T Nation

LEGS, should I train em?!HELP!

I used to squat every week up to 500lbs for my last set.
From sports and other things my knees are a mess. (I am 22)
My knees pop almost EVERY time I move my legs!
I know when I get older I am screwed.
I have not trained them in 4 months and I have maintained all my size (26" thighs-I do USE steroids)
I miss training them BIG TIME! I also a college football player & I don’t want to jepordize my health & future mobility if I don’t have to!
If I am in a movie I have to bend my legs (to pop em) because they start to hurt!
WHAT SHOULD I DO?!?!?
I cant do leg extensions they KILL my knees, and Leg Presses are just as bad as squatts. Plus they suck-nothing blasted my legs like sqautting!

See a doctor right away. I tried to ignore my pain and continued squatting. I ended up with a torn articular cartilage and all kind of soft tissue impingement. If it hurts, don’t do it. It only makes things worse. I learned that the hard way. To maintain your quad strength, if pain permits, then maybe you could do partial range leg extensions. Use only the painfree range–which may be only 30 degrees. That’s okay though, because it will concentrate the work on the VMO muscle–which is commonly weak in individuals with knee problems. Also, you could do stiff legged deadlifts for the hams.

having to pop your knees when you sit down for a long time is HIGHLY indicative of patello-femoral syndrome, where the kneecap tracks incorrectly. you should go see a doctor or two about your knee, and do a lot of reading on different knee conditions that you might have to start you way to rehabilitation.

I have the same problem, knee pain and cracking. First, go see a chiropractor to determine the problem. Many offer free sessions and will tell you what is wrong. Go to a few different ones to pin point the problem. Next, as an alternative to squating you could deadlift. The partial range of motion for the knee joint might not cause you any pain and could strengthen the knee joint. The quads and glutes are both movers in this lift, the glutes more so, so you can maintain mass and most likely improve. Also focus on your hamstring development, especially in the hip extension function, which will also strengthen the knee due to the fact that there won’t be a large muscle imbalance. I hope this helps.