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A German fitness trainer called Joseph Pilates first introduced us to this exercise during the 1930s and 1940s. He originally referred to it as Contrology, but since it's invention, the name Pilates has become much more popular. The reason why Pilates works so well as the treatment for bow legs is that it's extremely helpful in developing and maintaining proper body posture and balance.
Another key aspect of treating bow legs is training your leg muscles to become strong. If your leg muscles, especially those supporting the knee, are strong and well equipped to carry your body weight, much less strain is placed both on the knee itself and on all your other other joints. This is important because sometimes people with bow legs can develop incorrect posture as their body attempts to compensate for the condition's debilitating effects.
It's now easy to understand how Pilates goes hand in hand with muscle strengthening exercises. Pilates helps you maintain correct posture and balance while having stronger muscles helps you place less bodyweight on your knees, which in turn, helps you maintain correct posture and balance. You can see just how invaluable combining Pilates with muscle strength training can be. I'll now tell you a little about how you can incorporate these individual techniques into a holistic routine.
A Pilates routine
The first step is to lie down on a flat surface, with your entire body in a supine position. Ensure that both your legs are straight while keeping your knees as close to each other as possible. Then, slowly lift your legs whilst keeping your feet together. Allow your legs to form a 90-degree angle with your abdomen. Then slowly bring them back down into the starting position. Repeat this around ten times per session and try to do two such sessions daily. You can always progressively increase the intensity and number of sessions as you become stronger with time.
It's possible to add another step to this particular Pilates exercise. For this, all you need to do is to try raising your hips as much as possible in line with your legs, until your legs are pointing towards the ceiling or sky. This exercise can vastly strengthen some of the crucial muscles in your abdomen, and as such are also key to core muscle strength. You'll soon find that this compound exercise not only improves your bow legs but can also help to correct the poor posture that often comes with them.
Strengthening your knee and thigh muscles
To work on the strength of your leg muscles, particularly those around your knee and in your thighs, the one-legged squat is ideal. For this, you'll need the support of a chair or something sturdy enough to lean on. Holding this chair for support with your left hand, lift your right foot off of the ground and start bending your left knee slowly. Bend your knee and lower your body as much as possible without causing yourself too much discomfort. Lower your body in this way as much as you can before you return to the starting position. Do this around 5 times in total, and then switch legs. Repeat this exercise around 2-3 times daily.
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