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Old 08-31-2006, 07:31 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Improvement of Wading Ability

I have never been a strong wader, seldom venturing out into the deeper or faster flows I've seen others tackle. Now the situation is even worse as I'm past middle age and have had two foot surgeries (bunions) that have decreased my balance. I try to get to the gym 3 times a week and sometime achieve that. During my work out I've included some exercises to build leg strength and hopefully improve my balance. Before the last surgery I was doing leg presses which I think are very good. Post surgery I've replaced the leg press with two leg exercises that do not involve the recently repaired foot since I still think it needs to heal more. On top of that (and all this is on the advice of a trainer at the gym), I do an exercise where you hold a dumbell in one hand then pivot the top part of the body forward and down while bringing the opposite leg back and up. The moving body parts are held in a straight line as I pivot about the waist keeping the dumbell straight down. I also try to balance on a balance board. Its too early to know if these are helping me but I'd be interested if others of you have taken measures to improve your wading ability and what you've learned. I might mention that when wadeability is a major concern I use Simms breathable stocking foots and aquasteath wading boots which gives me the best support as near as I've been able to determine.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:53 PM
beau purvis beau purvis is offline
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I have had really strong legs all my life because of a lot of weight work.I do the leg press[which you cant do now].But,of more benefit[IMHO]are the leg lifts .The ones where you sit and the cuhsioned pad is across your shin,or shins, and you straighten your leg upward.That one got me throught yrs of basketball and skiing without ever having a enjury that resulted in any swelling of the knee.The key to not hurting your knee while doing this exercise is to lift the weight without the pin in a hole and put the pin in where it results in a gap of two holes.Less stress on the knee joint and still builds the muscle.2 1/2 yrs ago I was hit by a snowboarder which resulted in compression fracture of my right patilla plateau.Six bolts and plate now have taken up residence.I had complete atrophy of my strong legs.Once we got the range of motion close to normal this exercise worked miracles.When I started I could barely do it without any weight vs at times pre injury when I banged out the stack plus hanging on extra 25lb .This is the most important exercise in my life for my legs.EXCEPT-nothing beats wading in a rocky river.One year was preparing for a sheep hunt.A week on the lower Dean was the best thing I did!However the lift would be perfect for you because the bottom of the foot is not involved.Beau
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:17 AM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau purvis
I have had really strong legs all my life because of a lot of weight work.I do the leg press[which you cant do now].But,of more benefit[IMHO]are the leg lifts .The ones where you sit and the cuhsioned pad is across your shin,or shins, and you straighten your leg upward.That one got me throught yrs of basketball and skiing without ever having a enjury that resulted in any swelling of the knee.The key to not hurting your knee while doing this exercise is to lift the weight without the pin in a hole and put the pin in where it results in a gap of two holes.Less stress on the knee joint and still builds the muscle.2 1/2 yrs ago I was hit by a snowboarder which resulted in compression fracture of my right patilla plateau.Six bolts and plate now have taken up residence.I had complete atrophy of my strong legs.Once we got the range of motion close to normal this exercise worked miracles.When I started I could barely do it without any weight vs at times pre injury when I banged out the stack plus hanging on extra 25lb .This is the most important exercise in my life for my legs.EXCEPT-nothing beats wading in a rocky river.One year was preparing for a sheep hunt.A week on the lower Dean was the best thing I did!However the lift would be perfect for you because the bottom of the foot is not involved.Beau
Beau,

Thanks for your input and I'm sorry to hear about your injury. A google search tells me it involved the upper knee area. I forgot to mention probably the most important aspect of my problem which is knee problems presumably due to arthritis. So your comment about knee protection is particularly valuable. The one gym exercise I do is very close, I believe, to what you are doing with that leg lift. On sitting in the chair I put my lower legs under a cylindrical cushion and the object is to lift that cushion. I go with more reps (15) rather than emphasize more weight to go easy on the knees. Right now I'm up to 110 pounds on the weight stack but don't try to push it in terms of increasing weight, only increasing weight if it seems relatively easy. There is adjustment to raise or lower the cushion and to adjust the position of the knees wrt the rest of the machine. I'm not sure what you mean by the pins and hole gaps etc. and your machine must be somewhat different. The second of the two machine exercises I mentioned earlier involves just the opposite movement where a cushion is under the lower legs and I have to push it down. While I do feel stress in my knees with both exercises, I feel that by going easy I'm not hurting anything. Something else you may wish to know (and to shorten the story) is that glucosamine condroitin has been like a wonder drug for my knees and back since it rebuilds the cartilage in joint areas. You may have read that the medical profession has pooh poohed its use but I think that why it works so well for me is that I'm also on a hefty supplement regimen that acts to give the glucosamine a boost. Like I said its too early to tell how much the exercise is helping but I do think I'm seeing some improvement. Even if its all in my head at this point, I'll take it .
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:39 AM
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Whatever your exercise regime, its important to work with your physician and trainer which sounds like the case. In addition to specific exercises to build lower body strength, a really important area not to neglect is overall "core" conditioning. This is the group of muscles that include the abs, obliques, lower back etc. In terms of balance and overall stability, this group of muscles play in equally important role, maybe even more so than the lower body.

