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Knee Strength

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Knee Strength

Postby tyler4588 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:58 pm

A few days ago I was rock hopping on the beach, and I guess I must have slipped on a rock or something, but for the rest of the day, I had some mild knee pain. The pain was almost gone the next day, but it still concerned me. I've never had a major knee injury, but they do feel tender after a good descent, so I've taken to using trekking poles.
Anyway, I was wondering if there's anything I can do to prevent future pain or injury. Will exercising my legs (squats, etc.) help with that? Any recommendation on specific exercises or programs to build leg strength and prevent knee injury?
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Postby BrunoM » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:01 pm

This is a good exercise to train those muscles that used while descending.

http://www.bodyresults.com/E2kneetest.asp
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Postby Augie Medina » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:51 pm

The Dude wrote:strong quads, calves, hamstrings = strong knees.



Agree. One thing that's a little difficult is to strengthen those muscle areas equally. It usually is much easier to strengthen quads, for example, than hamstrings, and consequently, people develop imbalances. So keep that in mind and try to work the areas so that one area doesn't stay considerably weaker than other areas.
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Postby BrunoM » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:59 pm

The Dude wrote:strong quads, calves, hamstrings = strong knees.

lunges, squats (make sure knee does not go over front of toes), box jumps, calf raises, etc are good exercises.

avoid leg (quad) extension machines and any exercise where the leverage point is your knee, ankle, or hip. use your butt muscles as much as you can.

i had knee problems when i was younger and was able to see some of the better doctors in the world for knee issues. 10 years later, everything they told me is still true.


What do you think about leg raises?
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Postby bird » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:43 pm

The Dude wrote:strong quads, calves, hamstrings = strong knees.

lunges, squats (make sure knee does not go over front of toes), box jumps, calf raises, etc are good exercises.

avoid leg (quad) extension machines and any exercise where the leverage point is your knee, ankle, or hip. use your butt muscles as much as you can.

Ditto, avoid the machines. Add deadlifts & step ups. As Rob from mtnathlete.com says "In the mountains, strength is king".
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Postby JonW » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:59 pm

BrunoM wrote:This is a good exercise to train those muscles that used while descending.

http://www.bodyresults.com/E2kneetest.asp


This is quite similar to an excerise my wife does. She's had reconstructive ACL surgery 3 times and descents always gave her major problems until she started using the stairmaster backwards. I'm talking about the stairmaster with the rotating stairs.
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Postby tyler4588 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:16 am

Mountain Impulse wrote:Agree. One thing that's a little difficult is to strengthen those muscle areas equally. It usually is much easier to strengthen quads, for example, than hamstrings, and consequently, people develop imbalances. So keep that in mind and try to work the areas so that one area doesn't stay considerably weaker than other areas.


How do I know when those muscles are strengthened equally?
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Postby MarkDidier » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:50 am

tyler4588 wrote:
Mountain Impulse wrote:Agree. One thing that's a little difficult is to strengthen those muscle areas equally. It usually is much easier to strengthen quads, for example, than hamstrings, and consequently, people develop imbalances. So keep that in mind and try to work the areas so that one area doesn't stay considerably weaker than other areas.


How do I know when those muscles are strengthened equally?


That's a really good question. Personally, for every set of squats/lunges that I do, I do an equal number of sets of deadlifts. The squats/lunges are more quad dominant and the deadlifts are more hamstring dominant. IMHO, most multi-joint movements hit both the quads and the hams (as the glutes as well) - making sure you get in the deadlifts will help balance things out.
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Postby robzilla » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:18 am

tyler4588 wrote:
Mountain Impulse wrote:Agree. One thing that's a little difficult is to strengthen those muscle areas equally. It usually is much easier to strengthen quads, for example, than hamstrings, and consequently, people develop imbalances. So keep that in mind and try to work the areas so that one area doesn't stay considerably weaker than other areas.


How do I know when those muscles are strengthened equally?


When in doubt, hit the hamstrings and glutes harder. Nobody ever pulled a quad because their hamstrings were too strong. :P And if you're like me and starting to feel some age in the knees, wearing a light knee sleeve that keeps it warm while you lift feels pretty great. I wear them for any heavy or intense leg work in the gym and it's helped keep them healthy.
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Postby BrunoM » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:00 pm

The Dude wrote:
BrunoM wrote:What do you think about leg raises?


well, if you are talking about leg raises while lying down, that is more of a core/hip flexor/abs kind of a workout. the leg muscles will only be minimally engaged.

if you are talking about standing leg raises (i.e. bringing your knee to your chest), these are always good, but again, more of a core workout. some people will try and put weights on their ankles and do this exercise, but i would not recommend this for people with knee problems (it transfers leverage to your knees - think of controlling a ball and chain for example)

as said earlier, don't be afraid of working your legs. they are usually very underappreciated at the gym and people pay the price while being active.


And leg raises where you sit on a table with your knee on the edge and you only raise the lower leg?
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Postby RayMondo » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:39 pm

Taking Omega 3 and 6 fish oils is good for all joints. Soft water (slightly acidic) is not the best for joints, as are acid-forming foods - milk and diary cause acidity in the body, which in turn leads to arthritic conditions. If prone to it, avoid excess caffeine and alcohol. And abstain completely from cooked tomatoes, rhubarb, spinach. Raw tomatoes are no problemo.

Anyone with regularly sore knees might like to experiment on abstaining from the cooked tomatoes and see the results. Ever eaten rhubarb and noticed how it etches tooth enamel. :shock:
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Postby Augie Medina » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:20 pm

MarkDidier wrote:
tyler4588 wrote:
Mountain Impulse wrote:Agree. One thing that's a little difficult is to strengthen those muscle areas equally. It usually is much easier to strengthen quads, for example, than hamstrings, and consequently, people develop imbalances. So keep that in mind and try to work the areas so that one area doesn't stay considerably weaker than other areas.


How do I know when those muscles are strengthened equally?


That's a really good question. Personally, for every set of squats/lunges that I do, I do an equal number of sets of deadlifts. The squats/lunges are more quad dominant and the deadlifts are more hamstring dominant. IMHO, most multi-joint movements hit both the quads and the hams (as the glutes as well) - making sure you get in the deadlifts will help balance things out.


Yes, good question b/c most people don't find out their hamstrings are weak relative to other leg muscle areas until they pull a ham. And yes, hit the hams at least as much as you do quads and glutes. Deadlifts, yes. Have someone show you the different variations so you learn regular, stiff-legged, etc.

Olympic lifts, Power Clean, Clean and Jerk, and especially the Snatch are advanced exercises to be learned only from someone who knows what they're doing. You can't beat them for metabolic challenge, but learn them correctly or you can get hurt.
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