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How can weak knee muscles be improved?

Q: Hi, I used to play basketball. I had read the article - Weak muscles cause womens knee injuries. Earlier I used to think it is because of high uric acid. But I think my problem is this only. I would like to know - how can weak knee muscles be improved? What should be done to make them strong? Any precautions to be taken while running or doing any kind of work out?

A:As basketball involves jumping, twisting and turning, this produces knee overload injuries. You are right that weak muscles give you this kind of a problem. Exercises to strengthen your knee: 1. Isometrics - Stand up. Lock injured knee straight, tense thigh muscles. Relax. Do it for 10 counts. 2. Knee straightening - Support upper leg of injured knee over bench. Sit with a bag of 2 kg weight (sand bag) hooked over the ankle of the knee to be exercised and straighten leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for 10 counts. 3. Leg press machines. Use this in the gym if available. Start with light weights. 4. Step up and back on to a low bench. 5. Bike routine - use high gear, low pedal rate. 6. Start trotting 100 metres with small strides graduating to full speed running. PRECAUTIONS: 1. Practice stationary throws, building into lay-ups as the pain settles. 2. If pain starts again during practice, you should stop. Return to static shooting to avoid delay in healing 3. Lace up ankle braces while playing. 4. Use well padded foot wear to reduce risk from jumping and landing, checking and changing direction.

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