The Ultimate Knee-Friendly Workout

It’s important to adopt the attitude of asking yourself “what can I do?” rather than focusing on what you can’t. Here is a great workout for your lower body, cardio and core that will help you strengthen, stabilise and work towards being pain free. Trainer Sam Wood Supplied Complete 40 seconds of each exercise, rest […]

by | Aug 27, 2020

It’s important to adopt the attitude of asking yourself “what can I do?” rather than focusing on what you can’t. Here is a great workout for your lower body, cardio and core that will help you strengthen, stabilise and work towards being pain free.

Complete 40 seconds of each exercise, rest for 20 seconds and then move on to the next. Repeat 4 times for an epic 28 minute workout.

1. Banded lateral walk

Fit a looped resistance band around your legs, just above your thighs. The thicker the band, the harder this will be. Keep your core engaged and push your hips back into a squat position, step laterally one direction for 40 seconds.  You should feel this in your glutes which will be working to stabilise the hip and reduce lateral stress on the knee.

2. Banded lateral walk (opposite direction)

Repeat as above, stepping in the opposite direction (opposite leading leg).

3. Banded glute bridges

Lie on your back with your knees up, feet flat on the floor towards your glutes and the resistance band looped just above your knees. Keep your arms flat by your side. Push out slightly on the band as you dig your heels into the ground, engage your glutes and lift your hips up to form a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze and hold at the top before slowly lowering back down. Repeat for 40 seconds.

4. Slow, single leg deadlift

Balancing on one leg, slowly bend forward at the hips with your knees bent slightly. Maintaining a straight back, hinge forward with the hips and shift your weight onto one leg while your other leg extends straight behind you. Come back up, slow and controlled, squeezing the glute at the top of the movement. Feel free to add weight once you feel confident and strong through this exercise.

5. Dumbbell boxing jabs

To give the legs a little breather but get the heart rate up and core activated I love dumbbell boxing. Grab a pair of dumbbells (don’t go too heavy, your arms will burn!) and stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. You might like to have one foot forward for balance. Hold the dumbbells at chest height with your elbows bent. Extend your left arm across your body in a fast, punch motion. As you return your left arm to the start position, extend your right arm. Repeat for 40 seconds.

6. Dumbbell boxing uppercuts

Stand holding the dumbbells at shoulder height, using an underhand grip. Punch upwards with your left arm and repeat with your right. Repeat this for 40 seconds.

7. Flutter kicks

Lie on your back with your legs extended at a 45 degree angle. Lift your arms slightly off the floor, keep them straight in line with ground and palms facing down. Lift your shoulders, head and neck so that they are slightly off the ground and with your legs straight and toes pointed, lower one leg and simultaneously raise the other. Brace your core and continuously repeat the movement.

So many people continually build on their strengths and neglect their weaknesses when it comes to training. I understand that it feels great both physically and mentally to reach a really high level in a particular skill or movement. But if we neglect our weaknesses, they will catch up with us eventually. We should dedicate one session per week to working on these muscular imbalances and areas that we are not so strong in, we’ll thank ourselves in the long run.

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‘After 3 Miscarriages, This is How I Processed the Trauma’

With October marking International Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month, we spoke to survivor of multiple miscarriages and women's health lobbyist Samantha Payne, CEO and Co-Founder of Pink Elephants - Australia’s only national support service dedicated solely to miscarriage and early pregnancy loss.

Here's her story.

What is your experience with miscarriage?

I have lost 3 babies to miscarriage, my first was a missed miscarriage - I walked into a scan expecting to show my then-toddler her baby sibling on the screen only to be met with 'I'm sorry there is no heartbeat.' I had to endure a weekend with that baby dead inside of me before I could be fitted in for a D&C.

My next miscarriage happened 6 months later - I started to bleed on holiday with friends, I told no one, I was deeply ashamed. I passed that baby alone in the shower at 3am, forever traumatised as I had to flush the remains down the toilet.

My final loss was just last year another miscarriage I started to spot and I just knew, the Doctor that saw me this time asked if we could see a flicker on the screen she thought there was a heartbeat, astounded we asked for a second opinion, where it was confirmed my baby had died.

How did you process the trauma?

With my first two losses, I didn't cope. I poured everything into Pink Elephants and having another baby. I had another pregnancy but was completely terrified the whole time, I didn't bond with this baby, no names, no gender reveal, wearing a brave face every day pretending I was grateful. When Johnny was 4 months old it all caught up with me: I had postpartum anxiety and post-traumatic stress as a result of my losses and not processing the trauma. With counselling and medication, I began to heal and process my losses. My loss last year was different: I took bereavement leave, I gave myself permission to grieve our baby girl and mourn my future with her. I spoke with others in our community, I went back to counselling, and I took the time I needed to start to heal.

How did you get the courage to launch Pink Elephants?

I don't think it was courage, in the beginning, I think it was my anger at the lack of support and validation that I chose to channel into something positive.

I never want my daughter to go through what I did in the way I did. Women deserve so much more than what we currently get.

Last year took courage to come back and work in this space again after bereavement leave - the physical and emotional pain was real, the triggers of other women's stories are real but they are also cathartic. As is the change we create, I feel like my work is meaningful and makes a difference that's what carries me on, I know we can do so much more with the right support alongside us.

I want to next see more targeted action from our government - in particular the Department of Health - in addressing this issue. It's no longer ok to turn a blind eye to the death of our babies, our trauma, and our poor mental health because of the system failing us.

How can we support a friend that has been through loss like this?

You can be there for her, you can validate her loss, don't reduce it to 'at least' comments. You can't take away her pain but you can provide a safe space for her to share and feel listened to, empathised with, and supported. Like any other bereavement send flowers, we have collaborated on a LVLY nurture flower posy as a way to do this. Remember there is no timeline to grief and it's ok for her to still be upset for many months after, remember her due date, acknowledge it at the time, support her through other friends' baby showers.

How can women experiencing miscarriage access support?

They can head to www.pinkelephants.org.au to access our circle of support, which includes online peer support communities to connect with others through miscarriage, trying to conceive again, and pregnancy after loss. Specialised emotional support content, as well as shared stories and journeys, can be accessed through our website too.