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Old 03-17-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default I just can't do squats and lunges.

They hurt my knees. Right now I'm concentrating on cardio (walk/aerobics) and stretching yoga/pilates. These things really have gotten harder for mind since the last time. I've been going to the gym twice a week for strength training and I can do this at home too but I can't do these two exercises. Does anyone know what I can do instead that would work the same area. I found that using the machines at the gym aren't so bad but I'm still not that into the gym. Ideas?
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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I'm with ya on the lunges, they kill my knees. Squats don't bother me - make sure you are doing them properly (keeping them parallel to the floor) the weight should be focused on your butt and thighs. Regardless, I ride my bike and it doesn't hurt my knees at all!
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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I recommend walking up and down hills outside, and/or using a treadmill to walk on an incline. You will see excellent improvements to all lower-body muscles doing this.

I also had pain in my knees when doing squats/lunges prior to beginning hill-walking. That pain is mostly gone now after just a couple of months.

If you can, and you haven't already, I would also recommend cutting sugar and refined white grains out of your diet completely. This was the first thing I changed in my diet last year, and it made a huge difference to my knee pain--even without exercising. Sugar and refined whites are pro-inflammatory foods and make joint pain worse.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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Me either - it hurts my knees deep inside, it's such a WRONG feeling.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #5
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Do ball squats hurt your knees as well? (Ball against wall, feet out in front)

I have bad knees and one benefit of exercise is it will help you over time, although you may not be there right now. Walking is great exercise, especially hills.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:46 PM   #6
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I have trouble with squats/lunges because my knees are very inflexible. (I was a terrible bowler for the same reason.) I had horrible knee and ankle pain (like arthritis-type) before I went on Atkins. Atkins completely, utterly, 100% cured me of knee pain after I detoxed from the carbs ~ I'm talking, pain-free in less than 72 hours. Even if I don't lose another pound I will stay on Atkins for life simply because it cured my knee pain.

I still have trouble doing these, particularly lunges, but that's just because I'm built weird and am inflexible ~ not because I'm having any pain. Have you considered, as War Maiden said, cutting refined sugar, starch and processed carbs out of your diet? (I'd go a step further and recommend Atkins to see if maybe eliminating these things entirely will cure your pain like it did mine but YMMV.)
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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Squats in particular are really important, the most common reason folks end up in nursing homes is inability to "toilet" themselves...and sitting down on the toilet is essentially a squat! (They told us this at Canyon Ranch where they really push squats.)

If you are going to the gym at all can you talk to a trainer about alternatives? Also, maybe have them watch your form. I frequently find that on my own I misposition myself and have more pain.

BTW I hate squats and lunges more than any other exercise.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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I agree with hill walking. I have a bad knee leftover from high school basketball and as I gained weight it just got worse. The workout I am currently doing has lots of squats and lunges and over time (I'm on week 5 of 6 on that one) it's gotten better. I don't know if it's my form improving or what, but the more I do it - the less it hurts. I hope you find something you like. I LOVE squats but hate lunges. Weird...
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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The seated leg presses that you do on a machine at the gym will help you get started with this. Don't put the weight too heavy--in fact, you may not need to load any weight on it at all to begin with. It will help your thigh muscles become stronger and also help your knees move without too much weight on them. (Of course, if you feel any pain, stop.) Once you get built up for awhile on that, you might be able to try other exercises. Lunges are very hard--I wouldn't recommend trying them just yet.

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:03 PM   #10
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You've gotten some great advice already, but I just wanted to echo what's been said. My knees were really hurting when I started losing weight. Our family room has two steps down and I would avoid those two steps because my knees hurt so bad and would make popping noises. I started with the treadmill for exercise and gradually upped the incline on it, I'm now at 9.5 % incline. My knees are soooooo much better. The incline on the treadmill and the weight coming off has made all the difference in the world. It's so worth it to stick it out. I love the muscles I've built in my legs, there's still lots of cellulite on top of them, but I can feel them! I love to do step exercise on those steps in the family room now. It feels so great to go up and down them with ease!
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #11
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I'm jumping into the board, but the title caught my eye! A good exercise for one of the major muscles worked in squats (the quadriceps) is to sit on a chair and lift one leg up at a time and then lower. You can also put a weight on your ankle to increase the resistance.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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I was searching for info the other day on what would be causing a crunching noise in one of my knees (no pain, just a really gross snap, crackle, pop) and a lot of the info I found talked about the crunching noise and knee pain attributed to not having strong muscles in the upper leg. It gave many tips for building muscle to help support the knee...things like the leg lifts suggested by aneleh. I, of course, cannot find the information now, but it was basically anything that would strengthen the muscles in your upper leg, gluts, and even lower legs.

I know cycling is a great non-knee weight bearing aerobic exercise...great for the legs, or maybe if you have access to a pool, exercises in water, which takes the weight and pressure off your knees would be as effective as lunges and squats.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:07 PM   #13
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Second Nelie on the wall ball squats. Those never seemed to hurt my knees like regular squats used to.

I'd wait on the lunges until squats are more comfortable, I injured my knee pretty badly trying them before I was ready - took some time to attempt them again.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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a year ago I could have written this post. I did a lot of walking, strengthening exercises and pilates. Wall sits are my friend. I can get to 90 degree wall sits now but at the beginning no way.

Now I can walk without pain and without wearing a knee tensor. It took dedication and patience but I was able to eventually build strength in the muscles around my knees to reduce pain (knees can take a long time to heal when ya injure them too so be gentle - not that you werent already)
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #15
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Even when I was thinner, I could not, do lunges, first of all, after a few days I noticed my knees hurt, second of all, I was too darn lazy. I found the area I hate working the most, is the area I need the most help in. Even when I'm warmed up, say using the Fanny Buster (firm) I won't do them.

I will do squats, but have we done, I'll stop mid way, go up a little go down, where my butt never touches anything;-) and it works, my outer thighs really tightened up.

Again, when I was younger.......Cough, cough.......I would put an ace bandage around my knees it did help, sometimes I added some type of self heating, I forget what it's called. It does work, then, I was a 110 pounds thinking I was heavy, someone should have slapped me.

I have also found, when I do lunges, rare occasions when I place my my leg in back of me, and lunge there is a decrease in pain. More stable for some reason.
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