We often take our knees for granted, but the truth is they’re quite the essential piece of equipment. Their primary role is to stabilize the body while we’re in motion and our overall mobility can be impacted due to chronic conditions, such as arthritis or a torn meniscus brought on by age-related wear and tear, or more acute conditions due to sudden sports injuries, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The good news is that with regular exercise injuries can heal faster and we can prevent debilitating knee conditions from happening in the first place. The knees are made up two joints and three bones. The patellofemoral joint comprises the patella (knee cap) and the femur (thigh bone), and this joint primarily works when bending the knees – squats, sitting, climbing stairs – while the tibiofemoral joint comprises the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (the shin bone), and this join works primarily when we stand and walk. GlideFit’s aquatic based stability training promotes body awareness and neuromuscular control by firing up the stabilizer muscles in a way that land-based exercises can’t. Exercises that involve standing upright on the board provide the most benefit to the knees. Be sure to keep the knees slightly soft, with around 80% of your body weight on the heels to optimize knee stability. As you workout, the soft tissue around the knees (muscle, ligaments, and tendons) make thousands of micro adjustments to stabilize the joints as a result of the board moving with the ever-changing surface of the water. This enables your brain to work with your muscles and joints to maintain your balance and adds strength and endurance to the soft tissues. This added strength and endurance benefits you both on and off the board. So, whether you’re rehabbing a knee injury (with your doctor’s permission!), looking to reduce inflammation and discomfort from arthritis, or simply wanting to prevent future knee issues, a GlideFit class is a great way to build up the surrounding soft tissue that support the knee and increase stability of the joint itself. Most adults over the age of 40 have some level of damage to the knees, and mineral and bone density declines as we age, so there’s no time like the present to begin taking care of those knees. Hop on a GlideFit board today, and create strong, stable knee joints to last you a lifetime!
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