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Thread: Adding size and strength to legs with bad knees

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  1. #1
    Banned Ice Veins's Avatar
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    Adding size and strength to legs with bad knees

    Any suggestions?

    I have glass knees...had osgood slaughters disease as a teen (one part of the knee grows too fast for the other part)...I outgrew that for the most part, but developed all kinds of complications in my knees from it...

    whenever i try to add size and strength to my knees i get counterproductive results...when i try to move up to heavy weights in squatting, my knees eventually start hurting when i walk...I feel like my lower body is not as strong as it should be, and i experience alot of pain in my legs when playing basketball...

    I was told that leg extensions are not good for someone with my condition...I squat with light weights, do leg pressed with light weights, but it seems like even then my knees feel a little stiff afterwards...

    So what the hell else can I do to strenghten my knees and strengthen my legs as a whole without hurting my knees?

  2. #2
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Maybe think of low-impact, high resistance stuff? You'd really have to get creative with a treadmill or stationary bike. Maybe some kind of intense water leg workouts. I really don't know ow bad your knees are, so I could be overplaying your situation and not giving you great info here.

    ooh ooh...holding dumbells (HEAVY) while in a pool, and squatting. I bet the water does a lot to help stabilize you and take some of the stres off of the knees.
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  3. #3
    Banned Ice Veins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd
    Maybe think of low-impact, high resistance stuff? You'd really have to get creative with a treadmill or stationary bike. Maybe some kind of intense water leg workouts. I really don't know ow bad your knees are, so I could be overplaying your situation and not giving you great info here.

    ooh ooh...holding dumbells (HEAVY) while in a pool, and squatting. I bet the water does a lot to help stabilize you and take some of the stres off of the knees.
    Sounds real good...I really need to get myself to a pool...but I am thinking high resistance stuff too...possibly isometrics?

    My knees are not THAT bad...they just hurt me when I over exert them, and they crack and pop very often...they just feel weak overall, although I can do any activity I want to like running or jumping, I just have to fight through the pain...

    i think weakness is the key term to describe how my knees feel...so basically I am trying to strenghten them withouth hurting them...but also want to strengthen and add size to my quads and hammys...

  4. #4
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    Try using knee wraps.

  5. #5
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt
    Try using knee wraps.
    :withstupi

    and neoprene knee braces.
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  6. #6
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    I was thinking that even the up/down of water provides some resistance for a squat, although you'd have to find someone willing to let you get in not only with their dumbells, but while weighing yourself down...lol
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  7. #7
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Well, I don't think any body weight work will make you legs bigger. You will gain some explosiveness, but not a huge amount. Wraps can help. Rest and some ice/heat will also help. All the jumping can stress your knees out, obviously, and if you don't give yourself enough time to recover, you'll make things worse when you squat.
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  8. #8
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    I have horrible knees. I inherited it from my moms side. They pop creak when I'm going up stairs and I can't run without my knees and the part of my shin right up under it hurting. A friend of mine who has Osgood Shlatters told me that I might have that too... I donno though.

    But anyway, wrap it really tight when doing any kind of exercise. That will make it not hurt as much and it will be safer. As far as exercises, I have never been able to do squats, freeweight or smith machine. They just hurt WAY too bad. The only thing I can do is leg press (for some reason I can do as much wieght as I want to on that). Just try Legpresses with your knee wrapped and see what you think.

    Be carefull though because that freind of mine who I was just talking about didnt have his knee wrapped and just blew it out last week.
    Last edited by BigE54; 03-15-2005 at 11:00 AM.

  9. #9
    Bulking Sith Knight Stephen Riddington's Avatar
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    You could try unilateral movements for each knee to improve strength, so they could handle heavier weights.

    I'm doing it for my right knee, since I can't squat jack.
    Last edited by CanadianHomer; 03-15-2005 at 11:03 AM.
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  10. #10
    Banned Ice Veins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianHomer
    You could try unilateral movements for each knee to improve strength, so they could handle heavier weights.

