The exercise I am introducing today is (again) a repeat of an exercise I did soon after my release from the hospital(s). It addresses my affected side & works my ENTIRE LEG and RETRAINS MY BRAIN TO BEND MY AFFECTED KNEE.
That is the reason I like this exercise - it builds strength & mobility throughout my entire LEG & it really builds the muscle (memory) in my KNEE. Like I’ve said many times before, many post-stroke persons are not limited by actual strength, but by the loss of muscle memory provided by some of the brain’s most elementary functions. Think of these exercises as brain games just as much as strength/mobility activities & you will be on your way to independence in no-time!
If you are just starting out - post-stroke - you will probably need someone to support your movement and help when necessary. As I have said before, even if you have reached the point of physical independence after your stroke, it is still nice to have someone supporting you emotionally and mentally through these exercises.
1. Work with a mat on the floor to provide cushion.
2. Lie completely flat on the mat.
3. First bend the affected leg at the KNEE to bring your foot all the way to your buttocks and then back to the ground again.
4. Repeat this process at least 10 times to start, gradually working your way up to 15, then 20, with the support of your trainer/helper. Then try to do at least 5 on your own (at least bring your foot as close to your buttocks as you can). Then do another 25 & really (if you’re up for it!) do 50 - with the help of your trainer/helper - so you get the “mental” feel for it.
5. While I am in this prone position & facing downward, I take advantage of it and get another lift in at the same time. I have Tom lift my leg straight up without bending my knee - for as much mobility as I can possibly get. I do this (well, with his assistance) at least 25 times.
Be sure to check out my Instagram posts at “poststrokepeg.” God Bless You, Peg
“Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” -- John F. Wade