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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Lifestyle > Exercise

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  #1  
Old 22-06-2020, 06:01 PM
Sunset Dragon Sunset Dragon is offline
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How can I build leg strength?

I wrote a post somewhere around here a while back. It mentioned an issue with my kneecap tracking incorrectly and wearing away cartilage. It's thought to be caused by weak muscles and overuse, two things I've had issues with over the years.

So, this year, I've been doing my best to build my leg strength. As time has gone on, I've been able to use an exercise bike on a frequent basis against resistance. I also managed to build up enough strength to then perform challenging exercises such as Bulgarian split squats (an exercise I originally couldn't perform). The muscles in my legs have been clearly getting bigger and seemingly stronger, yet my knee problem remains. I couldn't help but wonder - if this problem is caused by weakness, why am I still suffering?

Anyway, I recently went out for the first time since April. I walked around a park. It didn't take 5 or 10 minutes before my legs began to struggle and suffer. In the end, my legs were in agony and were sore and achy for days. I know walking is a different motion to cycling and numerous kinds of squats, yet after everything I've been doing for months along with evident muscle gains, how could I suffer so easily? I stretch frequently too and there's nothing wrong with my footwear or anything like that.

Well, to be honest, it gave me hope. It proved the point that no matter what I've been doing, my legs are obviously still very weak. That gives me hope that I can still strengthen them up and resolve my knee problems. Still, if everything I've been doing for months has not been enough for me to handle even 10 minutes of walking, what instead should I be doing? Walking? I just feel like I've been wasting my time. How can my legs be more muscular and yet somehow weaker despite also being... stronger? In other ways, of course.

Perhaps it's a dumb question on my part. My body is not used to the motion of walking since I've obviously been training my muscles in different ways, I guess. I just didn't think it would be that bad.
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  #2  
Old 22-06-2020, 09:32 PM
ocean breeze ocean breeze is offline
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Seems like you are already building leg strength but still have issues with your knees. How old are you? Do you supplement with Calcium, Magnesium, or tried supplementing with Osteo Bi-Flex?
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  #3  
Old 23-06-2020, 08:00 AM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
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I used to use a leg press to build up leg strength.

I would start with low weights and do like 50 reps and then increase the weights while lowering the reps. Sometimes I would work out on this machine for an hour or more.

You might be surprised how much weight you can actually handle.
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  #4  
Old 24-06-2020, 11:15 AM
Sunset Dragon Sunset Dragon is offline
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@ocean breeze

Early 30s, but I spent a lot of my life on my backside. When I finally got into physical fitness within the last 10 years, I did too much too soon rather than go for a sensible, gradual build-up. I do take numerous supplements. It was my muscles that suffered the most from the walking.

@BigJohn

Thanks John. I'll keep the leg press in mind. It sounds like a really good workout.
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  #5  
Old 24-06-2020, 10:54 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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hi sunset


general knee pain commonly results from unstable movement in the hips and feet/ankles, and hip movement is also affected by posture, so we tend to find that knee pain involves the whole chain of movement from the big toe to the hips and lower back. the exercises you mention such as bulgarian split squats and biking are great exercises for the quads at the front of the legs, but don't much help the hamstrings or calves, nor directly target the glutes at the back.


also, one has to determine if the cause of the pain is functional and can be rectified via physiotherapeutic exercises or if it is a structural issue which requires medical intervention, so it would be a really good idea to see a qualified, reputable physiotherapist for very specific exercises, and/or see a medical professional who can scan the knee to see if anything is damaged in there.


lastly, i'd have a look at nutrition as well, because if your nutrition is on point you will not need many (if any) supplements, and your strength and muscularity will be maximised if you fuel it well. cheers.
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  #6  
Old 25-06-2020, 03:22 PM
Sunset Dragon Sunset Dragon is offline
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Thanks for your response, Gem. I've been seeing physiotherapists since November. I was diagnosed with chondromalacia. I've not been responding too well to any of the treatments. In regards to this post, though, I was wondering why, despite so much cycling and other leg exercises, I couldn't even walk for a few minutes without every muscle in my legs suffering. Of course, no one can provide a direct answer to that. I was more wondering if that even makes sense - should I be able to walk comfortably after doing so much for many months? I will continue to do some research and see what I can work out. As far as physio is concerned, the service is currently unavailable due to our circumstances.

