Tag: patella

Don’t Lock Your Knees! Are You standing Correctly?

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Are you standing correctly with relaxed knees?

Most people carry tension in their muscles. When you’re constantly contracting your muscles you’re also reducing the blood flow throughout the area and compresses joints, the muscles cross. Compression of the joints can lead to decreased mobility, friction, misuse of the limb, and potentially arthritis. 

One should be able to stand without clenching butt cheeks together or gripping our front thigh quadriceps muscles.Your legs must be straight in order to manage the tension. Just because the leg is straight doesn’t mean it’s locked. Your leg is “locked” when the quad muscles are contracted.

There are people who are able to hyperextend their knees, it looks like this.

There are people who stand with constant knee flexion (bent knees). It looks like this.

If the quads are relaxed, you should be able to contract your quads (notice your knee cap lift up) and return to the relaxed state.  If you can’t tell if your knee caps are lifting, more than likely your quads are already in a contracted state (this means that your patella is compressed against your femur, creating decreased mobility and friction which can lead to arthritis).

It sounds pretty simple to just relax your kneecaps, but if quad tension has become an unconscious habit for you, or if you’ve been unknowingly using your quads to keep yourself from falling over when you stand, relaxing the knees won’t be as easy as it seems.

Your four quadriceps muscles are designed to activate equally and at the same time when you straighten your lower leg, but in our culture, we’ve acquired alignment faults that leave the femur bone internally rotated and our pelvis misaligned. This changes the ability of the quadriceps to activate properly.

When your pelvis is not aligned, it changes your uses of the appropriate muscles for walking and standing, so your quads pick up the slack.

The quadriceps can get so used to staying on and being recruited for extra work that it becomes difficult to figure out how to turn them off, even when your brain is asking them too! This is where people may get a lot of spasms. 

Biking towards a sustainable Life and Environment

Bike Commuter in Portland Oregon

Both of my patellas are worn in my knees. Considering my doctor first discovered this at a younger age, I was too young for surgery so he suggested I swim and cycle more. A study conducted recently found that older patients with osteoarthritis and knee pain actually improved their condition when introduced to cycling.

Keep your blood pressure low

A daily active regimen involving biking, makes a person 31-percent less likely to develop high blood pressure. 

Weight loss

Losing weight is one of the biggest benefits of cycling. DUH, your burning calories while getting around. Talk about multi-tasking.

Defend from Cancer

It goes without saying, that a regular rigorous exercise regimen, along with a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight will help you fight cancer. Those with a higher fitness level as they approached middle age were at a lower risk for lung and colorectal cancer.  A cycle a day will help keep cancer away.

Better Mood

After any type of exercise or hard work, your body releases “feel good” hormones, that make you feel good about your willpower and accomplishment. Go ahead and pack yourself on the back for your efforts.

Commute Green

If you want to ride every day but are strapped for time, one of the most logical ways to fit it into your schedule is making it part of your commute. “Cycling can be easily integrated into daily life, unlike gym workouts,” Unless you have a gym in your job, or in your building, you must allocate time and typically go out of your way for the gym. Biking again is a great way to multitask getting around and working out.

Quicker Commute 

With only 2 wheels it’s a lot easier to get through lanes and take detours, therefore, avoiding traffic and rush hour.

Sustainable Life (Longevity)

Cycling helps even when you’re getting older. I believe this is the main form of physical therapy for the elderly. A study conducted in Norway followed a group of elderly men in the 70’s to 80’s, they discovered just working out 30 minutes a day extended their longevity by five years. This was compared to men who did no physical activity.

Consider buy, renting, or sharing a bike. Of course, Bike sharing can be more cost, and eco-friendly. There are many used bikes floating around looking for new owners. Seek these options first before buying a new cycle. If you don’t know anything about bikes, volunteer to fix some, and learn more. 

Check out: Recycle a Bicycle

Volunteer Night- Long Island City: Join us on Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm in our LIC workshop for our weekly volunteer night! Lend a hand, meet others, and learn basic bike mechanics, free of charge. No previous experience necessary! All are welcome!

For more information or to schedule a volunteer event, please send an inquiry to director@recycleabicycle.org