- Continued reduction in stiffness
- A more equal weight distribution when squatting
- Noticeable twinge when turning on stairs (pivoting)
- Still can’t kneel..
Week 9/10 goals analysis:
- Start to do some more dynamic movements!
- Incorporate lunges into workouts
- Go for a paddleboard to help with stability. (weather permitting)
- Green= achieved Orange= Meh, kinda Red= Not achieved
Goals for week 13/14:
- Increase dynamic activity
- Focus on single leg activities to increase strength
- Attend Jiu Jitsu for some light drills (BOO YEAH!)
Exercises (per day):
- 15 mins bike
- 10 x Knee flexion pulls (lying on front/standing with elastic band).
- 20 x 90-degrees-squats
- 5min knee hangs
- 20 x step ups (on stairs)
- 3 min balance board
WEEK 12 exercises introduced by physio:
- One legged squats (slow and controlled)
- 2 legged balance board squats
- Lunges (slow and controlled)
- Walking down stairs (sort out my technique because I’m shifting my weight as I do it)
In week 11 my toys from Magni Power arrived. They sent me a macebell and some paralettes. The macebell is definitely my favourite thing since being introduced to the kettlebell. I’ve been playing around with the macebell swing and overhead squats mainly, and practicing my L-sits and tricep dips with the paralettes. My triceps and shoulders ache and my forearms have been burning for days- the first time I’ve felt DOMS in ages! It’s been amazing to start mixing up my workouts, and I feel like I’m keeping myself in shape so I hopefully won’t die when I eventually get back to rolling.
I’ve still been using the bike for 15-20mins each morning. To be honest, I’m not sure it’s very beneficial anymore. It was fantastic when I was trying to develop my ROM but I’ve had full ROM for a couple of weeks now and other than loosening my knee first thing in the morning before work, I don’t think it’s necessary anymore.
Whilst the workouts are going great, and my squats are definitely improving, I haven’t noticed any gains in my quad. I’ll take actual measurements and monitor any increases from now on. But it’s so disheartening to look down at my legs and see a nice rounded leg on one side and a total flat leg on the other (sigh).
It’s going to take a while to build it up I think. And that’s what sucks the most. Without that muscle, I cannot protect my new ACL. Like my surgeon said, the ACL isn’t a strong ligament- it acts as a trigger. If your leg hyper-extends too far, it send a message to your quads to tense up to prevent the leg extending anymore. That’s why there is such a heavy emphasis on prehab (and why some people choose to just build up the quad rather than undergo surgery)- because it’s the quadriceps job to protect the ACL. I’m at 12 weeks exactly as I type this and my ACL graft will be well into the re-vascularising phase by now. But despite having the ROM and feeling physically capable of attempting some rolling, I simply can’t because I don’t have the mass or strength in my quads to protect my own knee if my leg straightens a little too far.
Saw Physio today. Very happy with with everything. They’ve told me to push for full ROM (I didn’t mention that I’ve cheated an already pushed and achieved that) and to focus on squatting deeper and mastering the one legged one. They spent quite a bit of time with me altering my technique and suggesting improvements. Best physio session I’ve had yet. They also said that by 4 months I’ll be able to do “sports specific drills”- I read that as GUARD PASSING DRILLS BIAAATCHES.
So I have to focus on building back controlled strength in my exercises, and prove that I have progressed by the time I see my physio next in 3 weeks time. Once I get back on the mat, my initial plans will be the following:
- Anything that requires hooking and/or lifting with that leg (DLR or butterfly guard sweeps)
- Being in someones guard (can’t kneel)
- Coming up and completing a sweep (can’t crouch super low- lack of stability when low down)
- Stand up. Because it’s the freakin’ devil
- Closed guard attacks
- Half guard attacks
- Spider guard sweeps (without completing and coming up)
- Grip breaking from guard
- Deep half guard back takes
- Guard passing drills (focussing on leg work and breaking/controlling grips)
- Movement drills (hip escapes, oopahs, shoulder rolls- agility drills that I’ve been doing at home)
Basically I’ll attempt anything that requires me to work from my back and not have to kneel, crouch or roll over my knees. It’ll be weird, but I guess being able to sweep someone and keep them controlled without coming up to the top position means that when I physically can come up to the top position, I’ll have managed to keep some awesome control beforehand.
I’m stoked to be able to start some drills. I will definitely wait until the 4/5 month mark before doing any passing (stand up related) drills as my knee does still twinge when I try to turn/pivot fast on it, but I will do some ‘safe’ drills from my back starting.. THIS WEEK.
My return to the mat has commenced!! Osssss!!