T Nation

6'5" with Bad Knees, Leg Training Advice?

Looking for some advice on how to add mass on the wheels because I’m having issues!

I’m 6’5 225, with really skinny legs. I do have knee trouble (torn meniscus in both knees and something else going on in the left knee), so I’m limited with the types of exercises I can do.

Right now I’m training legs once a week with the following:

Leg curl machine: 4 x 12
Leg extension: 4 x 12
Front squat on smith machine: 4 x 10
Calf raise: 3 x 15
Straight leg deadlift: 4 x 6
Leg press: 3 x 5

I am noticing some increased tone, but don’t seem to be adding mass. Should I mix in a light high rep day every week? Just looking for some ideas…FYI calves are very small, especially above ankles.

I would leave out the leg extensions to save the knees for the mass building exercises.
How about:
Standing calves 5x10 reps
Leg curls 2x12 as a warmup
Leg press:
2 easy sets of 10
3 sets of 8
3 sets of 5
Front squats 3 sets of 8
Romanian DLs 3 sets of 8
Leg curls 2 sets of 10 (Heavier)
Calves first are good for ankle mobilty and you are less likely to skip them.
Before I had meniscus surgery, I could tolerate a heavier load more than I could higher reps.

If you do a second day:
Calves again
Leg curls again
Maybe pick Front squats or leg press and do a long, heavy scheme working the weight up and taking longer rests. Reps like 12-10-8-6-5-5-5-5.
Thats it, unless maybe some ab wheel or other core work.

1 Like

Belt squat. Back on your heels so shin remains vertical. Should be pain free.

For some reason, my knees feel great after doing shrimp squats. It’s a super modifiable lift. You can transfer the emphasis from the knees to the hips by increasing forward lean. Depth is totally up to you. You can add weight goblet style as your progress. Plus unilateral exercises seem to be knee friendly in general. Here’s a tutorial.

Thanks for the replies, I’m going to try them all!

Tried the shrimp squat and some higher rep work as well, haven’t tried belt squat just because I don’t have one…shrimp squat seems to be a good fit so far, no knee soreness, just good muscle soreness 48 hours afterward.

I had a total knee replacement a year ago and knee sleeves really help my knees feel better in general while working out. Both have been scoped before. I have a 3ply set I wear while squatting.
They do still ache after hard training session still, but the sleeves help for sure.
I’m assuming you have visited a good Ortho Doc. They have allowed me to continue training with less pain…