    I'm doing it for my right knee, since I can't squat jack.
    great thanks for the help...can u give me an idea of some excercieses to do? ones that have worked for you? thanks...

  11. #11
    Bulking Sith Knight Stephen Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ice Veins
    great thanks for the help...can u give me an idea of some excercieses to do? ones that have worked for you? thanks...
    Unilateral movements are movements that put focus on one limb. So if you're having problems with the knees. Do some one-legged squats per leg (No weights), or one-legged Leg Press per leg.

    I'll be trying this advice of starting light squats before adding weights, since it seems like a very logical idea of overcoming the problem of wonky knees.
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  12. #12
    Demotivated. JTyrell710's Avatar
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    well i have knee problems and i can squat jack, provided he weighs under 170.. :'(
    i had osgood schlatters, and all that took to get rid of it was to not play basketball (give it a chance to heal) and to start squatting. VERY lightly at first, but building up. i also took glucosamine complex after after leg workout. i found that when i played bball, not the jumping, but the landing caused my knees to kill and they wouldnt heal till i quit playing.
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  13. #13
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    I am in the same boat as the original poster...

    You can do some heavy hamstring exercises: SLDL, Glute-Ham Raises, Good Mornings, etc. This stuff works your lower back and to some extent your glutes as well.

    For my quads I just can't squat ****. The best I could do was box squats, but I had trouble doing any kind of weight without bouncing even on those, and normal squats/ATF have been kind of out of the question.

    For me, the best bet is deadlift variations. Snatch-Grip deadlifts, hack squats, normal deadlifts, power cleans, etc. always seem to be the best option for me. Some of the sleds are a little easier for me as well.

    At any rate, just go a little light. I've trained my legs pretty light for awhile now and just from being really good at progressing every week I have made better size gains on my legs than most the rest of my body.
    Last edited by KingJustin; 03-15-2005 at 08:51 PM.

  14. #14
    Banned Ice Veins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizatch
    I am in the same boat as the original poster...

    You can do some heavy hamstring exercises: SLDL, Glute-Ham Raises, Good Mornings, etc. This stuff works your lower back and to some extent your glutes as well.

    For my quads I just can't squat ****. The best I could do was box squats, but I had trouble doing any kind of weight without bouncing even on those, and normal squats/ATF have been kind of out of the question.

    For me, the best bet is deadlift variations. Snatch-Grip deadlifts, hack squats, normal deadlifts, power cleans, etc. always seem to be the best option for me. Some of the sleds are a little easier for me as well.

    At any rate, just go a little light. I've trained my legs pretty light for awhile now and just from being really good at progressing every week I have made better size gains on my legs than most the rest of my body.
    That sounds like some good options for me. I figured that hamstring excercises wouldnt hurt my knees and have been doing them for some time. I just purchased some glucosamine and will be taking that from now on, hopefully it will help my glass knees.

    As for deadlifts, i JUST started doing those as well. There is almost no pressure on the knees from doing them and strengthens the hammys at the same time. Sounds like we are in the same boat...problem is I have been doing the same routine then quitting, trying the same routine, then quitting...which is goig very light and working my up...by the time i work my way up to heavier weights thats when my knees start hurting...damned if i do, damned if i dont...

    but your routine sounds like a good fit for me, and I am definitely going to keep those in mind. thanks.

  15. #15
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    I have crappy knees- both of them. I have had surgeries and have no ACL left in one. I now squat and do every other leg exercise. Sometimes I have pain for a couple of days afterward, sometimes I don't. You don't have to squat super heavy, just squat what you're comfortable with. Maybe you could alternate a couple of different leg exercises so you only squat say, every 3rd workout? Anyway, good luck with it! I take glucosamine too, and use knee wraps on heavy sets.

