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Thread: Knees and squats

  1. #1
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    Knees and squats

    Ok, just a quick backround.

    In elementary school I had an unfortunate collision with a guy who weighed about 100 lbs more than me while playing basketball, he fell on top of me and caused serious damage to my right knee. The left was injured a few months later in the same season by a girl who tripped me and caused me to fall yet again akwardly on the left knee. On top of that I also have had CMP (Patellofemora Pain Syndrome) - which is common in women my age since about 14. So heres my dilemna, I have noticed since I have started working out that my knees have been getting somewhat better. However when I squat and try to go ass to the floor my knees start cracking and grinding, I dont generally feel it right then but I do the next day. The same thing happens with leg curls/extensions, so I just adapted the exercise so it didnt cause my knees to crack. However with squats even when I go to parallel I find the next day that my knees are filled with fluid and I will have random spurts of pain.

    Anybody had to deal with something similar? Should I wrap my knees or use a brace? They have helped me before for track but I find that they most definately decrease my range of motion, not to mention the fact that they are rather expensive (for a good one). I have also heard about using neoprene heat retainers to keep the muscles warm (something I have been trying to do in just wearing yoga pants while doing weights - It seems to help a bit). Anyways I guess what I am asking is should I be doing ass to the floor if it is hurting my knee? Would you recommend I only go to parrallel or that I just stick to doing relly low weights (And go ass to the floor) until it doesnt hurt anymore.

    Also for the doctor comments, Ive had this injury for 5 years now and I have been to a specialist numerous times who refuses to do anything more than touch my knee a couple of times and say "it shoudl go away with age". Frustrating as hell but I cant do anything about it, he said if it doesnt go away by 20 then they will scope it and frankly I would much rather avoid surgery, so if I can work through it to strengthen my quads and necessary muscle groups I would be very happy.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffian
    Ok, just a quick backround.

    In elementary school I had an unfortunate collision with a guy who weighed about 100 lbs more than me while playing basketball, he fell on top of me and caused serious damage to my right knee. The left was injured a few months later in the same season by a girl who tripped me and caused me to fall yet again akwardly on the left knee. On top of that I also have had CMP (Patellofemora Pain Syndrome) - which is common in women my age since about 14. So heres my dilemna, I have noticed since I have started working out that my knees have been getting somewhat better. However when I squat and try to go ass to the floor my knees start cracking and grinding, I dont generally feel it right then but I do the next day. The same thing happens with leg curls/extensions, so I just adapted the exercise so it didnt cause my knees to crack. However with squats even when I go to parallel I find the next day that my knees are filled with fluid and I will have random spurts of pain.

    Anybody had to deal with something similar? Should I wrap my knees or use a brace? They have helped me before for track but I find that they most definately decrease my range of motion, not to mention the fact that they are rather expensive (for a good one). I have also heard about using neoprene heat retainers to keep the muscles warm (something I have been trying to do in just wearing yoga pants while doing weights - It seems to help a bit). Anyways I guess what I am asking is should I be doing ass to the floor if it is hurting my knee? Would you recommend I only go to parrallel or that I just stick to doing relly low weights (And go ass to the floor) until it doesnt hurt anymore.

    Also for the doctor comments, Ive had this injury for 5 years now and I have been to a specialist numerous times who refuses to do anything more than touch my knee a couple of times and say "it shoudl go away with age". Frustrating as hell but I cant do anything about it, he said if it doesnt go away by 20 then they will scope it and frankly I would much rather avoid surgery, so if I can work through it to strengthen my quads and necessary muscle groups I would be very happy.

    Any suggestions?
    I had the same problem and it went away a few weeks ago. A few suggestions, because I believe pretty much any part of the body can be rehabilitated.

    1) Go a bit light on the squats and make sure you use excellent form. When checking form, make sure your feet are pointed out a bit to where they would be if you are walking. When you squat down, be sure to listen to your body and determine if the form is correct. You don't the wrong kind of angle on the knees when squatting, that alone could ruin them.

    2) Quit running for a while (if you do) running is hard on the knees... In fact I quit because my knees would fill with fluid. So, instead go for an incline walk for a while. You can return to running once your knees get better.

