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Power Training With Bad Knee?



I've "softening of cartilage around the knee-cap" (Chondromalacia Patellae) in both knees.

I can pretty much do everything, but there's strong pain post-workout.

It's probably because of too much impact on depth jumps and downhill running..because I'm definitely not overweight or out of shape (age 17).

So, doctor didn't really help...My question, can I still power train, even though it hurts afterwards?
And, how do I know what's too much impact on DJ's, hill running, jump squats etc if there's no pain to stop me while I'm doing them?

Those exercises really boost my jump and speed. I'd hate to give them up...





From this I gather you need to take about 6 weeks off and focus on more low impact lower body training.

It won't kill you to take a bit of time off and once the pain goes away you can come back strong.


I have the same problem.

Swimming will help. I practice Wing Tsun and it is a problem, even though we don't have a deep stance.

I want to start power-training but afraid to do so. The exercises on the above (very usefull) links surely won't help for this.

Any more suggestions?


It's quite a dilemma.

I warm up, and poof, problem's gone for several hours (basketball aor basketball training, in my case).
Then I feel some pain at home...Can still walk but hardly run. Next day it's better.

So, I'm not giving up ANYTHING, including power training. So what's the problem? Well, it's known not to mess with knee pain...right?

kLee - my Doc says I can keep training, it might go and might not. Rest will probably take care of it, but it'll probably come back easily...

It's very tempting to do those "shocking" exercises, because like I said I'm seriously seeing gains. Only problem, they apparantly shock the knees as well...You could always go easier, like lighter weight, lower box, less-steep hill...but then gains come slowwwwwww(er) :frowning:


Is it only this type of training that bothers your knees? If you can still train your legs, then I would say take some time off of those other types of exercises and really strengthen your legs, it will help a lot with knee pain. I'm not a physical therapist by any means, but my experience has been that if you keep doing an exercise that causes joint pain you'll end up seriously aggrivating it.


Adi Foyle,

How was the diagnosis made?

Other than the training, did the doc say anything else may be contributing to the problem?

Did he evaluate you for any kind of biomechanical problems or muscle imbalance?

There are often some other factors involved. A good assessment from the feet to the hip/pelvis needs to be done.

Take care,



Thanks guys!

Nah, I just showed the doc where my pain is and what likely caused it, that's it...can't afford a private doc.

Well, I'm in great shape, am very light and I do alot of hammy and shin/ankle work...I'm certain I went too hard on impact exercises, especially since it was in-season.

Yeah, and searching through google I found that serious cases could even require surgery...but my doctor said I shouldn't worry about that at my age (17) and shape. Then again it's a tired public doctor, so that's why I started this thread...

Anyone has experience with chondromalacia and cartilage issues :-?



the first time I went to the doc (have seen 3 different orthopaidists) told me it may be an injury (I was practicing Ninjutsu - alot of squats and pain after training - that's how I've discovered I have chondromalacia) or it may be just genetics.

All docs told me to continue exercising with care and break offs, but as you said gains come slower!

I had X-rays which of course showed nothing. If I'll find the money I'll have a magnetic one (don't know exactly how it's called) and if this reveals a problem then, a very good doc said, I'll have to do 'orthoscopisi' (I'm from Greece but probably it's the same word in English). They look inside your knee with a camera.

I'll try to avoid it but I'm really fed up!

Check these:


Finally search post for "knee pain".

If you find anything else let me know!


I had the same diagnosis when I was 16 and training to run a marathon. I "worked" through the pain because three months off was just too much time and a year later could not walk without being in pain. I took some time off (a little more than a year) when all I could do was swim and some light weight training. It stunk. Had I just taken the time prescribed when it was prescribed I probably wouldn't have knee problems now.

I love running, but have to console myself with only regular 2.5 mile days (I was told I should never run again) with an occasional 4 thrown in when I just have to go farther. When I run 4 or more the familar ache comes back and the next day is an off day. Think carefully how you approach your diagnosis it can have life long lasting affects.


Really, guys, you NEED to see a sports specialist instead of a GP. I was misdiagnosed for a shoulder injury in 1989, and it recurred several times over the next few years despite treatment. It turned out that I had a torn labrum in my right shoulder, but by the time it was diagnosed properly and surgically repaired (on March 2nd '05) it was too late. There have been permanent arthritic changes and deterioration that make many movements, like throwing a ball, impossible. I know this is not a knee problem, but it highlights the need for proper, competent diagnosis.
On another note, look into nutritional supplementation that might support joint health. It has really helped me, I wish I had started it earlier.



can you suggest a supplement that REALLY works? And what is a GP?

911 Girl you spoke wisely.


I think a GP is a General Physician, and I think I speak for the both of us when I say we didn't exactly go to see a GP, we saw and Orthopedist.

Then again you're right, from my experience those guys are kind of washed up, taking care of old people's joint problems most of the day rather than athletes, which is indeed the field of a sports specialist...again, that's just been my experience.

Too bad those specialists are so expensive.

As for a good supplement, I really don't know anything about it, but before you get a better reply I can tell you I've heard those (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM etc) are USUALLY a waste of money when it comes to athletes, and is more for calcium-ridden folks. Again, just something I've heard.

They say Vitamin C is important for joint health. You need it as an athlete anyway, right?
It's common and far less expensive, so I take that.


Hey what about knee braces?? Do those help? Anyone has experience, recommendation?

Here's a few:



I had cartilage trimming when I was 18. It arthroscopic surgery, I was back to normal pretty quickly, no issues in that knee now... the other one's another story.

I wear an Innovation Sports 'Edge' brace on my right knee. But I'm ACL deficient in that knee as well as having cartilage issues, although it sounds a lot less painful than yours. I should be getting a reconstruction in July. The only thing I can't do is twist, really. But I should be back to TaeKwonDo next year. Going to give rugby a miss from now on though haha!


Pavel has an interesting low-tech solution to knee problems in "Beyond Bodybuilding". Quote: "Slowly squat down to rock bottom without a weight. Place the tip of your right index finger and thumb just above your right kneecap. Now slowly move your digits apart from each other: your finger will slide up to the top of the patella while your thumb will go down towards your quad. Slide them about four inches apart while pressing lightly on your skin, and then start over from the center. While you are doing this visualize that the part of your thigh below your finger and thumb is 'elongating' along with the movement of your digits to 'make more space for your knee'. Now try to recreate this 'open' sensation 'hands off' as you are slowly descending into the squat. Imagine that your kneecap is 'separating from your knee'. This voodoo sounding technique will noticably unload your knees. It never fails in the RKC kettlebell instructor course."

Give it a try and let us know how you go. What have you got to lose?


On what sharetrader wrote:

Sure, I don't mind. But I don't really get it.


Sharetrader- Somehow I missed that one, but will agree squats are what got me back running again.

I've come to the conclusion that most all problems can be solved with squats :wink: