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HEALTH & WELLNESS by jeff csatari


Joint Operations Exercises to strengthen and stretch your knees.


NO ONE THINKS ABOUT their knees unless they hurt or when their knees happen to be carrying them up or down a steep mountain trail under the weight of an overstuffed backpack. Your knees deserve appreciation. So, why not take a Tebow and offer a little prayer of thanks for these unsung heroes? The knee is the largest joint in


the body—a complex engineering marvel of ligaments, bones, muscles, and tendons—that endures hundreds of pounds of torque depending on what you demand of it. Mogul skiing? Zumba class? Even getting up out of a chair to answer the doorbell requires a certain choreography that’s fraught with risk. An anatomical illustration of


the knee joint looks like a softball held in place with rubber bands and duct tape between two baseball bats. No wonder knee pain is the most common injury complaint of anyone who stands erect—from professional athletes to troop committee members who go backpacking twice a year. Are your knees a pain? The remedy


is not necessarily to get off your feet and on the couch but to stand up and keep moving, says Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and author of The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies. “I have some knee arthritis,” says


the 43-year-old Dr. Metzl, who has completed 29 marathons and nine Ironman triathlons. “Building strength around the joint has really helped me.” Building knee strength is especially important for women, because female knees are particularly prone to tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).


58 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2012


LOW SIDE-TO-SIDE LUNGE Stand with your feet spread apart about twice the length of your shoulders, feet pointing straight ahead. Shift your weight to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your right knee. As you lower into the squat, extend your left leg out to the left side, with your left foot flat on the floor, heel down. Without standing, lunge to the left. Alternate back and forth this way for 40 seconds. Rest and do another set.


HIP RAISE Lie face up with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms out to your sides at 45-degree angles, your palms facing up. Raise your hips by pressing your heels into the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Squeeze your butt muscles as you raise your hips. Hold this position for five seconds then lower your butt to the floor. Repeat 10 times.


JUMP SQUATS Place your hands behind your head and align your elbows with your body. Perform a squat: Bend your knees and sit back—as if sitting into a chair—until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Leap explosively by driving your feet into the floor. Jump as high as you can. When your feet hit the ground immediately squat in a controlled fashion until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and jump again. Do 10 jumps. Rest and do another set.


BRYON THOMPSON (3)


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