Leg day has arrived and you’re ready to kill the workout! You start with leg press, but the movement is nearly impossible and cause fraction in your knee. You move on and try to squat – it’s out of the question.
When your knees feel like they are shot to shit, it’s time to reinvent your workout. This is important both for continued optimal results and to avoid any, more severe, long-term injuries.
The knee is the most complex joint in the body. As complex as the knee is, it’s an amazing stabilizing joint in certain exercises, even after injury. Too often, a set of lousy knees can get in the way of a good performance in the gym. In this article we will go through some great exercises to do if you’re suffering from an injury. We will also look at streching and ways to improve your knee.
Note: If you are suffering from an injury, it is highgly recommended that you consult with a doctor before trying these – or any other – exercises.
First and foremost, you have to include a sufficient warm up. With this, we don’t just mean a short run or 10 minutes on a bike. The key here is to alleviate undue stress in the tissues. Include a good 15 minutes of stretching before beginning the workout and include foam roller exercises.
This won’t be the most comfortable thing to do, but pay special attention to the muscles of the quads, IT band, hips, and inner thighs when rolling. When your muscles get a chance to relax and “let go,” the knees won’t be pulled as far out of position and maintain proper tracking.
Modify Your Workout
Protect the knee by avoiding heavy weights. To accomplish a more intense workout and stimulate more fibers, try to flex the muscle during your training.
Squeeze the muscle in both the “positive and negative” portions of the movements.
For example, let’s take the leg extensions. Extend the leg straight out and push your finger into your thigh muscle. Now squeeze that muscle very tightly and maintain that tension while you lower your shin. Once you have lowered the leg, keep the tension and slowly raise the leg until it is straight again.
As you begin to obtain more control of movement while squeezing your muscle, you can increase the speed. Begin with slow movements of 3 seconds in each direction. Gradually speed up the movement, but be careful not to rush it.
Choose non-impact cardio devices, such as a stationary bikes, gliders, stair climbers, ellipticals and combination machines. Avoid weight impact exercises, avoid excessive resistance. Obtain resistance from the contraction of the muscles.
Don’t try to exercise like everyone else in the gym. Remember that resistance and muscle tension provide the stimulus to allow you to improve muscle tone. Consider that the legs of a swimmer or those of a dancer are usually what most people think of when they consider, “great legs.” Those formats for working out do not include heavy weights; rather they exist with controlled movements under constant tension.
If you are having knee problems, the best thing you can do is choose exercises that require you to be on one leg at a time. I know what you’re thinking: “But doesn’t that put more pressure on the joint than using both knees?”
The human body is meant to be symmetrical in both appearance and strength.
Being on one leg allows people to put their bodies in a better technical position to perform a movement properly without further injuring themselves.
Another reason is because of the dynamic function of all the muscles involved. All of the exercises below will hit the quads, hams and glutes in a maximum effort, so be prepared to be uncomfortable when you sit down.
If your knees are giving you problems then this workout is for you. Even if you just want to do something different, this workout will be challenging for those without any injuries as well.
We have eliminated regular exercises such as squat, leg press and hack squats, to focus more on one legged stimulous movements.
Recommended Exercises For Knee Injury:
Step Ups (with or without Dumbbells)
- Stand up straight with a bench or elevated platform in front of you. If you are using dumbbells, hold one in each hand, arms fully extended, hanging down to your side.
- Place the right foot on the bench. Step on the platform by extending the hip and the knee of your right leg. Use the heel mainly to lift the rest of your body up and place your left foot on the platform as well.
- Step down with the left leg by flexing the hip and knee of the right leg as you inhale. Return to the original standing position.
- Repeat with the right leg for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.
- Step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders across it, similar to a regular squat position.
- Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
- Step forward, away from the rack, with your right leg and squat down through your hips, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Inhale as you go down. Note: Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint.
- Using mainly the heel of your foot, push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale.
- Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the other leg.
Tip: It’s important to begin with low weight and work your way up. Remember; we train to Improve, we don’t train to Prove.
- Grasp a bar using an overhand grip.
- Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder-width stance. The knees should be slightly bent.
- Keeping the knees stationary, lower the barbell to the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings.
- Start bringing your torso up straight again by extending your hips until you are back at the starting position.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
- Lie on your back with one leg raised in the air.
- Thrust forward and raise your hips off the ground as high as you can. Slowly lower yourself to the floor.
Single Leg Extension
- Seat yourself in the machine and adjust it so that you are positioned properly. The pad should be against the lower part of the shin but not in contact with the ankle. Select a weight appropriate for your abilities.
- Maintaining good posture, fully extend one leg, pausing at the top of the motion.
- Return to the starting position without letting the weight stop, keeping tension on the muscle.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, and change legs.
Tip: As mentioned in the paragraph above, start with lower weights and steady, controlled movements. Stimulate the fibres even more by pushing your finger into your thigh muscle, when fully extended. Flex the muscle very tightly and maintain that tension while you lower your shin.
I hope you enjoyed these little tips on training with a fractured knee. Personally, I am struggling with a knee injury myself and the above information has been of great help.
Please feel free to add your comment below.
Stay fit 🙂