Late stage or advanced knee exercises are more functional and sports specific. The aim is to restore full strength and mobility to the joint and return the athlete to full training and competition.
Lunge with ball
A ball can be used with a lunge to help with balance and to add extra weight. The athlete stands with the injured leg a wide stance in front of the other. The athlete holds a medicine ball close to the chest With the weight shifted onto the front leg, the back knee is slowly bent and dropped down towards the floor.
Lunge on step
By raising the uninvolved leg on a step the athlete adds more weight to the leg being worked on. The athlete stands with the injured leg a wide stance in front of the other. The uninvolved leg is raised on a step with weight on the toes. With the weight shifted onto the front leg, the back knee is slowly bent and dropped down towards the floor.
This exercise is ideal for not only strengthening the muscles of the lower extremity but also for burning calories! The athlete stands with the injured leg a wide stance in front of the other. With the weight shifted onto the front leg, the back knee is slowly bent and dropped down towards the floor. The lunge position may be held to increase difficulty.
- Walking lunges are a more advanced version of the lunge.
By using a medicine ball in the lateral lunge (side lunge) the athlete is able to add weight to the exercise as well as using it to aid balance. The athlete steps to the side keeping the toes forwards and the feet flat. Whilst keeping the involved leg straight, squat through the hip of the involved leg ensuring that the knee is in line with the foot. The athlete holds the ball out to help maintain balance. Squat as low as possible and hold for 2 seconds. Push back to the starting position.
Eccentric squat knee exercises target the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. The athlete raises the heels using half a foam roller. Keeping the back straight the athlete lowers themselves down slowly. The athlete returns to the starting position then repeats.
- To increase the level of difficulty the athlete can lower the body closer to heels.
- This exercise can also be executed on one leg.
Norwegian hamstring curl
The Norwegian hamstring curl (or Nordic curl) requires either a partner or gym equipment to lock the lower legs securely. This is a very advanced exercise isolating hamstring muscles. A partner anchors the athlete's calves. A straight line must be maintained from knee to shoulder. The athlete lowers the body as controlled as possible to the floor. At the point whereby the move becomes uncomfortable, the athlete lets the body fall to the floor using the hands to control their landing.
- As the hamstrings get stronger less upper body push can be used the athlete can raise themselves back to the start position.