Moving forward with the expensive knee

Today was another good day at therapy.  It was challenging but it was good.  The range of motion continues to improve from session to session.  During my last measurement, my passive flexion was recorded at 120 degrees.  And as I had mentioned in previous posts, 120 had not been seen in quite a long time.  Along with my continued range of motion stretches, I have continued to work on improving my strength.  Having a new joint is something that I am getting use to.  Bringing the knee through the different motions that it can go through is also something that I am getting used to as well.   That being said, I have started to implement some rotation movements into my rehab repertoire.  All in all, I am happy with how I seem to be improving and I look forward to the continued improvements.

Today’s workout:

Bike Warm-up
Massage and Stretching
Squats 3 x 10
Lunges 3 x 10
Step-ups 3 x 10
Side Step-ups 3 x 10
Step-downs 3 x 10
Balance Work :30 sec rounds

Here’s to an exciting weekend and continued improvements.

BW Leg Circuit

No Equipment? No problem. If you are on the road and do not have a place to workout, you can always put the BW leg circuit into your routine. This clip put together by my friend and Anaheim Ducks strength and conditioning coach Sean Skahan shows a BW leg circuit being performed.  The circuit includes: squat jumps, lunges, step-ups, and squats.  Nice job, Sean.

Knee Rehab workout for Monday, May 2nd

Well, yesterday was a pretty good day on the rehab front. A couple of big item things happened at the end of last week that I was still happy about.  The biggest thing was having my knee flexion, in a prone position, measured at 112*.  There may be a few of you out there that are saying, “Uhhh, Glenn?…That’s only 112*.”  But listen…For the past 10 years I was lucky to be at 100*.  And for the past 5 years, often my flexion was lucky to be at 90*!  So to hear 112 last week, I was pretty happy.

As for yesterday’s workout, it was a good one with the legs.  In one of my “ah-ha” moments, I started to do my single leg training on both legs this week.  I had actually stopped working both legs individually for the past couple of weeks because my “natural” knee was flaring up with pain.  I was not totally surprised by this but I wanted to manage it with a little rest so I stopped doing the extra with that leg.  But yesterday I brought it back into the mix.  I will detail the workout at the bottom, but I wanted to say that I am starting to see the light now with my new knee.  Here’s to continued success and rehab.


Bike warm-up 10 minutes (Easy riding here to warm-up and increase blood flow.  My expensive knee actually goes around the pedal stroke much better than my original knee)

Stretching and Foam Roller. (15 minutes)  One of my favorite sayings here:  “Fear is a great motivator.”  I will always make time to work on the range of motion in that knee.  I have been seeing improvements over the past couple of weeks and want to continue seeing the same.  As I said, 112 last week…I want to get past 115 soon.

Clams 3×20

BW Squats 3×15I am in a “catch-22” here.  My expensive knee has a greater ROM than my original knee, so getting to the end range is tough on one leg vs the other.  It’s important to maintain good mechanics through the movement.  Better ROM will be addressed through single leg exercises.

Step-ups 3×15 (8 in box)  Important point here.  Watch the hips in the mirror.  Hip tilting is cheating and compensating.  Don’t do it.

Lateral Step-ups 3×15(8 in box) Same points as above.

BW 1 leg SLDL 3×15Getting the single leg balance back is “fun” and challenging, but is needed.  Strength will improve here.

Heel Raises 3×15.

Stretch and Ice.

It was a good day yesterday.  Sorry for the delay in getting this up, but I had to work too.  I’ll be better.  As Yoda says, “Do or Do not, there is no try!”

The New Top Secret Weapon: Ultimate Proven Fat loss program available now for you in “The Three Session Solution!”

The title almost seems too good to be true.  Fat loss in a little as 3 sessions!  It is quick enough to peek anyone’s interest.  Truth be told, I don’t really have any secret formula for success besides hard work and adherance.  In fact, this post has nothing to do with the secret fat loss weapon.  It is, however, similar to my recent posts discussing my knee rehab.  I just wanted to have a little fun and and conduct a little informal experiment.  Would a promise of a quick fix in fat loss create more traffic to this particular post?  It’s quite possible but I won’t know definitely until I publish this post.  It will be funny though if people click on it because of the new “3 session solution.”

