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TOPIC: Strength Training for bad knees??

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March 1, 2012 3:09 AM
Hi all,

I'm desperate to get some good strength training into my fitness routine (which at the moment consists of Zumba and not a lot else!) as I really want to avoid being the dreaded 'skinny fat' once I reach my goal weight.

However, I have really bad knees which creak and grind whenever I try to do anything involving squats or lunges. They get quite sore underneath my kneecaps, and tend to jar if I do any sudden movements (eg running for a bus).

I've been wanting to do 30 Day Shred but it's too hard on my knees. Looked into Body Pump classes at my gym too, but I know they'll also want me to do various squats and lunges with weights, which I just won't be able to do!
For some reason Zumba seems to be okay on them, but I have a feeling that's because the loud music means I can't hear the awful grinding sounds!

I already take Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements, as well as fish oil.

Does anyone have any suggestions of exercises/DVDs/classes I could do that won't involve the dreaded squats and lunges? How can I tone up my legs without these moves??
  8111173
March 1, 2012 3:20 AM
I don't know what they're called, but you can work your quads by placing weight between your flexed ankle and shin and raising your ankles from the bent at 90 degrees position to almost straight out in front of you in a seated position. Gyms have machines for this, but I've used sandbags at home. This is probably the worst description of an exercise ever by the way.
  11180573
March 1, 2012 3:20 AM
you'd be sitting on a chair or similar to do this.
  11180573
March 1, 2012 3:36 AM
Oooh good call, I hadn't thought of that one! I'd seen people on that machine at the gym but hadn't tried it myself yet.

Thanks :)
  8111173
March 1, 2012 3:41 AM
Romanian Dead Lifts, you use a locked knee with these, they work the gluts, and some quads.

Other than that, find a leg extension machine for the quads if you don't want down pressure on them, the leg extension machine is the best way to do it.
March 1, 2012 3:44 AM
QUOTE:



Other than that, find a leg extension machine for the quads if you don't want down pressure on them, the leg extension machine is the best way to do it.


I think that's what I was trying to describe. Just don't lock your knee out at the top.
  11180573
March 1, 2012 3:50 AM
DITTO TO WHAT THE OTHERS SAID. YOU CAN FIND MACHINES IN THE GYM THAT WILL NOT PUT STRESS ON YOUR KNEES. THERE SHOULD BE TRAINERS TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR GYM WITHOUT CHARGE.
  9007050
March 1, 2012 4:10 AM
I have had two ACL replacements in the same knee. After telling me the knee "will never be normal", and it isn't....my surgeon suggested putting the stability ball against the wall, leaning up against it with the small of my back and doing squats like this because it is much easier on the joint. As strange as this seems, he also had me walking backward on the treadmill. I do get some strange looks in the gym when I do this, but I don't care if it will help the knee. I also do the extensions mentioned and seated leg curls (in a sitting position and pulling back toward the chair). I do these with light weight, 3 sets of as many as I can do each. These can also be done with a stability ball by planting your feet on the ball, lifting your butt off the ground into a bridge and then pulling the ball back toward your hips with your heels. Hope this wasn't information overload, but I have been working this now since Dec '10 and am finally getting some definition back in the left leg.
Edited by donna9089 On March 1, 2012 4:11 AM
  16043635
March 1, 2012 4:13 AM
Great suggestions! Thanks so much everyone! I'll give all these a go... the trainers in my gym are more than slightly unhelpful, but I'll see what they suggest too!
  8111173
March 1, 2012 4:35 AM
Same problem. I used a DVD called "Strong Knees", which is basically a collection of physical therapy exercises. It's about $10 on Amazon, or available through Netflix if you have a DVD subscription. After doing it 3x a week for about a month, I was able to start doing squats and lunges. Still working on the form though...
  13438744
March 1, 2012 4:38 AM
QUOTE:

Same problem. I used a DVD called "Strong Knees", which is basically a collection of physical therapy exercises. It's about $10 on Amazon, or available through Netflix if you have a DVD subscription. After doing it 3x a week for about a month, I was able to start doing squats and lunges. Still working on the form though...


Oooh, sounds interesting!
I have Netflix, but unsure if that title is available in the UK, will have a look.
If not I'm sure I can find it somewhere! Thankyou!
  8111173
March 2, 2012 5:22 AM
bump for referencesmile
  13672348
March 3, 2012 6:08 PM
QUOTE:

Romanian Dead Lifts, you use a locked knee with these, they work the gluts, and some quads.


RDL's are done with slightly bent-knees, not locked

QUOTE:

Other than that, find a leg extension machine for the quads if you don't want down pressure on them, the leg extension machine is the best way to do it.


