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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

My KNEES! I feel so old....

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Old 03-30-2007, 09:41 AM   #16
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OK, here are three basic knee strengthening exercises. Frus, I think you're light years past these!

Step Ups: Use an aerobic step - like Reebok - if you have one, if not, use regular steps (but they're not adjustable). Start with a low step and just step up - right leg up, then left, right leg down, then left - 15 times. Switch legs. Try three sets.

To progress: 1. raise the step higher, 2. hold light dumbbells, 3. step down instead of up.



Ball Squats: Place an exercise ball in the small of your back (curved area). Hands on hips. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor and your knees form a 90 degree angle. Start with three sets of 15 reps.

To progress: 1. increase reps - try for sets of 50!, 2. hold light dumbbells, 3. pause and hold at the bottom for 10 seconds for each rep, 4. do a set of half-reps.



Leg Extensions: If you have access to a gym, it undoubtedly will have this machine. If you're working out at home, get some ankle weights (the ones that adjust up to 5 pounds are great). Sit down in a chair, strap on the ankle weights, and slowly raise one leg leg until it's straight out in front of you. Slowly lower. This is a slow and controlled exercise, without the use of momentum. Do three sets of 15 reps with each leg.

To progress: 1. increase the weight, 2. do both legs together, 3. pause and hold for five seconds at the top of the movement.

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Old 03-30-2007, 09:59 AM   #17
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Thank you Meg!
I'm gonna print these up and hang'em on the wall! I'm prolly going to buy a exercise ball like the one pictured this weekend!
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:09 PM   #18
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Does anyone else's knees make noise when they do squats and walk upstairs and such? My knees have always done this - thought they don't hurt. I have no idea why they make noise. And if I put my hand on my knee while going up a step I can feel it make the noise (if that makes sense).

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Old 03-30-2007, 01:15 PM   #19
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I haven't heard it when I exercise, but they sure make a popping noise when i stand up somtimes, as does other parts of my body, LOL! I just figure it's age....
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:32 PM   #20
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"Do anyone else's knees make noise when they do squats and walk upstairs and such? My knees have always done this - thought they don't hurt. I have no idea why they make noise. And if I put my hand on my knee while going up a step I can feel it make the noise (if that makes sense)."

My knees have a bit of crunch to them. If I put my fingers on my knee and make a bicycling motion, I can feel my knee crunching and grinding. It's pretty gross. Mine have always been like that though--I remember getting my friends to feel my crunchy knees when I was a skinny 13 year old. I've asked doctors about it (because I do have other problems with my knees) and they have always seemed entirely uninterested in the phenomenon.
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:09 PM   #21
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My knees crackle and grind, too, but after years of strength training, no longer hurt. When I first starting lifting heavy, I wrapped them with an ace bandage each for stabilization. It helped alot.

When you are doing "ball squats", place a lightweight ball about the size of a basketball (but light...those kid ones that are in the supermarkets now) between your knees and hold it there with leg pressure throughout the exercise. This will keep your knees from wandering in or out.

Fru- In your situation, I'd wrap both for lifting and use a neoprene brace for kickboxing. Do ball squats with a smaller ball between your knees and holding dumbbells. If you are using a leg press, put the lightweight ball between your knees. You really want to stabilize both legs so that they can't widen out as you press or squat. This doesn't work for free bar squats- you just need to wrap or stay away from them for a while.

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Old 03-30-2007, 02:27 PM   #22
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The -only- solution I've found to my knee problems is to develop my quad muscles. Rock hard quads = knee stability for me. My doc explained that the quad muscle helps to "guide" the kneecap in its correct track, reducing friction on the underside of the kneecap, which prevents pain. It also stabilizes.

My knee hasn't dislocated since the very beginning of my journey - and this from a girl who used to sublux or dislocate her kneecap probably once a month (congenital knee problem - extra ligament called a plica ran under the kneecap, which over the years resulted in the complete replacement of cartilege under my right knee with scar tissue that is thicker than the cartilege layer would be - kneecap rides high and tended to "pop" off whenever it was struck or bent funny).

All of those exercises that Meg posted seem like they would work the quad, so that makes sense. The stronger your quads get, the less knee trouble you'll have, at least in my experience.
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:55 PM   #23
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Thanks Meg for the exercises and pics. And thanks Mel for the ball between knees advice.

