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Build Leg Strength with Really Bad Knees


wife has a shallow cavity for her patella and there is something going on with her cartilage as well (according to her doctor). This is genetic deal, her brother has the same problem. Her brother works out daily and was on the pro tennis circuit for a while. He said that maintaining muscle strength in his legs has been key to keeping the pain levels down. So we are trying to get my wifes muscle strength up.

her doctor told her to take up biking, and limit leg exercises to quad press and leg curl machines. Not and expert, but this advice seems really prone to lead to muscle imbalances that would further aggravate her condition.

Basically, when doing body weight squats her knees pop like crazy, it hurts, and they swell an hour or so later. So then i tried to have just sit down and stand up on a normal chair for 3 sets of 5 with a minute apart. No popping of the knees, but there was pain and they still swelled up later. She can bike comfortably for about 2 miles before it is too painful, and we do not have access to a leg curl or quad press machine.

the issue here is how do we get the leg strength necessary for my wife when even standing up from a chair causes pain?


I've had dodgy knees for two years, and I can't even walk or down the stairs. All I can say is that the leg press and extension have been MORE painful for me than bodyweight squats have been.

Granted, my problem isn't exactly the same (I have cartlidge issues in one knee + hoffa's fat pad syndrome) and also tendinopathy in the other. Has she tried static holds in certain positions that aren't so painful?

I'm sorry I can't be too helpful - after all, I've failed to sort my knees out for the last two years.

Btw, is it impact that hurts more or is it putting the leg through a certain angle of motion that hurts?


wow that sounds a lot worse than my wifes situation.

it hurts when going through certain ranges of motion i believe. she is out of town till monday night. I am trying to get something sorted for when she gets back in town.

so your saying have her find an angle that does not hurt and do an isometric type exercise at that angle?