It takes some time to readjust after an amputation. Movements can be awkward at first. Balancing is difficult. However, there are some exercises you can do to combat this initial uncomfortable period. Although it might not be possible to entirely off-set the loss of a limb, certain muscle groups can assist in the effort to account for the missing limb.
Prosthetics have made great improvements in recent years. There are plenty of new technological features that aid in balance and movement. But personal fitness and strategic exercise routines will give you every possible advantage.
1. Prosthetic Practice
The first thing you’ll want to do is grow accustomed to balancing on your artificial leg. Steady yourself on either a table or chair. Then lift your non-prosthetic leg while focusing on a fixed point in front of you. This will help steady your balance. The goal is to become steady on the artificial leg. Once this becomes easier, introduce a step. Move up and down the step alternating lead legs.
2. Evolving Center of Balance
Readjustments are important when moving around. Prepare for this with the help of a tennis ball. Again, stand next to a table or chair so you can hold onto it when necessary. Place the tennis ball on the floor and step on it with you non-artificial leg. Balance on your artificial leg as you roll the tennis ball under your foot. Move it back and forth, or in a circle. This changes your center of balance and forces you to adjust while remaining under control on your artificial leg.
This is a bit of a more advanced move. It requires great balance, coordination, and strength. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stick one leg in front of you so the toes are barely touching the ground. Extend your arms in front of you. Then lower your body into the squat position. Your back should remain straight, your shoulders should be above your hips, and your eyes should be forward. Bring yourself back to a standing position. Then repeat the motion on the opposite leg.
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This is the most well-known core exercise. It’s simple but quite effective. Lay face down on the floor on your toes like you would for a push up, but instead of being on your hands, tuck your arms in and support yourself on your forearms. Then all you have to do is hold your body in a straight line. It sounds easy because of the lack of movement, but it grows quite difficult pretty quickly. If it’s too difficult, support yourself on your knees instead of your toes.
2. Hollow Body Hold
This is a popular exercise for gymnasts. Begin by laying on your back with your hands above your head. Slowly raise your legs and arms from the ground. Be sure to move your shoulders and head along with your arms. Focus on keeping your lower back on the floor at all times. The goal is to keep your arms and legs off the floor while maintaining contact with your lower back. The result looks a bit like a crescent moon shape.
3. Dead Bug
The dead bug does a good job of exercising your core without putting strain on your lower back. Start by laying on your back with your arms straight in front of you, pointing at the ceiling. Bring your legs toward you so your knees are at a 90 degree angle. It is essential to keep your back as flat as possible throughout the exercise. Simultaneously lower your right arm straight back and your left leg in front of you, holding the previous position with the other limbs. Move slowly and exhale. Extend them until they almost touch the floor then return them to the starting position. Repeat with your other arm and leg. Again, maintain as much contact between your back and the floor.
Physical health is important. And when it comes to adjusting how you move through the world, maintaining proper balance and strategic strength is essential. Regaining mobility and being comfortable while doing so is an ongoing process. Utilization of proper methodology and technology can make this process much easier. Always consult a professional with any questions or concerns about navigating this rehabilitation process.