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Workout for a woman with a bad knee

My friend would like to lose 50lbs. She has a bad knee so I figure squats are out though I should be able to see what her range of motion is before pain sets in this weekend. I was hoping to get some workout ideas from people here. I also sent her the diet manifesto article so she can also get her diet lined up




I have a crappy left knee, but I still squat. Ice it afterwards if necessary, but if done correctly, squats themselves don’t seem to hurt my knees.

I don’t know the specifics of the knee problem its possible she just needs to strengthen it or if it is an actual injury it may never resolve itself completely. If fat loss is the main priority than anything that raises heart-rate will help. I have helped a 260lb aunt get to 216 in the past year. She is knock-kneed and when she started working out she had knee and low back pain. I started her out with BW squats w/quarter range of motion and she gradually worked up to 20-30 reps w/50-60lb to parallel. Her knees still make some cracking and popping but the lost wt. and improved strength have done wonders.-LW

Hi Mark,

I also have a bum knee. I found that lifting weights actually helped it! You might want to start your friend with leg extensions at a low to moderate weight. It is possible to do squats, but make sure her form is good and again, start with low to moderate weight. Another good exercise are skier squats (do a search on the T-mag search engine).

Good luck and let us know how she does.

I agree with the posts already made. Start her with partial range, BW squats. I also think this will actually help that knee.

Well it looks like I may have actually learned something since Ive been reading t-mag and the forums. I was thinking of partial bodyweight squats for her to start on also. Now that I think about it - I had cracking and painful knees a 6 years ago when I started training in the martial arts but then that went away. I do full range squats now and feel fine. I also took the joing supplements - forget the names just now - and those helped a lot so I recommended those to her as well. Thanks for the replies/advice


Great advice you’ve gotten so far, aikidoka. But along with working out the details of your friend’s workout, don’t forget the nutritional aspect of things; i.e., diet.

If you want to keep it simple, take a look at T-Dawg 2.0, a few issues back. People are reporting some pretty good results with it.

Your thoughts about supplementation are good. A good glucosamine/condroitin combo should help her a lot. Also, don’t forget stretching. Your post reminded me of that. I also took up aikido because of my knees. I found that the stretching and warm-ups helped keep me limber and prepared me for the coming keiko hajime. Between the lifting and the stretching, I can breakfall with the best! :smiley: