When I was about 9, I had an old standard bike. Every now and again I would check to see whether the generator  worked by flipping the bike upside down, engaging the generator onto the tire, then  poking the leads between my lower incisor teeth as I gave the wheel a turn. I suppose most people would engage the headlamp, but I rather enjoyed the direct approach. I like a little pain. That’s probably the reason I still teach fitness at my ripe age of 63.

Readers  will recall that last week I mentioned that I had a sore lnee, and I gave some tips on  how to work around an injury.

My do-it-yourself electroshock therapy came back to me this week as I rested on the physiotherapist’s table with a heat pack on my knee and an electrodes attached to each side of my knee cap. “ I’m going to leave you for 20 minutes,” Vieda the physiotherapist said. You can control the intensity of shock with this control. i turned the intensity up past the point where i could feel it. and i continued to adjust it upward  until Vieda came  back to check on me.

“I knew it,” she said. I knew you would have it set to the maximum right away,” This means you’re going to be teaching this weekend, aren’t you?”

“Of course,” I said as my leg started to twitch under the smouldering towel on my knee. “It’s good to exercise to keep the joint lubricated and to strengthen the muscle around it.”

“That’s true,” she said. :But I think it’s the pain you’re after.  You’re addicted to it.”

“Well.’’ I said thinking of how to say this in the language of addictions. “You gave me the control. Does that make you the enabler?”

“Touché, “ she said.

I told this story after class this morning. A participant took me aside and told me that she too was having knee problems and was wondering what kind of exercises she could do to see some improvement and reduce the pain.

I told her that the best thing she could do would be to strengthen the muscles around the joint. I told her that the main groups around the knee.  In =the case of the b=knee, that would be the quadriceps on the front of the thigh, the hamstrings at the back of the thigh, the soleus and the gastrocnemius at the back if the calf, ad the tibialis at the shin.

I went on to tell her that a good way to do this was to work isometrically where the muscle is stressed without moving the joint.

For the quads, lie on your back and cross your feet with your legs extended. Lift the bottom leg against the top while pressing down on the top leg. Hold this for a few second, rest and repeat. Be  sure to do this on both legs.

This process also exercises the hamstring of the upper leg. For the shin and calf muscles, point and flex your feet. You can use your other foot to add resistance.

Be sure to stretch all your muscles after working them. You probably shouldn’t flip your bike upside down  and apply the leads to your knee. Leave that to the professionals.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there “aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look like.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



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