Part 3: How do I make a strong comeback after a knee injury?
These 4 exercises will help you regain strength in your muscles.
*** WARNING: For each exercise, progress gradually. Do not try to push your knee to its maximum if it does not allow it. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! ***
1) Stability - one foot on a bosu or a disc
o This exercise allows you to regain strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles.
o Try to keep the stability on the ball of your foot, not on the toes or heel.
o When you find a stable position, squat.
o Progress from a half squat to a full squat, if you are able.
2) Squat on one leg - with a bench or TRX
o Squat on one leg, ensuring that the knee does not go beyond the toes, and that the kneecap is pointing forward at all times.
o The knee should always be above the heel, not converging inwards.
o Engage your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
o Progress with a bench / chair to sit on, with a TRX or without a bench.
o Progress from walking, speed walking, jogging and running.
o This process may take a few months, but take your time.
o For each progression, make sure to engage your quads in the knee extension stance and put the heel down as you step forward.
4) Squat and deadlift
o When the range of motion is COMPLETELY restored and swelling has decreased, you will now be able to perform more compound movements such as squatting or deadlifting.
o Start with lighter weights in order to progress in an optimal way.
In addition to all these exercises, another important part of knee injury rehabilitation is the RICE formula: Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation. After you have finished this program, this formula is essential for a good recovery and to reduce inflammation around the injury.
This rehabilitation program is useful both before and after a knee surgery. The more your leg muscles are strong before, the better the post-op will be, and the sooner you will regain your initial fitness level!
With that said, wishing you a great comeback!