One of the best ways to strengthen and stretch your muscles after a total knee replacement is to ride a recumbent bike regularly. While the rehabilitation process may differ from patient to patient, there are a couple of reasons recumbent bikes supersede any other form of exercise following knee surgery. These include;
Unlike some fitness equipment, recumbent bikes subject little or no stress on your new knee. Recumbent biking is categorized as low impact activity and can be quite helpful to afflicted joints, including those under rehabilitation from a knee replacement. Low impact exercises do not put pressure on the joints as other cardiovascular activities such as running or jogging.
Almost every other recumbent bike on the market comes with an assortment of gears. Choosing the proper system ensures that your knees go through a full pedaling motion. That, in turn, encourages joint flexibility and muscle strength. Be sure to read recumbent bike reviews to determine the ideal model to help you recuperate.
If you’re just starting out with recovery, set the gear at a low level to reduce the intensity of joint stress. Increase the gears gradually as you continue to heal.
The best recumbent bike for use after knee surgery should have foot clamps. For starters, these are straps attached to the pedal to secure your foot so as to prevent slippage. With your foot firmly on the pedal, you will significantly reduce the risk of injury. Clamps also help;
- Promote proper body alignment
- Improve pedaling motion
- Ensure continuous pressure
- Strengthen leg muscles
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Increase resistance when lifting the portion of the pedaling maneuver
A recumbent bicycle will increase your ability to keep balance. Because these bikes have a low center of gravity, you will quickly regain from poor balance even with a few rides. Note that total knee replacement impairs the strength of your quadriceps and functioning. If you don’t embark on proper recovery routine, it may end up affecting your overall balance as well as the ability to perform basic activities such as walking.
Important Tips to Help Recuperate Quickly
As stated, you’re better off with a bike that with features that will set you on the recovery process fast. Nonetheless, you have to follow the correct training program to experience tangible results. I recommend that you stick to the following;
- Start out for five minutes with zero resistance, for at least two weeks
- As you become stronger and the pain level reduces, build your tolerance by with five-minute increments. Also, increase the degree of resistance by one
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated while biking
- Whenever possible, warm up your muscles before riding to reduce injury risk
When shopping for a recumbent bike, consider the space in your home. You will require ample room to make the most out of your bicycle. However, most models feature space saving design so that shouldn’t be much of a problem.