Ive got a problem with weak knees. I use leg presses because I notice that the squats put too much pressure on my knees and I fear they may get injured. I think this is because the extra weight Im carrying, I need to lose about 60 lbs. Is there anything I can do to increase my knee strength and enable myself to do squats?
Go very light on the squats. Find a weight and work your way up to a set of 20. Ease into adding more weight.
Or use the leg press for a while and go light.
Just doing squats period without any weight or bar causes knee discomfort. Ive been slowly adding to my leg presses. I can put about 200 lbs on the press (2 sets of 12) and my knees are ok and I can get a good work on my legs, but I know I eventually need to switch off with the routine so my body is always challenged, and Ive been hesitant to approach the squat rack.
Another exercise I do which causes a bit of knee discomfort is the hamstring machine, (where you sit and raise the bar that is over your ankles to work your thighs) although I can successfully do it. Ive been going at about 60 lbs on that.
With the hamstring machine make sure you aren't over extending and locking out. That could cause some pain and possible damage.
Take is slow. Don't worry about those squats until your body is ready. Chances are your body will be ready before your mind is.
Thanks. Ive been generally working on easing my way up. My body is responding well in general to the weights. I think I have a certain natural muscularity and strength. I just need to get this flab off my butt.
When Im on the press or hamstring machine Im always policing myself so I dont lock out, after hearing that knee injuries are more likely when you lock the knee.
Also make sure your kneecaps aren't on the padding.
Just do lunges one leg at a time. Once your knees are respomding well to your own bodyweight, then start holding dumbbells. I wouldn't do any squats whatsoever until you are ready and have graduated from lunges. Doing squats isn't good advice if your knees are hurting.
Gimme a break. You know better than that.
Just stick with the machines for a while until u get used to the movements. 311 and Taurus give me a break :D
The College Question
"I am trying for an OCS BUDS billet after I graduate college. I am on the swim team now, so swimming is not an issue. However, should I focus more on calisthenics or running before I go to BUDS? Or a mix of both?"
First of all, everybody has their nemesis when they attempt BUDS. Very rarely are there people who are above average in running, swimming and upper body calisthenics.
Typically, swimmers are not great runners due to years of training in "zero-gravity" conditions. The legs have a hard time taking the abuse of running in boots on asphalt, and shin splints or other overuse injuries tend to occur.
Runners are typically lighter in weight and upper body muscle strength. They can handle the running at BUDS, but the obstacle courses and daily PT will challenge even the strong.
People who are above average in calisthenics are lean and able to handle multiple repetitions of pullups, pushups, and situps. But they tend to be a bit more muscular and not the best runners. Weightlifters rarely make it. High repetition calisthenics are much different from power lifting and body building.
My story: I was a typical high school athlete who played sports and lifted weights year round. It took me over a year while at the Naval Academy to change my body from football/power lifter to high repetition calisthenics and muscle endurance athlete. I focused on three things:
Running short distances at fast pace: (3 times a week) This means running for 2-4 miles at a 6-7 minute pace accompanied by a long run of 5-7 miles once a week.
Swimming 1000m-2000m: (3-4 times a week) Technique training with the Combat Swimmer Stroke and one long swim with fins of 1-2 miles.
Upper body and lower body calisthenics: Complete with lunges, pullups, pushups, situps, and other abdominal exercises, I would PT at least 4-5 times a week focusing on upperbody three days and lowerbody on two days of the week.
In closing, you cannot go wrong with whatever you choose for your sport. Do a sport because you like the sport. Squeeze in the missing parts from the above list in your spare time to become better trained for BUDS. Remember have fun while in school! Thanks for emailing me and wanting to become one of the Heroes of Tomorrow.
-A hundred Navy Seals cannot be wrong.
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