top of page

The Physical Shinn (Prior)

Last update: March 2, 2024

The John Shinnick Website

The Physical Shin (Prior)

My Home Gym


Progress on my knee injury seems to be coming along just fine. I went from the emergency room to a regular doctor to physical therapy where I wish I’d gone in the first place. I’m happy with the progress I’m making. The swelling is pretty much gone and it’s been several days since I tweaked it. I have to keep it taped to ensure the patella settles down in proper alignment, but that’s not really a problem. I’ve figured out how to do it so that one taping lasts three days or more. Cheapskate that I am, that’s important.


In addition to the taping, though, my physical therapist has given me exercises to build back the muscle around the knee. I have three, all of which start with me on my back with my legs bent at a 90-degree angle. In the first, I put one leg out, locked straight. Then I slowly raise and lower it twelve times, I switch legs and do it again, then once again I do each leg. By slowly, it’s about five seconds for each rise and lower.


The second is similar to the first except that instead of one leg going out straight, I keep it bent and raise it so the foot is even with the other knee. That’s my starting position. Then, keeping the other foot on the ground, I raise my hips as high as I can, then lower to the starting position. Again, two sets on each leg, 12 reps per set.


The third was added two weeks later. I cross my left leg over the right so my knees cross. Then I push the right leg down with my left knee until I feel the stretch through the right side of my hips and right thigh. I hold this for 60 seconds. I do this twice but don’t do both legs, probably because it was a different therapist that told me to do this one.


Anyway, I do the first one on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the second on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The third was recommended as at least three times a week, but I do it all six and take Sundays off unless I either forgot one of the other days or didn’t do it for some other reason.


You may remember that I started doing push-ups awhile back. A quick update. I abandoned the counter-top variety when I was able to do twenty from my knees. That was some time ago. Now I’m up to about 25 or so (my high has been 29) and every now and then I check in to see how many “regular” push-ups I can do. I’m now up to six. Not very impressive, but it’s progress. When I get to ten, I’ll start mixing regulars with knees. When I get to fifteen regulars, I’ll abandon the knee push-ups. The heroic assumption is painfully obvious. Anyway, I do the the knee variety six days a week and test the regulars on the seventh. The push-ups and three leg exercises are all done on the rug in my living room.

My new home gym.

I’ve now been in physical therapy for a little over a month. When I started, I had significant swelling. To counter this, I was instructed to raise my knee over the level of my heart for at least ten minutes twice a day with ice on it. I usually do 15 to 20 minutes. I do this by lying on my couch with the bad knee draped over the back. The ice was to reduce the swelling, though, and in my last visit, the swelling was declared to be a thing of the past. Since my main complaint was now stiffness, I was to switch to heat. I’m glad that in all my housecleaning I kept my heat pad. I find it ironic that the only piece of gym equipment I use in all of this is my couch, the symbol of slothful behavior. As in “couch potato.”


I still like to take my two-mile walks through my neighborhood.


Once my knee is healed to the point of no longer needing special exercises, I should probably replace them with either sit-ups (or crunches) or perhaps deep knee bends. I’ll decide that later. For now, though, I just want to get past my knee problems.

bottom of page