T Nation

Alternatives To Squatting (Knee Injuries)


So I am becoming a personal trainer and for my final exam I must train someone on my course for whatever area they want to improve we chose strength as I have some experience on it, I was just going to do a simple 5x5 Plan at 85%+ as that is what the curriculum would favour…

He has a serious knee issue where he basically smashed his patella to pieces and he gets injections in it every so often he says it affects him in high impact sports, I got him doing a 60kg squat for 5 and he did it well but I doubt it was his 85%+ of 1RM so I want to show the assesor I can get him stronger but also cater for his injury so has anyone got any ideas?


I am re habing my knee at the moment. It is a serious challenge as I am way under my normal weights and the knee act up.
I use box squat just above the knees or single leg squat
or I can do some leg press and leg curls but not yet and maybe never back to pre injury standard.
You can try to rise his heels or toes and see if one is easier on his knee
That is part of coaching, being able to evaluate the client specific limitations


Prowler pushes and drags. No eccentric loading.


Back when my knees were growling at me I found shallow ROM super-high rep leg presses worked well.


Dragging stuff is awesome. Deadlift should be fine, even when I had tendonitis I deadlifted plenty without trouble


Partial range (pain free range) squat, hip hinge movements and hip dominant movements. Communicate with the participant before hand, figure out what gives them pain. An important element to coaching is athlete communication, if you can demonstrate that in the exam it will be a huge plus point for yourself


Ok so the partner I was with didnt want to do box squats above the knee I didn’t really want to do prowler pushes as if we are assesed in a different gym how will I measure the distance he needs to go for each set… Instead we did Hypertrophy work which consisted of Leg Extensions 3x10 Lying Leg Curl 3x10 Kettlebell Lunges 15x2 12kg weight (He is a beginner and I’m really only doing what the curriculum wants to see.


Tape measurer. Going for time instead of distance works too.


Step ups.
Lunges stepping back.