Yoga Tune Up: Quick Fix Rx KneeHabJill Miller
Year Released: 2011
Categories: Special Health Conditions
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I’m reviewing “KneeHab 2” and “KneeHow” led by Jill Miller from the QuickFix Rx Knee Hab DVD. “KneeHab 2” contains more dynamic exercises than KneeHab 1 (but does include a few static stretches), and the chair is used more for stability (place a hand, leg or elbows) than fully seated exercises (like in KneeHab 1). It’s a great segment, I feel really good (but worked) afterwards, and many exercises open up the hips (nice bonus for me, tend to have tight hips). “KneeHow” is definitely more challenging than previous segments, it incorporates more progressions of previous stretches & some new ones, single leg exercises (requiring balance & strength, don’t use chair for support), and squat variations (previous did not have any). I like to use the Prehab segment before or after completing one of these. Instruction is excellent in both segments, as well the exercises sequenced in the workouts (they all offer something a bit different). I did not mention this in the previous review, but Jill does demo all exercises w/ bare feet (and the set has a wood floor).
KneeHab 2 (14:54 min.): uses chair (& optional yoga strap). Mostly 4-6 reps per exercise or side (one has 20 reps), or 30-60 seconds per exercise.
Rolling feet see saws (plantar & dorsi flexion): start standing, one hand is on chair for support> start w/ soles of feet on floor> roll feet from ball of feet to flexed position (only heels on floor), reverse motion.
Wobbly cowboys (ankle inversion, eversion): face side of chair, place elbows on chair, w/ bent knees & flat back> knees open & close w/ rolling onto outside & inside of feet (ankles drive movement, not knees).
Hip hinge: from previous position> bent leg lift (glute kickback) & reverse motion (lower knee to chest).
Easy runner’s lunge: face side of chair, place one foot on top of chair (knee directly over /in line w/ ankle or a bit behind it), lower the knee down (of other leg) & hold.
Hip circles: face side of chair, place elbows on chair, w/ bent knees & flat back> bent leg circles outward then inward.
Single leg moving march: stand w/ one hand placed on chair> lift one knee up (high as possible), extend leg w/ flexed foot, reverse motion, alternating legs.
Side leg raises: lie on side w/ straight legs & bent bottom arm (that hand supports head), top leg is rotated so that toes face down/floor> slow pace leg raises> after completion of last rep, rainbow (semi-circle) the leg to front, lower to floor & hold, then reverse motion.
Side leg raises (elevated on chair): waist & hips of one side are lying on chair, bottom arm extended/hand on floor> perform leg raises w/ leg spins (alternates rotating both ways).
IT band melt-down (on chair): from previous position (side-lying on chair), top leg pulls to the back of other & lowers down a bit, bottom leg bends & it’s ankle is placed on top of other leg/hooks (pulls top leg down) & hold.
Half happy baby, mini-vinny (optional use of yoga strap): lie on back, w/ one leg extended, other is bent w/ strap wrapped around in-step of foot (or hand holds it), thigh drawn towards chest> lower knee to floor (other hip moves w/ motion, lifts up when other side knee lowers to floor) & reverse motion> leg externally rotated (bent, inside of leg faces body)> extend leg over body (cross) & reverse motion.
KneeHow (17:43 min.): uses yoga block, small towel (or plate or s/gliding disc for carpet), large towel, yoga mat & chair. 6-10 reps cued for some exercises, 30-60 seconds for some static stretches.
Rolling feet see saws (plantar & dorsi flexion): start w/ soles of feet on floor in standing position> roll feet from ball of feet to flexed position (only heels on floor), reverse motion (balls of feet on floor)> add overhead arms swing & lower.
Squat: place yoga block between thighs & squeeze> squat w/ flat back & arm reach to rear, then stand up w/ overhead arm reach> add Rolling feet see saws (roll onto heels in lowered position of squat, roll onto balls of feet in standing position).
Standing towel slides: traveling leg’s foot is on towel (or plate or s/gliding disc)> alternate a rear lunge (rear leg straight) and single leg slide to front (leg sliding is straight, other leg bent)> add sweeping arms (overhead w/ single leg slide to front, sweep rear w/ rear lunge).
