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Wispy 05-10-2005 07:45 AM

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?

WonderMonkey 05-10-2005 07:50 AM

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.

Wispy 05-10-2005 08:04 AM

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.

WonderMonkey 05-10-2005 08:08 AM

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.

Wispy 05-10-2005 08:11 AM

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.

WonderMonkey 05-10-2005 08:15 AM

Also make sure your kneecaps aren't on the padding.

Darkhorse 05-10-2005 08:16 AM

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.

Darkhorse 05-10-2005 10:48 AM

Gimme a break. You know better than that.

apocalypse 05-10-2005 12:44 PM

Just stick with the machines for a while until u get used to the movements. 311 and Taurus give me a break :D

Darkhorse 05-10-2005 06:33 PM


Originally Posted by 0311
Gimme a break. You know better than that.

Look, my advice actually comes from experience. In the Marines, how do we safeguard ourselves from injury, as well as rehabilitate injuries? Simple, by military calisthenics. For instance, there is another 25 mile hike coming up in one month using 50 lb packs. What are all the platoons doing? Well, we start running long distance, and use our bodyweight doing calisthenics. Lunges are highly utilized in the military for strengthening our knee joints. You are only using your own bodyweight and if you only have to go down as far as your knee allows. Safe and effective. Also, I learned most of what I know from the gym when I was active duty. Every Marine has a different background, some even with exercise science degrees (officers) and they have all recommended some type of lunges to strengthen the knee. But, maybe they are all wrong because of an small article you might've read on the web saying they're bad. Experience talks and bullshit walks right? Here's something to read and stimulate some experience:

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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