I am looking for a good mass building leg workout that is easy on the knees.
I used to have a lot of knee problems, and I made the usual mistake of people with mad knees. I didn’t squat, and I did lots of leg extensions/leg presses. Although the previously mentioned exercises performed did not hurt my knees, they did, however, not help my knees. After I started deadlifting, and doing deadlift varients (sumos, duck deadlift on a platform etc.) to hit my knees, I noticed an increase in joint stability. So all in all, start deadlifitng, then, perhaps you can start doing squats depending upon your knee condition.
i too have noticed great improvement on my knee stability by doing squats and plyometrics.at first my knee was so bad that i had to wear a brace on my knee while squatting with any weight.it felt as though it would collapse as soon as i bent my leg.within a short amount of time,i began to eliminate the brace for all squats except for my heaviest set.soon after i was brace free and only wore a compression band and now i wear nothing ever.it took me apx 6 months to feel stable doing squats and 6 months later my knee feels better than ever.i still hear some crackiling when i squat but i dont have that ill feeling that my knee is going to give out.i have primarily used squats of all types for my leg exercises and also do plyometrics once or twice a week as well.hope you find something that works for you as well,russ
What exactly is wrong with your knee? How bad is it exactly? If you have a CL injury you would definetly stay away from leg extensions and other many other open kinetic chain exercises as the shearing forces are too high, even many closed kinetic chain exercises such as sissy squats would be advised against. If however it was an injury where the VMO was not being recruited optimally then many people would even recomend leg extensions etc be used somewhere in the training (even here the use of leg extensions is questionable).
Regardless of that the following exercises do not hurt MY knees.
deadlifts (most kinds)