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squats and my knees (and other beginner questions)

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squats and my knees (and other beginner questions)

Postby piecomics » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:43 pm

Hi,

I love the website, and the easy to use workout routines.

I tried the level 1 day 1 workout today. it went okay. I had to do substitute for the pull-ups, because I'm overweight and out of shape. And the squats kind of bothered my knees, not while I was working out but afterwards.

I've recently changed my diet from the milkshake/french fry regimen to something more closely resembling the paleo diet people around here seem to like, with good results, I'm down 6 pounds in 3 weeks, still have about 20 pounds to go.

My assumption is that the subs I'm doing for the pull ups, combined with me losing weight, is going to allow me to get to a point where I can do pull ups.

But with the squats, I'm not sure. I have been diagnosed with arthritis in my knees, and have avoided doing squatting exercises for a long time, but it is very apparent how beneficial those exercises are, and I don't want to use arthritis as an excuse not to work.

sorry, talking too much. Here are my questions:

Does anyone here do the workouts who suffers from arthritis? any words of wisdom?

Is there a sub for squats?

many thanks!
-ben
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Postby volleyball_man » Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:57 am

Go to the crossfit website and look for the videos on air squats to determine if your form is correct. Also check http://www.michaelboyle.biz/joomla/content/view/66/34/.

Ask your doctor before anything else!
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Postby taifun » Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:24 pm

Second that. See a proper sports doctor, not your regular GP.

Watch your knees while squatting. No wobbling! Adjust the angle of your feet to find a comfortable stance. There's a squat clinic in one of the early Crossfit Journals. can't remember which one, but I've quoted from it here before.
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Postby elasee » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:22 am

I also have bad knees and thought I would never be able to do squats. However my knee pain went away after I started squatting. The key is to use proper form. Keep your knee behind your toes, and shin perpendicular. I found that once I built up the stabilizing muscles for the knee joint. my knee pain disappeared. If you experience pain during exercise then stop the movement before the pain starts.
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Postby volleyball_man » Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:47 am

elasee wrote:Keep your knee behind your toes, and shin perpendicular.


I disagree. The most recent opinions state that going a little deeper with heels on the floor is actually more anatomically correct.

Watch this:

http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_AirSquats.mov
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Postby elasee » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:33 am

I disagree. The most recent opinions state that going a little deeper with heels on the floor is actually more anatomically correct.


I don't believe you will find many people recommending deep squats for people with arthritic knees. What may be fine for healthy knees doesn't apply to damaged joints.
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Postby volleyball_man » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:33 am

http://www.nsca-lift.org/videos/backSqu ... quat.shtml
http://startingstrength.com/files/sample16.pdf

I realize that the original post (piecomics) was referring to arthritis. I think a Doctor should be consulted - per my first reply. However, in "proper form," the squatter does not have perpendicular shins at the bottom of the move.
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Postby piecomics » Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:12 pm

volleyball_man wrote:http://www.nsca-lift.org/videos/backSquat/defaultsquat.shtml
http://startingstrength.com/files/sample16.pdf

I realize that the original post (piecomics) was referring to arthritis. I think a Doctor should be consulted - per my first reply. However, in "proper form," the squatter does not have perpendicular shins at the bottom of the move.


Thanks all for the advice. I'm in constant contact with my doctor (who is a sports medicine guy, not a GP) and his response was somewhat noncommittal. Basically he suggested that if the pain is mild, I should keep it up. If it gets worse, I should find something else to do.

Now I just have to get to a point where I can do a pull up. This is my goal... I suppose another question I have is whether the negative pull up is a better substitute than the body row?

Thanks again, what a great community!
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Postby volleyball_man » Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:22 pm

Hey!

I got the most "bang" out of body rows. I used a towel (to help work my grip) draped over my Door Gym Pullup bar. I varied the move - wide, narrow, to chin, to chest, elbows in, elbows out....

I did keep up the negatives and would have done jumping pullups, but I would have gone through the ceiling :P


This guy has a ton of info about squats. His techniques have REALLY helped me get a good deep squat. I have a lot of hip flexibility issues...http://squatrx.blogspot.com/2007/11/i-cant-squat-atf-and-other-tales-of-woe.html
Look for SquatRx videos on YouTube.
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Postby piecomics » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:07 am

Okay, well I re-did the L1D1 workout last night, to see how I felt afterwards...

Made it through 20 rounds of the exercise, I have no idea if that's good or not. I followed the 3 subs for 1 pullup rule, and used the body rows as my sub.

I was very careful about the squats. I think I was already doing the squats with fairly good form, because when I did physical therapy for my arthritis one of the exercises they worked with me on quite a bit was squats (and my PT was a BJJ teacher and had excellent body mechanics). Unfortunately I still get the throbbing in my knees afterwards. I'm going to keep going with the exercises though and see if the pain gets any worse.

One other thing I was curious about... with the body rows, I never really felt it in my back, but my forearms/grip got a very good workout. Is that about what I should expect?
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Postby volleyball_man » Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:07 am

I've never been diagnosed with arthritis. I do have a tendency to get bursitis. I know that, for me, if I let it make me stop - it will. I have to keep moving. Knowing your limits is essential, huh?

How steep are you when you do the body rows?

When you are closer to parallel with the floor, you are pulling more weight.

Also, are you squeezing on the concentric? Try pulling your shoulders back...?
Experiment with the angles your arms make.
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