    3) Work the full range of motion. If going the full range of motion hurts, then reduce the weight even more. Knee problems can be a muscle imbalance, as the case in my situation. Because they have been injured so long, they are not as strong as the rest of your body. So do work full range of motion whenever possible and if it causes stress on the joints, lower weight until they get strong enough to handle more.

    4) Get proper rest! You need to heal those little joints after a good workout. Give yourself 4-5 days of rest in between squat workouts.

    These are some tips... I am sure others may have more. But my knees are feeling great these days. In my journal you will notice that they had been bothering me for a few years and especially the last two months. but thankfully, I have been pain free since I have quit running and built them up through full squats again.

    In my case, my knees were injured through ramming it underneith the desk several times and also going to heavy on a Leg Press when I was 17... Glad to say my knees have never been better as of lately.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by ArchAngel777; 01-30-2006 at 09:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    I have been going rather light on the squats, today I changed my form and went in between parallel and 'ass to the floor' and I found it to be easier. I think the smaller angle helped and I seemed to find it easier to find the energy to push up than when I was only going parallel. I havnt run alot for the past year and a bit because of my knees, just like you said it was because they would fill with fluid. I have been using an elliptical and it seems to do the trick, but eventually I want to get back into hurdling which will require my knees to be at 100%. I only squat once a week so I guess we'll see how my knees are later as to whether or not the change in angle helped at all.

    Anyone else got any ideas?

  4. #4
    Iron4Life
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    I used to have a lot of knee problems when I was younger too.. Football accident simliar to your BB incident.. and then a motorcycle accident to the opposite knee...

    To rehabiliate, I did a lot of research... and at the time, there was no Internet.. :-)
    But what I found besides Squats - with proper form was to bring the the strength of the Quad in balance with the Hamstring.. Most folks will have overwhelming strength in their Quads... some more then double their Hamstrings. Which is bad... really bad. The proper % is somewhere around 25 to 33% stonger.. but definitely not more then 50 %... So if you can do a max Leg curl (hamstring) of 50 lbs then your max leg extension should be around 62 to 68 lbs...

    Squat - especially ATF - will help to bring that balance together...
    But - and I know there are some on WBB that will disagree - but Single Leg Curls and Extensions will bring them together faster...
    So my routine when I was rehabilitating was 3 sets of squats and then 3 sets of single leg curls supersetted with leg extension always keeping the % difference around 25-33% and the reps the same. So you will probably be stressing your hammies more then your quads... but your hammies will getting stronger faster and bring them more into balance...

    You may also ask why single leg curls & extensions and not both legs together.. the reason is balance between left and right knees/legs. Another major cause of knee injuries is the balance between left and right. So if you are doing the same sets and reps with each leg, then you should be able to more balance out left and right knees/legs.. just think of Dumbell activity..

    With this program, even when I didn't exercise in a number of years.. I have never had knee balance-strength problems since... and that is 20 years. The only I had about a year ago was an inflexible kneecap - which was due to not properly stretching my hamstrings.

    Good luck...
    Last edited by Bob; 01-30-2006 at 02:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    On a good note, my knees were fine this morning; I guess that angle is a better one for me...

    Bearwolfden- Ive heard about that theory several times bu tI guess I am an anomoly; my hammies have always been a ton stronger then my quads. AT the start when I was workign out they were nearly twice as strong as my quads (probably due to track). Now that Ive been squatting and doing leg extensions I have noticed that theya re starting to even out but my hammies are still a lot stronger (max extension - 65 lbs (5x5), max curl - 75 lbs (5x5) )

    *Shrugs*

    I guess Ill try again next week (for my next squat) to see if its about the same.

    Thanks for the help guys!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    I would drop the extensions for sure, and perhaps the curls. I don't have knee problems, but extensions never feel right. I couldn't imagine using them if I did have knee problems. Curls aren't bad, but I find they put unnecessary stress on the hamstring tendons. And neither of them are very functional, which would be wasted effort considering you actually compete in sports.

    If you squat without weight, do you experience pain the next day?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    PS - You can't compare extensions to curls to determine what muscle is stronger. Different machines, different leverages, etc.
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