Have a great week!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
hi sunset


general knee pain commonly results from unstable movement in the hips and feet/ankles, and hip movement is also affected by posture, so we tend to find that knee pain involves the whole chain of movement from the big toe to the hips and lower back. the exercises you mention such as bulgarian split squats and biking are great exercises for the quads at the front of the legs, but don't much help the hamstrings or calves, nor directly target the glutes at the back.


also, one has to determine if the cause of the pain is functional and can be rectified via physiotherapeutic exercises or if it is a structural issue which requires medical intervention, so it would be a really good idea to see a qualified, reputable physiotherapist for very specific exercises, and/or see a medical professional who can scan the knee to see if anything is damaged in there.


lastly, i'd have a look at nutrition as well, because if your nutrition is on point you will not need many (if any) supplements, and your strength and muscularity will be maximised if you fuel it well. cheers.
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  #7  
Old 29-06-2020, 10:13 AM
Jeanne Rising Jeanne Rising is offline
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Hi!

Having read through this topic, I'd like to mention one more point. You wrote about how you already did some stretching. What kind of stretching? Only "classical" stretching or also some kind of joint mobility work? I read a lot of Pavel Tsatsouline's books on various topics (he is - at least for many - still somewhat like the guru on kettlebell training...though is "comrade" style humour is at least...special ;) ) and joint mobility exercises are his "go to" stuff for (especially) people over 30, who want healthy joints - especially for joints with already existing problems. His book "super joints" is the "classic" lecture about that topic, but many on his website also suggest the morning routine in Jon Engum's "flexible steel".

I do not have as big a joint problem as yours seems to be...but still my joints feel somewhat..."oiled" after following a routine...maybe it helps :) Both books are relatively cheap on kindle if that helps :)

Jeanne
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  #8  
Old 30-06-2020, 07:10 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset Dragon
Thanks for your response, Gem. I've been seeing physiotherapists since November. I was diagnosed with chondromalacia. I've not been responding too well to any of the treatments. In regards to this post, though, I was wondering why, despite so much cycling and other leg exercises, I couldn't even walk for a few minutes without every muscle in my legs suffering. Of course, no one can provide a direct answer to that. I was more wondering if that even makes sense - should I be able to walk comfortably after doing so much for many months? I will continue to do some research and see what I can work out. As far as physio is concerned, the service is currently unavailable due to our circumstances.

Have a great week!




It's hard to tell why one leg movement hurts and another leg movement doesn't. I simply stick to pain free movement and avoiding anything that hurts or grinds. It's often the case that walking is painful, actually, whereas leg extension, wall squats, reverse lunges can be pain free.



I also focus on the joint below and the joint above the painful joint, which in the case of knees, is the ankle and the hip joint. If the ankle and hip are stable, the knee tends move in a good line and function much better. The ankle joint is usually unstable due to weaknesses in the foot and big toe. The hip tends to be unstable due to weaknesses or inactivity in the glutes, particularly glute medius.


I would be to start with very easy isolation exercises and very gradually increase intensity and exercise dose to more complex compound exercises over a period of some months. Drills would start with some dynamic stretching to prepare for resistance exercise, and finish with some static stretches just to ensure good overall mobility.



i would be exercising all the muscles that move the leg including the glutes, hamstrings, calves, as well as the quads, and also, work the arch of the foot and the toes to stablise ankles. bad kneee tracking is usually a hip/ankle issue so I think about the entire kinetic chain of the leg.



I'd stop wearing soft padded sneakers and wear flat soles such as converse chuck taylors as well - unless there is some sort of foot issue with that.



Lastly, I would consider body-weight, and if body fat percentage is quite high, I'd think about overall body composition, and takes a whole body approach to any situation - and continuing physiotherapy in the case of any malady.


i don;t treat maladies, so this is just my thoughts, and I'm just some guy on the internet, so don't take advice when it's just a few thoughts.
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  #9  
Old 30-06-2020, 07:14 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanne Rising
Hi!

Having read through this topic, I'd like to mention one more point. You wrote about how you already did some stretching. What kind of stretching? Only "classical" stretching or also some kind of joint mobility work? I read a lot of Pavel Tsatsouline's books on various topics (he is - at least for many - still somewhat like the guru on kettlebell training...though is "comrade" style humour is at least...special ;) ) and joint mobility exercises are his "go to" stuff for (especially) people over 30, who want healthy joints - especially for joints with already existing problems. His book "super joints" is the "classic" lecture about that topic, but many on his website also suggest the morning routine in Jon Engum's "flexible steel".

I do not have as big a joint problem as yours seems to be...but still my joints feel somewhat..."oiled" after following a routine...maybe it helps :) Both books are relatively cheap on kindle if that helps :)

Jeanne




yea, Pavel is great and i'm a big fan
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