T Nation

A Different Way to Build Strong Legs?

I’ve had knee problems for quite some time now and recently went to see a specialist. He told me that the cartilage in my knees is almost gone and recommended taking a supplement and also told me not to do any leg exercises where the leg bends more than 45 degrees. He recommended bicycling and light jogging.

I was wondering if you guys have any recommendations as to what exercise (weights) I could do to continue working on my skinny legs and build some muscles without putting too much stress on the knees.

Lunges, split squats

I am in the same boat (I sprained my entire knee) and the cartilage sucks, however, I found that doing heavy squats, lunges, hip abductors and leg curls makes them hurt less… that way my overdeveloped muscles take the majority of the force off of my knee…

Swimming, and biking are good also for cardio options…

[quote]Philly wrote:
I’ve had knee problems for quite some time now and recently went to see a specialist. He told me that the cartilage in my knees is almost gone and recommended taking a supplement and also told me not to do any leg exercises where the leg bends more than 45 degrees. He recommended bicycling and light jogging.

I was wondering if you guys have any recommendations as to what exercise (weights) I could do to continue working on my skinny legs and build some muscles without putting too much stress on the knees. [/quote]

He said your cartilage is screwed up but suggested light jogging? Sounds like you should fire him and get another specialist. Squats, if done to full depth, should make your knees feel better because the hamstrings act as the brake when you sink into the hole and your hips pull you out. They should actually be easy on your knee joints.

Lunges I reckon would be sore, I’ve got a dodgy left knee and it’s sore for me but give them a bash.

Straight leg Deadlift -

Swimming would be your best bet for Cardio + Endurance.

Agreed with the swimming. Also agreed that the man who told you “light jogging” was acceptable is a moron. The tremendous impact you receive from slamming down your bodyweight on one leg over and over is much worse than heavy squatting on the knees (assuming you squat intelligently).