Leg extensions are TERRIBLE for your knees.
March 3, 2012 6:29 PM
I always thought I had wonky knees because I'm hypermobile, always hurt myself, and my joints sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies. But since strengthening my muscles, my joints are sooooo much better than ever before.
March 3, 2012 6:34 PM
I have the same problem with my knees
I looking into water aerobics with weights
Edited by deestew58 On March 3, 2012 6:38 PM
  10833190
March 3, 2012 6:35 PM
QUOTE:

I have had two ACL replacements in the same knee. After telling me the knee "will never be normal", and it isn't....my surgeon suggested putting the stability ball against the wall, leaning up against it with the small of my back and doing squats like this because it is much easier on the joint. As strange as this seems, he also had me walking backward on the treadmill. I do get some strange looks in the gym when I do this, but I don't care if it will help the knee. I also do the extensions mentioned and seated leg curls (in a sitting position and pulling back toward the chair). I do these with light weight, 3 sets of as many as I can do each. These can also be done with a stability ball by planting your feet on the ball, lifting your butt off the ground into a bridge and then pulling the ball back toward your hips with your heels. Hope this wasn't information overload, but I have been working this now since Dec '10 and am finally getting some definition back in the left leg.


These are all excellent exercises for the OP.
March 3, 2012 6:37 PM
thanks, I'll look for that DVD
  10833190
March 3, 2012 6:37 PM
I also have bad knees, and I do the 30 DS. I just don't go as deep in the squats and lunges. And I have been able to do them better as I have gone along in the program. :-}

Good Luck in your journey.

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March 3, 2012 6:39 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Romanian Dead Lifts, you use a locked knee with these, they work the gluts, and some quads.


RDL's are done with slightly bent-knees, not locked

QUOTE:

Other than that, find a leg extension machine for the quads if you don't want down pressure on them, the leg extension machine is the best way to do it.


Leg extensions are TERRIBLE for your knees.


Not necessarily. In this case, the symptoms indicate a condition where open-chain exercises are indicated--at least at first. If you modify the range of motion and concentrate only on the last 30 degrees of extension, leg extensions can be an essential part of rehab and a reliable intervention for overuse injuries such as "runner's knee" (patello-femoral syndrome).
March 3, 2012 6:39 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Romanian Dead Lifts, you use a locked knee with these, they work the gluts, and some quads.


RDL's are done with slightly bent-knees, not locked

QUOTE:

Other than that, find a leg extension machine for the quads if you don't want down pressure on them, the leg extension machine is the best way to do it.


Leg extensions are TERRIBLE for your knees.
+1 on the leg extensions they tear the knee apart really bad
  14045798
March 3, 2012 6:50 PM
bump
March 3, 2012 7:29 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Romanian Dead Lifts, you use a locked knee with these, they work the gluts, and some quads.


RDL's are done with slightly bent-knees, not locked

QUOTE:

Other than that, find a leg extension machine for the quads if you don't want down pressure on them, the leg extension machine is the best way to do it.


Leg extensions are TERRIBLE for your knees.
+1 on the leg extensions they tear the knee apart really bad


Agree with this.

1. Don't lock your knees, but do try RDLs. They also work my hamstrings pretty well.

2. IMO, avoid all the leg machines. They are far worse on my bad knees than squats and lunges.

Also, it sounds like we have similar kneed problems. I cannot do static lunges, but I've found that walking lunges are a bit easier on me.
  10438700
March 3, 2012 7:33 PM
My right knee sometimes pops when I bend. I was afraid this would worsen when I started lifting weights. It didn't. In fact, it never pops anymore. I have chronic right shoulder/arm tension that is also going away as I continue to lift weights.

My advice is to strength train... see if it goes away. I've even encouraged my husband who once hurt his lower back doing deadlifts to try them again... I believe if he corrects his form and does them the right way his pain will also clear up. He hasn't completely been sold on this idea yet.
Edited by JennieAL On March 3, 2012 7:33 PM
March 3, 2012 7:36 PM
I'm rehabbing a torn meniscus currently. My PT has me focusing on strengthening my hip abductor/adductor muscles, hamstrings, and quads. I also do an active nerve glide whenever I remember it. For cardio, I've found the ARC trainer to be best when I need to baby my knee. I see a lot of people on here recommend the elliptical for bad knees, but for me it's probably the worst machine I could use!
  13836291
March 3, 2012 7:40 PM
I have a knee brace. (you can get them at Walmart or drug store). I am also doing the 30DS/ level 2. It feels so much better with the support. :) Nothing is going to stop me now.. :)
  3606415

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