T Nation

Building Mass With Knee Issues

Hi guys,

I’m new to this site. I have been working out, and keeping in shape for a number of years. I am 34 years old, 165 pounds, 5’9" and a half, and pretty fit though I know that for a lot of you I am embarrassingly light! So now I want to add poundage. I have been reading many articles and posts on this site cause I didn’t want to be a bother with questions that have already been answered. But my problem is kind of specific.

I have trouble with my knees. Both of my patellas have sub-luxed more than once, and my right knee is especially sensitive. I have hyper mobile kneecaps so I have to be careful - even a simple misstep can twist my ankle and out pops the knee! They sub-lux to the outside of the leg. Needless to say I have had to give up contact sports, which sucks, but this has prompted me to turn to bodybuilding as a way to keep in shape and keep goal-oriented with my fitness. I don’t want to compete, but I would like to noticeably transform my physique.

Because of my past injuries, I have spent many years in physio, doing leg extensions (probably not such a great idea now that I know better), some light-weight squats, and other leg exercises. My new physiotherapist has advised me that my quads are overdeveloped in relation to my core (butt, abs, back, etc) and that this is actually putting more stress on the knee joint and even affecting the way I walk. She told me that by building up my core, I will rely less on my quads for overall support while standing, thus taking stress off my knees, and balancing out the muscle ratio. I am even working to change my gait to take stress off my knees and encourage core development. Not an easy thing to change the way you’ve walked all your life!

Anyway, I have experienced difficulty with doing squats and deadlifts because of my knee troubles. Having read a lot of your posts, I get that these are the two most effective mass building exercises. I would like to add bulk to my frame - I am toned but want to build mass, and this site is helping to inspire me. If you have any suggestions on how I might proceed, let me know. I am now on a quest to strengthen my core and build mass in that area. Any hints?

I estimate that I currently eat around 2500 calories a day. I’ll be the first to admit I have not been good at eating regularly but I am now paying more attention to that. I am going to up my intake to 3000 calories to start and see how I respond. I plan to workout around 4 times a week, with compound exercises, and minimize the aerobic activity (I walk everywhere I go anyway).

If there are any articles on this site you might recommend, or any advice you’d like to give me, I’d appreciate it a lot.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and I’m glad this resource is here. I know this is a long process and I look forward to the journey. Your responses will be a big help.

Cheers,

Tdot

Hmm, you may want to look into back extensions, glute-ham raises and/or reverse hypers.

These should let you hit the posterior chain without the weight of a squat or deadlift on your knees. Maybe when things are more balanced your knee issues will improve a bit?

[quote]vroom wrote:
Hmm, you may want to look into back extensions, glute-ham raises and/or reverse hypers.

These should let you hit the posterior chain without the weight of a squat or deadlift on your knees. Maybe when things are more balanced your knee issues will improve a bit?[/quote]

Thanks for the info! Now I will reveal my total lack of knowledge by asking you to please describe these exercises, or else maybe provide me a link to their description?

And…uh…what’s the posterior chain?

(ducks the looks of disdain).

This is why I need this site.

Thanks guys

Tdot

lower back hamstrings glutes

Terminal knee extensions.

Glute Ham Raise
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBGluteHamRaise.html

You can either do some Googling (it’s not too hard), look up other exercises on the above site or if it is still working there is another video site in the beginner thread as well.

On another note, don’t worry about not knowing things in the beginner forum, that’s exactly why there’s a beginner forum!