Recently in my PT I had a new revelation. Well, it’s something I’ve known about but I never thought of applying to my PT.To tell the truth, I was pretty proud of myself at how many times and how much weight I could lift with my legs as I was doing my PT exercises. I was nailing them and cruising along. And then at my last physical therapy appointment/session, my physical therapist informed me (not really scolded but more told me nicely in that teacher voice where you know you did the problem wrong as soon as they start speaking type of way) that I needed to slow down.
She then explained to me how the muscles work. And I’m thinking “Duh! I should’ve known this.” Have I been out of the loop from working out since I busted my knee for too long to have forgotten about this. She informed me about…well, I can’t remember the scientific name but basically it’s doing negatives. What that means is slowly moving the muscle in it’s extension.
When you do positives, you constrict the muscle. This is basic thought. When you do bicep curls, you raise the bar or dumbbell up, constricting the muscle. A negative is when you lower the bar or dumbbell slowly. What this does is work the muscle twice as hard. It takes more energy and work to do a negative than a positive. I can’t believe I didn’t remember this and apply it to my PT exercises. Der. Am I that frakin’ out of it?
And then she told me something else I shouldn’t’ve forgotten–do these till failure or fatigue. What this does is strain and push the muscle until it cans’t stands it no mores. It pushes the muscle to go as hard as it can. And when it repairs itself, it repairs more and therefore grows stronger.
What it is, is that my knee is weak after I broke it. Of course, my left legs always been a bit weak after I busted my ankle back in ’91 but that’s a wholenother blog post methinks. And so, I’m strenghtening my quads, glutes and hamstring to help it better support and work with my knee.
Since I’ve been doing negatives and to fatigue I’ve noticed two things. My knee feels stronger and it doesn’t hurt as much. Of course, loosing 15lbs hasn’t hurt either. From what I remember, a pound lost equals a loss of 4lbs of pressure on the knee. Of course that can be total bullocks but hey, it sounds good. What i also like is that the definition is coming back to my legs as well. Since I’ve abused both knees over the last 20 years (dude… did I just say 20? Crud am I getting that old. And when did 1990 become 20 years ago??) I need to work on both.
So, finally, after months of not being able to workout and lift, I’m finally slowly stepping back into it. Let’s hope this keeps up for a bit.
At my last physical therapy session, my physical the