Standing towel curtsy: curtsy lunge (leg sliding behind other leg & to other side is straight)> add arm sweep (overhead w/ curtsy lunge, and to sides w/ reversing motion).
Warrior 3 squats (optional hold to chair or wall): start w/ hinge at hips w/ flat back, bent knees, arms next to ears> pull heel of one leg up, and straighten the other leg & reverse motion.
Full squat (uses rolled yoga mat & large towel): towel is placed behind knees (acts as spacer), place heels on rolled mat, squat & hold.
Bridges on a chair: place heels on side of chair> slowly lift hips & reverse motion.
IT band melt-down (elevated on yoga blocks): lie on side of hips on 2-3 yoga blocks (or chair if tall), bottom elbow is bent> top leg moved to the back of other & lowers down a bit, bottom leg bends & it’s ankle is placed on top of other leg/hooks (pulls top leg down) & hold.
Asymmetrical happy baby: start w/ wide stance of legs, turned out feet, place one foot flat on chair, squat & hold (elbows can rest on thighs, or hands reach for yoga blocks or floor)> can add lateral movement.
Pigeon stretch: face side of chair & place externally rotated leg (bent, outside of leg on chair)> step back the other leg, bend it & hold.
Extreme supported runner’s lunge: face side of chair & step leg over it (it is bent, chest rests on it), other (upper) leg (and hip) rests on chair, hands on floor at sides of leg> same side arm reaches for foot, pulls the heel to the butt & hold. Modified exercise: use yoga strap to assist w/ pulling of heel to butt.
Leg stretch #3 (a variation of this in Kneehab 1, is performed on a chair): uses a yoga block & strap (or hand if flexible)> place yoga block under hips, one leg extended on floor to front, for other leg, loop in-step of one foot w/ strap & extend leg (vertically), then pivot & cross the leg over to other side (leg can be bent or straight, foot rests on floor), spine is rotated in other direction (of leg) & hold.
Knee Anatomy (6:15 min.): discusses the anatomy of knee & leg (upper & lower), and how issues in other areas (hip or ankle) could be related to current knee issues. Jill uses a (plastic, adult size) human skeleton & model of a hip joint to point out the areas that she is discussing.
"Kneehab” led by Jill Miller consists of 4 segments/routines for the knees. PreHab is a massage-focused segment that can be used as a warm-up or cool-down to other workouts, and is also used to assess the condition of knees (so that user can asses which other KneeHab routine to focus on). KneeHab 1 is for those recovering from an injury, and focused on “strength & mobility” exercises w/ most exercises performed on a chair. KneeHab 2 is for those who have mastered KneeHab 1 and builds off of the exercises in KneeHab 1 w/ a focus on “mobility, stability & agility” exercises. KneeHow is an advanced routine for those w/out knee issues who would like to use “knee strengthening” exercises for gains in athletic performance (also for those who have mastered KneeHab 2).
I am reviewing PreHab and KneeHab 1, I have used both not due to a knee injury, rather, I have been incorporating consistent floor-work into my regimen for the past few months (lots of high rep exercises in quadruped position or side bridge/ balance on one elbow & knee) and there has been increased tightness around the knees & a bit of pain on one, at times (so hoping to use these segments to help resolve those issues). PreHab has variety of exercises to massage the all areas of the lower body (hips, glutes, hamstrings, IT band, thighs, shins & feet) w/ the therapy balls. And it is tough to roll on many places (similar to a foam roller), I don’t feel the areas as tender/tight in my everyday life, but when using the balls to roll over the areas, it’s very evident. I plan to use PreHab daily or every other day, and see how it goes. KneeHab 1 has a mix of static hold and dynamic movements, it is a feel good routine compared to PreHab (liked it a lot). I plan to try KneeHab 2 and think this segment will likely serve me better (for those who are more physically active, I'm not impaired or healing from a knee injury but do have tight areas of the lower leg).
This is my introduction to a Jill Miller workout, she is highly recommended by VFers and on other sites (so interested me in trying out her routines). I found that she has a warm personality and thoroughly explains form pointers, purpose of exercises & uses the anatomical terms w/out losing the user (either by dumbing down the content or explaining in a confusing or condescending manner). Jill is very competent, and sequences in a variety of exercises w/ modifications (down or up) to really focus on prehab/rehab for the lower body (not just knees).
