One of the realities when we try to protect our back, knees or ankles is that we can’t focus on one part of the body in isolation. Our hips, back and muscles around the knee all must work together. If one group of muscles becomes weak or unbalanced, the whole system can fall apart. On the right, there are three basic exercises that you can easily do before you start your day. These three exercises can lay a strong foundation of strength in your ankles, knees, hips and low back. These exercises can help promote good postural and movement habits.
The exercises require that you keep a neutral spine and good control – something that should be on the top of your mind whether you are exercising or on the job.
1. One legged balancing (stability) – The goal of this exercise is to balance on one leg in a variety of postures (one foot forward, back and then to the side). Once you can repeatedly hold this series for 30 seconds, make it more difficult by (1) closing your eyes and by (2) standing on a soft pillow.
2. Backward Lunge (warm-up) – Alternate between standing and stepping backward from a lunge position. You MUST maintain a neutral low back curve and keep your front knee behind the toe of your front foot.
3. Calf stretch – Place your foot up against a wall or on a slanted surface. Keep your knee straight and bring your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg.
Remember! Take care of your feet and ankles and they will take care of you!