having trouble finding good leg exercises to vary my routine..reason
being, my knees hinder me to some degree.... normally I use a
leg press for 5 sets (12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, ....gradually
increasing weight then 12 reps with a weight that will only allow
me to do 12...and I think that my legs are strong for a 53 year
old woman. I'm pressing about 360 for 12 reps on this particular
leg press...) finishing with the leg extension for 12 reps....that
covers the quads. My problem is my knees....mainly the right
one....under the knee cap...I can't do lunges, quads, sissy squats,
or any of that stuff....even the leg extension isn't my favorite
and can bother my knee as the weight gets higher...I have been
told that I COULD do those exercises if I didn't allow the knee
to go past a 90% angle, but I haven't been able to do them without
some degree of pain....I need ideas....
I must first say, I am not qualified to give diagnosis and
rehabilitation prescription for injury. These cases require the
expertise of a licensed physician. I would advise setting an
appointment with a sports medicine doctor or an orthopedic physician.
If the issue is not too serious, they will likely refer you to
a physical therapist. Keep in mind, many insurance plans require
you to be referred by a general practitioner who sometimes are
not well educated in sports medicine.
I can give you general information which should not be misconstrued
as a personal prescription for you. Individuals that have minor
knee irritation may find relief when performing a leg press,
smith squat, lever squat, or sled squat by one or more methods.
1) placing the feet slightly higher (or forward when upright)
2) decreasing the depth, or range of motion of the exercise as
you mentioned 3) using less weight.
Consequently, with the feet placed higher during a leg press,
the quadriceps are exercised less. If this technique is used,
find the minimum height that you feel no pain. Likewise, find
the greatest range of motion and the greatest weight that does
not irritate your injury. Obviously, there will be interaction
between your foot placement, range of motion, and the resistance
I can suggest educating yourself about your injury. One starting
place on the internet is the Merck Manual (see medical
links). Realizing I am not an expert in diagnosing injuries,
my best guess is you are suffering from Patellofemoral Pain.
Therapy may include specific stretches and exercises, antiinflammatory
medication, and later, as your injury begins to heal, the introduction
of weight training exercises with light weights, progressing
slowly in resistance. Take care of even minor injuries as they
can sometimes get worse if you ignore them. Also see Sports
Injury First Aid.