After knee replacement surgery and once you have been cleared by your orthopedic surgeon to resume your physical activities, there will be some changes that will have to be added. Theses adjustments will involve more of the high impact activities such as running, and jumping for instance.
When it comes to resistance or weight training, you should be able to continue as you had previously with some adjustments made to exercises such as heavy squats, or heavy deadlifts. These exercises however can be safely duplicated by using the leg press with lighter weights along with reducing the weight used on the deadlift and using higher repetitions to protect your knee replacement.
Having a knee replaced however does not mean your weight training days are over in fact, there should be a concerted effort on your part to be sure you continue to exercises to keep up not only your strength but, also to increase your muscle mass which in turns helps to burn more calories.
By weight training, you are increasing your bodies metabolism which helps you control your body weight which is important to reduce the amount of force through your knee prosthesis.
Knee replacement surgery will not affect your upper body exercises. The modifications come only with the affected leg or legs. For instance, you should be sure to include exercises for both lower extremities like hamstring curls, seated leg curls and the leg press. Exercises for your hips are important as well such as the abduction and adduction machines that many fitness centers have along with low back exercises.
Hyperextensions are a great exercise for your low back, hamstrings and gluteal muscles all wrapped up in one exercise without adding any stress at all to your knee prosthesis.
Calve raises are also another exercise you want to add to both lower extremities to add size and strength to your lower legs. By strengthening your affected leg or legs, you allow your muscles surrounding the knees to absorb the force of your body weight when walking and not your knees absorbing the full force.
This is done by continuing to weight train after your surgery and building strength throughout your body.
Many knee replacement recipients may keep up their current body weight or add additional weight through lack of physical exercise. The ideal solution after surgery is to start an exercises program that encompasses not only weight training but also a cardiovascular component that will allow you to live your life without physical restrictions.