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    I would do a ton of Hindu Squats-do them daily and build the repetition level. I am willing to bet that after about 8-10 monts of this, you will be able to resume regular leg training.

    reptition, repetition, repetition.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wassung
    I would do a ton of Hindu Squats-do them daily and build the repetition level. I am willing to bet that after about 8-10 monts of this, you will be able to resume regular leg training.

    reptition, repetition, repetition.....
    I had osgood and outgrew it. Had knee surgery a little over a year ago for ACL. Bodyweight to start. Hindu squats will help a lot. What else is wrong with your knees? They shouldn't pop from the osgoods. Atleast my knee never did. It would just get really sore after BBall and hurt to touch. It never bothered me with lifting, maybe I was just lucky.

  18. #18
    Banned Ice Veins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike G
    :withstupi

    I had osgood and outgrew it. Had knee surgery a little over a year ago for ACL. Bodyweight to start. Hindu squats will help a lot. What else is wrong with your knees? They shouldn't pop from the osgoods. Atleast my knee never did. It would just get really sore after BBall and hurt to touch. It never bothered me with lifting, maybe I was just lucky.
    My first question is, what the heck are hindu squats, and how do you do them?

    From Osgood's I developed Patella Alta (raised kneecap)...I have some knobby kneecaps man...Its not obvious when I'm standing up, but if I am sitting down with my leg extended outwards a little bit, my kneecaps look like Olive Oil's...and from this i did research and found that people with raised kneecaps can develop something called "chondromalacia patellae" from it...which pretty much is a condition which weakens your knees...which after reviewing the symptoms I can almost guarantee i have

    I have been to doctors, they take x-rays and all say the same thing..."We don't see anything wrong." The last doctor I saw said x-rays on my knee showed no damage and that I am likely just suffering from patellar instablility...

    I have dislocated my kneecap...TWICE...I would assume that is pretty unstable patellas...

    but my knees crack like a motherfu*cker....when i bend down, when i get up...i can crack them by extending my leg backwards, or by sliding my knee area sideways...its bad.

    I am hoping that a new strategy involving with neoprene wraps, glucosamine, and new training techinques will give my knees the lift I have been trying to develop for so long. I am running out of options other than surgery...and with no health benefits at the moment, that is not really an option.

  19. #19
    Dr. Xavier
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    As a sports doc who regularly treats football players with knee problems, I'll see if I can help you out. I assume you've had x-rays and a through examination of your knees. Perhaps more information is required. Any results on the x-ray? After you squat, where exactly do your knees hurt? Do they hurt during the exercise or after? How long do they usually hurt for? Other than OS, do you have any other problems with your knees?

  20. #20
    Banned Ice Veins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smauel4799
    As a sports doc who regularly treats football players with knee problems, I'll see if I can help you out. I assume you've had x-rays and a through examination of your knees. Perhaps more information is required. Any results on the x-ray? After you squat, where exactly do your knees hurt? Do they hurt during the exercise or after? How long do they usually hurt for? Other than OS, do you have any other problems with your knees?
    Great, sounds good I would love some feedback from you.

    All I can say about the X-Ray results is that the Doctors say there is no damage, and don't see anything wrong with my knees. Which always drives me crazy because i KNOW something is not right. After my 2 kneecap dislocations the doctors said there was no major damage to the ligaments or anything.

    The last doctor I saw said that I basically suffer from patellar instability which can be corrected by strenghtening the area around it. Which I have been doing forever, but still feel like my knees are weak.

    After squatting, I would say not until a couple of days later do my knees feel stiff and hurt when I walk. Not a particular location on the knee, just all over in general. During the squat, my knees just feel weak. Like they are not strong enough to support the weight past a certain point.

    I was going heavy with my leg workouts and noticed that my knees were KILLING me when I was walking. I completely stopped working my legs all together, and they went back to normal. Now I am back in to my routine because when i STOP working them out, although they dont hurt as much, they feel weak. Damned if i do damned if i dont.

    And other than OS, that is all I have been diagnosed with. I definitely have patella alta though, I can take a picture of my kneecaps, and you will see how raised and knobby they are from certain angles. And after reading about condromalacia patellae which is said to be a result of patella alta, I see that I have many of those symptoms as well.

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