)

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