Knees! Knees! Knees!

Protecting your knees is a problem. I would make sure you get cleared by your doctor. If you have any concerns or previous injuries involving that joint- or any other, for that matter, make sure they do a full orthopedic exam and that all of your joint...


Problem:

I am looking for an alternative training that will protect my knees. What do you think, Dr. Jen?

Answer:

Protecting your knees is a problem. I would make sure you get cleared by your doctor. If you have any concerns or previous injuries involving that joint- or any other, for that matter, make sure they do a full orthopedic exam and that all of your joint tissues are integrous before you start training.

Then I would allow an extra month or so to get it strong before you do other weight training. Then, once you have completed this knee strengthening program, I would work it in a time or 2 a week with your regular work schedule!

This will be based in interval training, resistance, and perceived exertion. Intervals will use one major muscle group, and then another, or do it in another way, and start with the first again. They will be in time or numbers of repetitions. Perceived exertion level will be rated on a scale from 1-10. 1 is barely noticeable, and 10 is so difficult, that "I could only do it for 60 seconds before my heart or my legs gave out!". You control your perceived exertion level by increasing tension on the bike. You would have to use the tension knob on a spinning bike or the manual mode for a regular stationary bike. Make sure your seat is high. Stop if your knees hurt, and you may stand up during your riding if it feels better. You will move from one interval to the next without stopping or resting. Remember that there is no law that says you have to start right off doing this complete workout. If you become too tired, stop, and try again in a few days! You might have to go to the gym at a slow time so no one steals your bike during your other intervals!

Set 1:
Interval 1: 3 minutes on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 2/10.
Interval 2: 10 pulls ups.
Interval 3: 10 walking lunges. Make sure your form is safe. Never allow your forward knee to go in front of your ankle. Put the weight of that forward foot into your heel, and never allow it to translate into your toes. Take a big step, land weight in forward heel, and lower straight down until your back knee almost touches the ground. Keep your trunk tight, and straight up! Hands on hips.

Set 2:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 3/10.
Interval 2: 12 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 12 walking lunges.

Set 3:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 4/10.
Interval 2: 14 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 14 walking lunges.

Set 4:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 5/10.
Interval 2: 16 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 16 walking lunges.

Set 5:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 6/10.
Interval 2: 18 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 18 walking lunges.

Set 6:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 7/10.
Interval 2: 20 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 20 walking lunges.

After your first week, add:

Set 7:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 8/10.
Interval 2: 20 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 20 walking lunges.

After your second week, ad:

Set 8:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 9/10.
Interval 2: 20 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 20 walking lunges.

After your 3rd week, add:

Set 9:
Interval 1: 1 minute on stationary bike, perceived exertion level 10/10.
Interval 2: 20 pulls ups, or failure.
Interval 3: 20 walking lunges.

After your fourth week, add:

Leg extensions in the last 15 degrees of extension.
This works the medial quad.
Go from barely bent to slightly straight and back again. Don't force it into hyperextension!
Start with a relatively light weight, and only ever progress to a medium-light weight!
Start with 2 sets, 1 minutes rest between.
You can work up to 6 sets, with 1 minutes rest between.

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