Getting back to the important stuff, this week was my 5th week since my surgery.  There were some ups and downs with the week.  One of the ups was the return to work somewhat.  I have been itching to get back to the weight room and I wanted to try get back to work.  Unlike all the available Fat Loss programs out there, rehabbing from a knee replacement is not quick.  As I’ve had to be reminded on a number of occasions, this is a major surgery and it is a major recovery.  That being said, recovery and rehab has been starting to move forward at a quicker pace than in previous weeks.  But getting back to work brought about a little down.  The added movement and activity created a little more swelling and soreness by the end of the day.

One of the most aggravating parts of the rehab process has been trying to deal with the swelling in the leg.  Attention to detail and attention to the basics is very important here.  Elevation and ankle pumps.  No secrets.  No quick fixes.  It takes time to get the swelling down.  As I do continue to do more, I have to remember to set aside time for elevating and ankle pumps.

As for my strength, I have seen improvements but need to see more in order to continue with getting back to normal.  Range of motion has been the biggest surprise and challenge that I have had to work on.  For years, I have had to modify my mechanics because of a considerable lack of range of motion.  Now, with increased range of motion, I have to constantly work on my movements to get use to my new found motion.  The old saying “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” echoes in the back of my mind so I try to work on my mechanics to incorporate the motion. 

Well, that is about it for the week 5 update.  Thanks for checking up on my progress.  For those of you who were looking for a quick fix fat loss program, I’m sorry for the trickery, but I hope that you’ve enjoyed the post nonetheless.   I can not promise you a 3 session solution but I can promise results with a solid program design.

Using the research for your training

How do you regulate your training?  Is it all high-tech formula’s and equations?  Something as simple as “listening” to your body can help tremendously.  In a recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers looked at how perceived exertion can help regulate a training program in women.  The french study which appeared in the January, 2011 issue of JSCR looked at how three different training groups responded to a training program.  A control group, heart rate group, and a perceived group participated in an interval training program.  The results showed that both experimental groups increased significantly compared to the control group.  What this information tells us is that perceived exertion can be extremely helpful when looking to monitor your workouts during training.

A Period of Transition

This week marked five weeks since having my surgery.  As rehab has been progressing fairly well, this week I began the return to work.  Slowly but moving forward, I returned to work for “half days” this week.  It has been challenging.  I think the main challenge for me has been making sure to keep the reigns pulled during the return.  In fact on my first day, I was so excited to be back that I found myself doing too much.  In the big picture, it wasn’t a lot but it was just a bit too much from where I was a week before.  I had to consciously remind myself that I had to take a break, something that I do not like to do.  That has been frustrating.

The rewarding side of things have been the response from the people at work.  Telling my that they are excited to have me back has stoked the fire a little bit more.  I know that each day is going to get better.  Just as I’ve gone from semi-circles on the bike to complete revolutions, everything takes time.  Focusing on the improvements and progress continues to help me get back to where I want to be.

Stay Humble and Hungry

One of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon, has a rule; “Be humble and hungry.”  On the humble side of things, he writes:  When people tell you that you are great don’t let it go to your head. And when they tell you that you stink, don’t let it go to your head

Not many people have told me that I stink, I’ve been lucky in that regard.  But people have been telling me lately that I have been doing a great job with my rehab and that I’m working hard, and… Well, as much as I appreciate those kind and supportive words of encouragement, I let it not go to my head. 

The other day, someone told me, “Wow, you’re doing great with your knee rehab!  What’s it been?…4 weeks? That’s great!” 

“Yes,” I told them in reply, “but I’m not where I want to be.” 

Yes, I know I’ve had a MAJOR surgery and I constantly need to remind myself of just that fact.  But I also want to keep moving forward.

That’s when they look at me like I have two heads and tell me to relax a bit.  Well, that’s where I feel I can’t relax.  I have to stay hungry…as Jon writes on being hungry:  Be willing to pay the price that greatness requires. Don’t be average. Strive to be great.

There are going to be good days and there are going to be tough days.  And as I have told those close to me, I’ve experienced both of them.  The key is to fight the fight and remember to focus on the end goal.  As I was filling out my Out-patient PT evaluation form last week, there was a question at the end of the form:  What do you hope to accomplish with your physical therapy?  I wrote:  I want to have a leg that is in better shape and more functional than before surgery.

At the end of my last session we took measurements on my range of motion.  Without assistance, I was able to actively flex my knee further than I have been able to in about 15 years.  Passively, it was off the charts better.  I was happy for that feedback.  But as I continued on with my session there was something that entered my mind:  Don’t settle…Stay Humble and Stay Hungry.