Introduction (2:20 min.)
PreHab (11:53 min.): uses mat, yoga block (or pillow for head), pillow & a pair of yoga therapy balls. No reps or time recommendations are given, one can follow along w/ Jill or as long as can be tolerated.
Glute: lie on back w/ bent knees, place ball under apex (largest point/part) of one glute, and turn out that leg (outside of foot rests on floor)> roll side to side on balls.
Deep 6 lateral (external) rotators of hip: from previous position, place balls in between tailbone & side of glute, leg extends to front, rest on elbows> tilt pelvis anteriorly or posteriorly or static hold.
Tensor facia lata (side of hip): place ball on side of hip, and lie onto side, bottom arm bent, bottom leg straight, top is bent w/ foot crosses over front of other leg> roll up & down side of hip, side to side or lift & lower bottom leg.
IT Band: from previous position, bend bottom leg and place balls on IT band, other leg crosses side of leg> roll up & down ball> change direction of balls (length of leg, previous turned for the width) & bottom leg crosses under other for side to side motion.
Repeat sequence on other side.
Adductors: lie on side w/ head supported by yoga block (or pillow) & bent knees, a pillow placed in between legs w/ balls on either side (inner thigh)> roll up & down, kick legs forward & reverse motion.
Needy ball: start on all fours w/ one knee placed on pillow, other knee has ball under it> roll ball around contours of knee joint. Alternative exercise: sit & manually roll ball around knee w/ both hands.
Shin rolling: place one shin on ball on a chair (other leg straight, both hands on chair w/ flat back), roll up & down ball (to ankle & reverse motion) & twisting motion.
Sit on heels (in table top position): start on all fours w/ a ball placed in crook of each knee, toes curled under> lower glutes to the heels of feet, and shift hips side to side.
Feet rolling: lace bottom of foot on ball> shift foot side to side on ball (inversion, eversion of ankles) and back & forth (soles of feet).
KneeHab 1 (13:13 min.): uses chair, small towel (paper/plastic plates or gliding/sliding discs for carpet users), large towel or blanket (or yoga strap). Mostly 20-30 reps per exercise (some 10 reps), static holds for 30-60 seconds (Jill does not demo all of the reps & time for each exercise, so users would need to complete on their own/pause DVD to complete all reps).
Knee cap lifts: start seated in at front of chair w/ legs extended on floor w/ flexed feet> lift knee both caps, alternating sides> push down on quadriceps w/ hands, while lifting knee caps (adds resistance).
Rolling feet see saws (plantar & dorsi flexion): start w/ soles of feet on floor> roll from balls of feet to flexed position (only heels on floor), reverse motion (balls of feet on floor)> Rolling see saw sideways (ankle inversion, eversion): knees open & close w/ rolling onto outside & inside of feet.
Static hold for knee caps: extend both legs in front of body & hold> gas pedals (alternate rolling through each foot to pointed & flexed position).
Towel twists (uses small towel): bent knees, towel is placed under feet (or if on carpet use paper/plastic plates or gliding/sliding discs)> rotate feet open & reverse motion.
Foot hook (knee extension): start w/ bent knees, big & second toe hook around back of ankle of other foot> extend legs to straightened position & reverse motion.
Polite Inner thighs: start w/ bent knees, alternate crossing one leg over other (just soles of feet on floor w/ movement).
Quad stretch: start w/ bent knees> move one foot under chair (ball of foot on floor) & bring leg back (90 degree angle), contract the glute of that leg & hold.
Hamstring stretch (uses big towel, blanket or yoga strap): place towel behind knee & lift knee (draw to chest)> straighten leg w/ flexed foot & hold.
Hamstring stretch #2: place towel around foot, lift knee to chest, straighten leg w/ flexed foot, then rotate open to side & hold.
Hamstring stretch #3: from previous stretch, cross the straightened leg over other leg/side & transfer towel/foot to other hand and hold, the free hand holds onto chair w/ torso rotation.
Supported runner’s lunge: bent leg opens to side of chair, body follows to face the side (w/ flat back), other leg is straight & its top of thigh rests on chair> hands can be on chair or on floor (sides of leg).