Bad Knee, Squat Replacement?

9 months ago I destroyed me knee - torn MCL, MCL cyst, and torn meniscus. I lucked out and had a doc that appreciated athletic patients, so I was fast-tracked into surgery and have my knee fixed up.

Since then, I’ve never done squats, lunges, or split-squats. Keep in mind, I’m also not some young 20 something - I’m pushing mid-40’s.

I can do leg presses without a problem and my strength is coming back. I can also do leg curls and leg extensions (significantly lighter weight than I used to do on these).

I honestly think it’s a mental thing that I can’t seem to break through, about doing squats again. Today, I’ve picked up a decent knee wrap and plan on trying some light squats to parallel (used to always do ATG).

If I’m unable to do these, or the mental barrier affects me too much to do them, does anyone have any “successful” experience with squat replacement exercises? I was thinking I could try a goblet squat to parallel or perhaps a hack-squat on the smith machine.


Ben Bruno (the guy who wrote today’s article) has 4 articles on leg training for people with knee injuries. check his stuff out under authors.

Thanks shibboleth,

For those that are looking for squat replacements, the article shibboleth was referring to is:

Knee-Friendly Quad Builders (Knee-Friendly Quad Builders)

9 Training Strategies for Knee Pain (9 Training Strategies for Knee Pain)

Thanks again shibboleth!

In the end, I was able to get myself a nice neoprene sleeve, check my ego at the door and throw 180lbs on the bar for 8 sets of 12 reps to a perfect parallel (no more ATG).

No worries mate. Good luck with the knee.