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Lower Body Rest. How to Pass the Time with Upper Body Work?


After reading the 4 Seasons of Lifting on CT’s new site I got real jazzed up about the Olympic lifting phase and wanted to give it a go. I decided to spend a week practicing some drills to get more proficient at the movements. Naturally, I hurt my knee :expressionless:

During a clean I think I got under the bar too deep too quickly and caused the bar to fall into the catch rather than a crisp rack. It’s not a big injury by any means but I’ll have to give the left leg a break for a week or two. Vent over I feel better!

Now, what to do to pass the time?! The upper body is good to go, so I can definitely spend a week or two working on the mirror muscles. Maybe a steady diet of pullups, benching/pressing, and using all the cool looking hammer strength machines I never touch?

I’ll mention that I’m not looking for advice on the injury, I know the rules here it was more to just get it off my chest and this is my favorite section of the forum to chat with. My girlfriend is a NP and neighbor is a DPT so I’m in good hands there :grinning:


You can still train legs unless you hurt both knees. I’m currently nursing a hip/back injury and following the rule of “if it hurts then don’t do it.” For me, any flexion past a 1/4 to 1/2 squat hurts my hip. The hip issue is tied to some significant muscle tightness in my back so loading up a bar for 1/2 squats also hurts. This is where machines are worth their money!

I now do 1/2 reps on the leg press with both legs so my quads get some work. After that I do single leg work with my good side. No reason for a limb that’s not injured to suffer. There is also a crossover effect. If you make (or in this case maintain) any progress with your good side then 10-15% of those results will also go to the other side. And once you’re healed up you will recover and get back to normal faster since you didn’t let everything sit and atrophy while you healed.

You might have to change the loading and rep schemes since you’re limited but this period doesn’t have to be a total loss. I’m doing my push workout today and I’ll probably play with leg extensions. Double leg on the way up, single leg on the eccentric. I’ll do lower weights and spend more time under tension. I’d rather be doing squats and lunges but I need to rest the injury.

Enjoy a break from the most stressful lifts (squats and deadlifts) and increase your other training since you’ll have more time. Now is a time to get creative and maybe even do some freestyle type training (make it up as you go).

Good luck!


You’ll have to excuse my flair for the dramatic in the original post, I needed a little pick-me-up and it totally helped!

I’d rather not have sustained the injury, but my healthy leg is actually the weaker of the two so I’m definitely going to do some single leg work to try and get it caught up. I’ll have to play around with what I can do with the injured leg, but right now walking and using steps seems to be the extent of my comfort - I think I can train the hamstrings with some stiff leg work still.

I wish I took better care of my hips, knees, and ankles when I was younger. Really starting to notice all the mobility and movement symmetry issues now.


Good news! I discovered I can use the leg extension machine with no discomfort. My knee actually felt better for about an hour after the fact too! Seems that the only movements I can’t train are squats and jumps (which, obviously :sweat_smile:). I’m gonna play it safe though and keep the weight light and the movements very deliberate - healing is the top priority.