The winter sports season is in full swing, and with snowfall beckoning skiers across the country, the risk of knee injury also climbs. Skiers who have stronger knees, however, may be able to minimize their risk of injury, and one way to get knees in condition for the slopes is with the aid of a Pilates Chair. Working with the Pilates method and performing exercises on the Pilates Chair can help keep knees healthy, even when participating in skiing, according to Gail Giovanniello, owner of Mind Your Body Fitness, New York.
“One of my key teaching phrases is ground down, lengthen up,” Giovanniello says. When individuals ground down and lengthen up, the hamstrings are strengthened and the knee joint is reportedly more protected and healthier than when straightening or softening the knees, especially when skiing. “When I ski for 5 hours in 1 day, 4 consecutive days, I do not experience any knee pain,” Giovanniello says. “I can deepen my knee bend and twist down the mountain, pain-free, all week long because my legs have the strength to handle such demand.”
Knee extensions can be a challenging movement to perform in an exercise regimen. Individuals who learn both proper knee bending and extending can have better support and balance, as well as avoid a ripped anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a torn meniscus, or tendinitis. According to Giovanniello, there are ways to use the Pilates Chair for knee extensions; the chair’s pedal bar is constructed in a way that allows hamstring-strengthening exercises to be performed from both sitting and standing positions. Individuals can also rise up and ease down on the pedal with fully lengthened legs to work on balance.
[Source: Mind Your Body Fitness]