Posted by: Thandi | 2012/02/24

Bum exercises which spare the knee

Hi FitDoc

Can u suggest some glute-killers, but ones which exclude all squats and lunges? My knees are wrecked as a side effect of a medication I was taking - one of those side effects is brittle bones and joint inflammation. I cannot stop training and the upper body is fine but I am slipping behind in lower body training. Can u suggest stuff I might do on the mat at home? I need to find a way of continuing to rain my quads, hams and glutes - without squats and lunges. Until the knees are knees again. Please help, and please suggest the most intense exercises given that I used to train intensely. So no baby stuff please :)



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Thandi

If you stand facing a mirror, on one leg and then dip down and reach for the ground at 45 degrees out in front of you (about 1 m in front of you) on the side that you're standing on, then it's an excellent glute workout because you have to control the movement and keep your hips stable. It also doesn't involve loading the knee, because you keep it at a relaxed and comfortable angle the whole way - if anything, it loads the ankle more. It's difficult to explain, but I hope you get the picture - it's as if you're picking up an object that is lying on the ground, 1m in front of you and off to a 45 degree angle while standing on one leg.

On the mat, simple is better - bridging is really good, if you hold the bridge for 1 minute and keep your hips really high. Then increase to 90 seconds, 2 minutes and so on. Once you're stable in the bridge position (this is the one where you lie on your back and lift the hips off the ground while your feet remain planted), then you can make it more challenging by lifting one foot up, holding 5 seconds and then back down, and then alternate. The control at the glutes as you do this is really good. You can also move this exercise to the ball, where instead of having your feet planted on the ground, you put them on a ball and add even more instability.

Hope those help

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