Talk to your trainer about working some core training exercises into the routine. In general exercising the core involves challenging your balance - so the exercises you described in the original (leg raise & balance) post falls into that category. They will really help. Another great one is doing crunches on a swiss ball.

Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:16 AM
beau purvis beau purvis is offline
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Chromedome,The machine you are using is the one I am talking about.Usualy there is a pin that you place in a hole of the amount of weight you wish to use.Take it out,move you legs so you see two holes in the rod that goes through the stack of weights.Then, put the pin in the desired spot in the weight rack.This will allow your leg position to be less than 90 degrees at the beginning position.This reduces the strain on the knee joint but does not deminish the ability to build all the supporting muscles.It is the same principle that should be deployed on the leg press.Never go down to 90 degrees.Too much pressure on the joint.BTW,my injured knee is as good as ever.Little less extension and a numb area,but never any pain and never think about it except that how amazed I am that I never have to think about it!Beau
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:54 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian
Whatever your exercise regime, its important to work with your physician and trainer which sounds like the case. In addition to specific exercises to build lower body strength, a really important area not to neglect is overall "core" conditioning. This is the group of muscles that include the abs, obliques, lower back etc. In terms of balance and overall stability, this group of muscles play in equally important role, maybe even more so than the lower body.

Talk to your trainer about working some core training exercises into the routine. In general exercising the core involves challenging your balance - so the exercises you described in the original (leg raise & balance) post falls into that category. They will really help. Another great one is doing crunches on a swiss ball.

Good luck!
Thanks for your comments Adrian. I've been doing the crunches on a swiss ball for some time now. Three times a week I do 3 sets of 20 reps each. I know a lot of guys do a lot more but I have quite a few exercises I need to get thru in limited time. And just yesterday I read where this exercise is rated as one of the top 3 for abs. I do a complete body workout upper and lower so I'm probably on a good program. It just takes time I suppose.
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:59 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau purvis
Chromedome,The machine you are using is the one I am talking about.Usualy there is a pin that you place in a hole of the amount of weight you wish to use.Take it out,move you legs so you see two holes in the rod that goes through the stack of weights.Then, put the pin in the desired spot in the weight rack.This will allow your leg position to be less than 90 degrees at the beginning position.This reduces the strain on the knee joint but does not deminish the ability to build all the supporting muscles.It is the same principle that should be deployed on the leg press.Never go down to 90 degrees.Too much pressure on the joint.BTW,my injured knee is as good as ever.Little less extension and a numb area,but never any pain and never think about it except that how amazed I am that I never have to think about it!Beau
I believe I completely understand now what you are saying and am beyond the 2 pin slot you mention. As I said, I was up to 110 pounds but today tried to push it up to 125 (the next slot down) but strained the knee at that level so went back to 110. And I see what you mean by not going the full 90 much as full squats (which I don't do) are not recommended probably for the same reason. Thanks again for your helpful comments.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:51 PM
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Hi,

I was going to mention balance is also a key aspect of wading safely. Being able to recover when your foot slips to a new position and keep your balance could save you from getting flushed down river. Tai Chi or Yoga can help with core strength and balance tremendously. Ice skating is pretty good too.

Physical strength alone is not enough in my opinion. Both provide some other benefits, Hot Yoga like Baron Baptiste's is amazing for energy development and increase range of motion in addition to improved balance. The heat along with stretching can help improve range of motion from old injuries in a significant way.

Tight Lines.
Greg.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:05 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregD
Hi,

I was going to mention balance is also a key aspect of wading safely. Being able to recover when your foot slips to a new position and keep your balance could save you from getting flushed down river. Tai Chi or Yoga can help with core strength and balance tremendously. Ice skating is pretty good too.

Physical strength alone is not enough in my opinion. Both provide some other benefits, Hot Yoga like Baron Baptiste's is amazing for energy development and increase range of motion in addition to improved balance. The heat along with stretching can help improve range of motion from old injuries in a significant way.

Tight Lines.
Greg.
Thanks Greg for your comments. I do the balance board and the dumbell exercise mentioned above specifically with the balance aspect in mind. Tai Chi, and to a lesser extent Yoga, are two that I'm aware will help but there's only so much time. I try to get into some stretching, by the way, mainly so I don't cause injury during the weight exercises.
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