I have a follow up question...

Can you do the ball between knees with regular dumbell squats or were you (Mel) tallking about adding dumbells to the wall squats or could you do either?

The knee wandering is totally my problem. I noticed this today durning lunges. Left knee is a good little soldier and right knee has ADD and will only behave if I concentrate hard.
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:42 PM   #24
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I was talking about adding dumbbells to a wall squat. I think that is a lot easier on the knees and you can still do a weighted squat that way. Another good knee strengther is one legged stand-up-sit-downs. Find a platform or bench where when you are sitting, your quads are parallel to the floor and your knees form a 90 degree angle. Put one foot one the floor and hold the other bent out in front of you. Stand up. Sit down. Do this 10 times. Switch legs. This is hard- a lot of women can't get their butts UP at all. If you can't do it, sit down on one leg--control, control...the stand up on two. When you can easily do the "down part", then try the standing again.

Mandalinn- Strong quads are only half the equation. You also need strong hamstrings to balance them. If you only work your quads and have underdeveloped hamstrings, you'll create knee problems. Many runners who don't cross train have problems because their quads are so overdevoped in relation to their hammies.

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Old 03-30-2007, 05:46 PM   #25
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I must have never had problems with hammie development, because i mainly focused on the quads and resolved my issues.

I stand corrected! Strong hammies and quads!
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:25 AM   #26
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Mel, that's a great exercise! I'm going to do it myself.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:39 AM   #27
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Well that seems easy enough. I found some hamstring exercises online that I can just strap on my ankle weights and do along with the quads. Heck a couple are moves I do anyways when I do the step aerobics. I have found that I give myself a better workout than some of these DVD's I have, LOL!
Thanks for all the help and advice.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:47 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Is that really me View Post
Does anyone else's knees make noise when they do squats and walk upstairs and such? My knees have always done this - thought they don't hurt. I have no idea why they make noise. And if I put my hand on my knee while going up a step I can feel it make the noise (if that makes sense).

Jo
me! me! In my 20's my knees would pop or crack once in a while when I walked. It never hurt, in fact, it felt relieved like when I used to crack my knuckles (but that's another story ) . Now that I'm in my 30's and my weight has been going up and down drastically by 30+ pounds or more several times over the past few years, my knees tend to flare up more often. My orthopedic doc says the crunching noises are scar tissue, which could be from bone rubbing on bone, or the meniscus (cartilage) wearing away, basically any debris "floating" around in the joint fluid will cause the sound.

I had arthroscopic surgery in Feb. this year to remove a large meniscus tear and had a lateral release at the same time. Let me tell you, that crunching sound is magnified now and I can hear it while I walk.

Meg, those are great exercises. Just wanted to add also that if you don't have a giant exercise ball to do ball squats, you could always put a towel (worn like a cape) on your back and lean directly on the wall and do wall slides for the same effect. But as always, proper form is necessary so you don't hurt yourself. Wow, I'm glad I happened upon this thread, such great info from all.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:09 PM   #29
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I don't know if this will help anyone, but I was in physical therapy for a while for my knees because I was hyperextending (basically, constantly locking them when I was walking) them without realizing it. One of the ways they got the pain to go away was to strengthen the muscle around my knees. They had me do leg lifts, lying on a table (or on my bed, if I was doing them at home) on my stomach, lifting and holding my leg a few inches up. Same on my side and on my back, with a five pound velcro weight strapped on my leg. Sometimes, if my knees were having a particularly bad day, I'd wear bootcut jeans, and I'd wear the weights while I was going about my buisiness for the day. That last one wasn't a reccomended exercise from my PT, so maybe it isn't a good idea, but it helped me.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
Fru- In your situation, I'd wrap both for lifting and use a neoprene brace for kickboxing. Do ball squats with a smaller ball between your knees and holding dumbbells. If you are using a leg press, put the lightweight ball between your knees. You really want to stabilize both legs so that they can't widen out as you press or squat. This doesn't work for free bar squats- you just need to wrap or stay away from them for a while.

Mel
Thank you Mel For my free bar squats I am really lightening the load and concentrating on my knees not caving inwards.

I am going to try the ball squats in the gym next leg day. I have been doing one legged squats and step-downs as suggested on some PF website.
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