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Hips versus knees...fight! 
2nd-Nov-2011 10:10 pm
running, shoes
Trying to explain the World Fantasy Convention to my personal trainer, a man who by his own admission seldom reads books, was...interesting.

I should have been pleased that I managed to get in two decent strength training workouts while traveling last week (especially since I did one of them without access to a gym and using only resistance bands and bodyweight exercises), but I was quite frustrated because I was having a mild recurrence of the knee pain that I used to have before I started running. Said knee pain makes squatting to any reasonable depth painful; Squats are a key part of my strategy to improve my hip strength and mobility so that I can run without hip pain; running fixes my knee pain. You see the Catch-22 here?

I ended up substituting weighted step-ups for the squats, which seemed to help my knees a bit. Yesterday, I very cautiously went for a short run. Today I could squat to full depth without knee pain. My left hip feels...not sore, but a bit tight, as if everything there is not quite back at 100%. I'm hoping that for now I can get away with a short run once or twice a week to keep my knees in shape while my hip finishes healing. Or if that doesn't work, maybe I can do a few sessions of vigorous stair-climbing.

It is possible that if I strengthen my hip and thigh muscles sufficiently, I'll be able to have pain-free knees without giving them a good high-impact pounding regularly. For now, I'm pleased, but baffled, that a good high-impact pounding seems to work so quickly and reliably.
3rd-Nov-2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
Hmm. This past week, my physical therapist introduced me to sitting on the balance ball with a three-pound weight in each hand, hands by my side. Lift one foot off the ground and stay balanced. Now slowly lift both hands to shoulder height and bring them down again, 15 times. Switch feet and do it again.

Variation: same as before, but raise arms alternately, introducing more instability to be overcome.

Both exercises work on strengthening glutes, improving balance, and stabilizing the hips, which in turn supports the knees. I know you've done ball exercises, so you won't be surprised at how difficult it is to stay balanced while doing this.
3rd-Nov-2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
Neat. I'll have to give that one a try. Thanks!
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