I have a 74 year old male client who is awaiting a knee replacement (the other knee has already been replaced). He has had numerous surgeries (quadruple bypass, brain stem, removal of fluid from his knee, etc.) and is a real trooper. He cannot stand for very long so I have been doing most of my workouts with him in a chair. He would like to build more leg strength so he can stop using his walker and use a cane but it is very difficult to work his lower body with strength building exercises. Any suggestions on what I should be doing to (1) build his leg strength up and (2) keep him from getting frustrated until he gets his knee surgery?
I agree with some of the others, just standing and sitting into a chair is a great way to increase his leg strength. After warming up, I always start my 85 year old client’s session with this exercise, with a small inflated ball between her knees to help with form. Other exercises I have her do are assisted step-ups onto a low platform. On her bed we do supine marching and bridges, a leg press (using my body as resistance). Recently we have started doing standing agility activities to increase her quickness, reaction, balance, speed (some assisted and some she can do on her own). We do these with her standing with her bed behind her and me in front of her, spotting her closely. Many times the frail elderly lose strength in their legs because of their fear of falling–they go from walking to shuffling-never picking up their legs. Agility drills can help with this, giving them a boost of confidence. Hope that helps!