Home >> Educational Resources >> Exercise Library >> Strengthening Exercises
The best way to prevent injury is by having strong,
flexible muscles and joints which resist strain and injury. Stretch
slowly, and never do any exercise that causes pain. If you are
an athlete, your legs take a lot of abuse. Here are some advanced
exercises for those with healthy knees, legs and arms that will
get you ready for your sport.
Strength Exercise Menu
Lie on your back with your knees
bent. While trying to keep your lower back flat, slowly let
both knees fall together toward the floor. Hold for ten seconds,
then go back to start position with knees up. Repeat other
side. Repeat the exercise ten times.
Lie on your back. Try
to keep your low back in contact with the ground. Slowly lift
your right shoulder up six inches off the ground. Merely raise
your shoulders up six inches, hold for one second and lie down.
Repeat for ten sit ups, alternating left shoulder and right
shoulder. DO NOT do a full sit up. DO NOT put your hands behind
your neck to jerk yourself upward.
Place a belt or rope
around the arch of your foot. Straighten your leg. Slowly begin
to pull your leg to a straight up position. Depending upon
your flexibility, having your leg point straight up may be
a realistic goal. For those who have good flexibility, you
may be able to go past vertical during your stretch.
Stand straight up with
hands above head. Slowly reach your hands to the right and
hold for ten seconds, then straight up and pause, then go to
the left and hold for ten seconds, then straight up again and
pause. Repeat the stretch ten times.
This exercise can strengthen a healthy knee, and prepare it
for the high impact the knees may get on the crusty snow,
or the spring action generated by the fresh powder. To do
this exercise, start with the feet shoulder width apart.
Your hands are outstretched for balance. Lower your body
slowly (do not bounce up and down) until the thighs are horizontal.
Hold your squat position for five seconds, then stand. Repeat
This exercise requires a great deal of balance. You may put
one hand on a chair back to balance if need be. To do this
exercise, stand on your right leg. Extend your left leg
out in front of you until it can almost touch the floor,
18 inches in front. Next, slowly begin to swing the left
leg to the side so the leg may touch the floor, 18 inches
to the side, then back behind you, then back to the starting
position. You left leg will have made a large semicircle
path from front to back. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
Standing Rotation & Moguls
Standing Rotation (above left) - If you play rotational
sports like tennis and golf, it is a good idea to include rotational
stretches like the one shown. Hold a racquet, golf club or
broom across your shoulders as shown. Without moving your feet,
slowly rotate your shoulders to the left, then back to the
right. Do this stretching exercise for five minutes before
Moguls (above right) - This exercise is a good
simulation for preparing yourself for skiing, among other activities. To do this exercise,
place a rolled towel on the floor. Start on the left side and
hop with both feet together to the right side, and then to
the back again without stopping. Continue this momentum for
30 seconds. To simulate skiing, remember to keep your hands
out in front of your body, as if you had poles in them.
This exercise works the knees with
moderate impact, and it rotates the upper body as it requires
aerobic conditioning, agility and balance. To do this exercise,
place a rolled towel on the ground. Start on your right foot
with your left hand on the floor, as shown in picture one.
Next, jump from this position, across the towel landing on
your left foot and right hand. Do this back and forth for one
minute. Rest, then repeat this momentum for ten one minute
NOTE: We recognize that people will diagnose and treat
themselves. We have provided this medical information to make you more
knowledgeable about nonsurgical aspects of care, the role of exercise
in your long-term recovery, and injury prevention. In some cases exercise
may be inappropriate. Remember, if you diagnose or treat yourself, you
assume the responsibility for your actions. You should never do any exercise
that causes increased pain. You should never do any exercise that places
body weight on a weakened or injured limb or back.
TriCities Spine in Bristol, TN is a by-product of discussions with case managers, rehab nurses and managed care experts on a local and national level who believe that spine care can be improved through a multidisciplinary team approach. TriCities Spine includes a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spine, Dr. Jim Brasfield, teamed with a pain management specialist and spine-specialized physical therapy. TriCities Spine physicians already see a variety of complex cases from across Eastern Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. TriCities Spine emphasizes a nonsurgical approach to back pain, recognizing that in most cases spine surgery should be the last card to be played after nonsurgical options have been tried. About half of patients are referred to TriCities Spine by other doctors in the region. TriCities Spine also cares for those who injure themselves at the workplace. The strength of TriCities Spine lies in the medical expertise brought in by a variety of specialists who complement each other, including experts in physical medicine and neurosurgery. An internal pain specialist is often able to relieve some back and neck pain symptoms with special injections that enable a patient to bridge to therapy. Dr. Fred Terry specializes in pain relieving lumbar spinal injections and as well as myelograms, which may reveal the amount of damage in the spine. Therapists who specialize in spine use customized hands-on treatments to relieve pain symptoms, along with special exercises to help make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. If nonsurgical treatments are not successful, Dr. Jim Brasfield is trained and proficient in the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of the minimally invasive techniques used by Dr. Brasfield, many patients are able to have their spine surgery and then return home the same day to recover in the comfort of their own home.