My friend Grant, he’s a real jackass. Blown out his knee four times. We don’t know if he’s unlucky or stupid, but either way he keeps blowing out his knee, including one impressive freestyle walking incident. Parkour brah!
You might ask, “Is a guy who’s blown out his knee four times the best person to help me write this?” Don’t worry though; the following has been thoroughly vetted by our crack team of Monday morning quarterbacks. Also, he probably knows enough about knees to be a surgeon and a physical therapist.
First thing I always do is one-legged squats. Don’t use weights. Just stand on one leg and bend the other leg at the knee, sticking your lower leg out behind you at a 90º angle. Then squat low on your standing leg and be sure to keep your engaged knee right over your toes on your engaged leg. So if you’re doing right leg squats, keep your right knee over your right toes but don’t let your knee go past your toes. Going too far forward over your toes will hurt and it’s bad. It takes some getting used to, but keep doing sets of three, working your way up to 20 reps per set.
Next up, plyometrics. This is jumping for those of you that don’t know what that means. There are a few different exercises to do here. The first is simple double-leg bounds. From a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down to about 90º, keeping your knees over your
toes. From this position try to explode forward and cover some ground. Use your arms by swinging them from a boxing position down to your waist and then back up as you jump forwards. It is important when you land to land with your feet shoulder width apart and focus on not letting your legs bend inwards at the knees. Good form will lead to a good workout with these. Might sound pretty dorky and you will look like a jackass for sure, but this exercise is legit and a good cardio workout also. Do it outside where you have some room and try to put together sets of 10 or more.
Another exercise is the badass karate kid jump kick. Stand on one leg and bend the other at the hip, bringing it to 90º at the hip and letting your lower leg hang down. Squat down on your engaged leg, keeping your knee over your toes. Then, jump up off that leg and land on the other and make sure to keep form in mind as you land. Don’t let the knee you’re landing on bend in or out, try to come directly down onto it keeping it stable. If you don’t focus on that, you can end up hurting yourself or not getting a lot out of this exercise. Work up to reps of 10 or more.
The 180 jump is almost as cool. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and then squat to 90º or so. Jump up and then turn 180º in the air. Again, as you land watch your form. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and don’t let your knees bend in or out. Might sound easy but you will be beat if you can make it to 15. You can bring it to 360s too when you feel like you’re ready for it. That’s actually how I learned to throw them.
The last one is the lateral jump. Just put something down on the floor that makes a line and jump side-to-side over it. Watch your form and try to go for a minute (that’s what she said).
At the same time, don’t forget about the core. If your core is strong, then you won’t put as much stress on the rest of your body. Trainers recommend starting with exercises that focus on your deep core so that you don’t put too much stress on other muscles like your hip flexors. So start by holding three sets of plank (high push-up position) each time as long as you can and slowly lower to the ground. Next up? The Cock Pushup
-Bob and his friend Grant
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