Leg alternatives.

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  1. #1
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    Leg alternatives.

    Ive been training on and off for years, and seriously for about 4 months. Ive avoided any serious leg work because I have a torn ACL in my left knee, making it extremely unstable. It requires massive amounts of tape to go skiing. My knee has no problem with leg extensions, hamstring curls, or running but i know if i load up some serious weight and do any kind of squatting or pressing motion it'll blow out and I'll eat the bar. I was able to squat close to 350 lbs pre injury about 9 years ago, and i'd like some suggestions as to alternative but effective exercises. Thanks.

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    I am sorry to hear about the injury.

    A lot of it you will just have to experiment with on your own. You could...

    1) Look into bodyweight work (1 legged squats, wall sits, that sort of stuff). How about all the funky type stuff that you see on sites like dragondoor/mike mahler's type stuff (he has a site).

    2) Hacks? If you can deadlift, you may can hack.

    3) For hamstrings frankly, you should be set with all of the ideas off of westside barbells site, namely elite fitness systems. They are all over core strength and training glutes and hams. Reverse hypers, glute-ham raises, pullthroughs, yada yada.

    4) Maybe try lightweight box squatting and see if that takes enough pressure off knees.

    I tried to go without all types of squatting and leg press for awhile and I really didn't come up with anything great. Lunges worked okay for awhile, but they are just an inferior version of the squat in many ways. But my temporary problem was lower back.

    For knee problems, I am most inclined to want to try Westside stuff first and foremost. They tear shit up all the time and seem to come back squatting strong enough.

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    strengthen your hamstrrings. When properly strengthened the hamstrings can act as an acl. There are even players in the NFL that have NO ACL!! Yet, the have worked their hamstrings up enough to handle the load. I would avoid running, if cut to fast you will take a spill. No leg extensions either, the ACL helps to keep that patella in place and with out it the patella has no way of stabalizing so it is just floating in space so to speak. Locking out your knee in an open chain exercise like a knee ext. is not going to help it. deadlifts (specifically SLDLs) and leg curls can really help. cable hip ext. also. Refrain from strenching your hamstrings out as you are now missing a ligament which helps to keep the patella in place and the last thing you want is to have the muscle or even worse tendons stretched out. It is better to have them a bit tighter actually to help keep your patella fastened in.

    any chance you are going to get surgery? patella graph? i have a friend that has had a cadaver's ACL put in his knee when he tore his. He does cleans and olympic lifts and squats fine.
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    Thanks for the tips. I didnt know about the hamstring acting in such a way. I was informed by my specialist of the cadaver option. He estimated it would be 6-7 months before i could even walk and a year till full recovery. I opted for taping it for sports. The tape works well I never have a problem. Occasionally maybe every other year I slip and it blows out completley leaving me crippled for a week with a swollen knee. I did have it scoped and that eliminated all pain.

    I do SLDL already, and refrain from hamstring stretching. I do cardio on a 400m track, and i make sure i only run in straight lines. As your aware a sharp cut or twisting is bad news.

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    Just a quick update and a thanks to P-funk. Ive been doing a lot of hamstring work over the last year and doubled my leg curl weight. Plus a lot of running/sprinting and ive made a huge improvment in the stability of my bad knee. I started squating again worked up to 200 lbs over the last couple months and have had no problem with my knee at all.

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    M&F magazine did a good article on the Farmers Walk and said how its kind of faded out of existance in most peoples workouts over the years, but is still very effective...?

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    Patrick
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Tooth
    M&F magazine did a good article on the Farmers Walk and said how its kind of faded out of existance in most peoples workouts over the years, but is still very effective...?

    I wouldn't do farmers walks with a torn ACL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsimmons
    Just a quick update and a thanks to P-funk. Ive been doing a lot of hamstring work over the last year and doubled my leg curl weight. Plus a lot of running/sprinting and ive made a huge improvment in the stability of my bad knee. I started squating again worked up to 200 lbs over the last couple months and have had no problem with my knee at all.

    great job.
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    Horrible injury bro and I've been there, believe me when I say I feel your pain. Personally I think you should do whatever it takes to have an acl replacement surgery. Until then I'd stick to what I could do with a light weight.
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    I agree I had torn ACL, MCL, and Torn Meniscus! Sucks ass when trying to play sports. Best thing to do is get surgery! Trust me! Im soo glad I did, now im starting to play sports again, but definitely lost speed and size, but now I dont have to worry about blowing out. Mine was pretty bad and I didnt want to have a limp or walk weird so I babied it and went through thearpy and held off a full year till I started to train. Now I have no pain or swelling and it doesnt hurt in the cold winter time either. Sometimes I have a little sensitivity on my pateller ligament since mine was grafted from there. Thank God!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk View Post
    strengthen your hamstrrings. When properly strengthened the hamstrings can act as an acl. There are even players in the NFL that have NO ACL!! Yet, the have worked their hamstrings up enough to handle the load. I would avoid running, if cut to fast you will take a spill. No leg extensions either, the ACL helps to keep that patella in place and with out it the patella has no way of stabalizing so it is just floating in space so to speak. Locking out your knee in an open chain exercise like a knee ext. is not going to help it. deadlifts (specifically SLDLs) and leg curls can really help. cable hip ext. also. Refrain from strenching your hamstrings out as you are now missing a ligament which helps to keep the patella in place and the last thing you want is to have the muscle or even worse tendons stretched out. It is better to have them a bit tighter actually to help keep your patella fastened in.

    any chance you are going to get surgery? patella graph? i have a friend that has had a cadaver's ACL put in his knee when he tore his. He does cleans and olympic lifts and squats fine.
    Cadaver option is most commonly used with a PCL injury. I think the achilles tendon is generally used. Pretty extreme option for an acl, which is generally fixed surgically without having to resort to grafting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk View Post
    strengthen your hamstrrings. When properly strengthened the hamstrings can act as an acl. There are even players in the NFL that have NO ACL!! Yet, the have worked their hamstrings up enough to handle the load. I would avoid running, if cut to fast you will take a spill. No leg extensions either, the ACL helps to keep that patella in place and with out it the patella has no way of stabalizing so it is just floating in space so to speak. Locking out your knee in an open chain exercise like a knee ext. is not going to help it. deadlifts (specifically SLDLs) and leg curls can really help. cable hip ext. also. Refrain from strenching your hamstrings out as you are now missing a ligament which helps to keep the patella in place and the last thing you want is to have the muscle or even worse tendons stretched out. It is better to have them a bit tighter actually to help keep your patella fastened in.

    any chance you are going to get surgery? patella graph? i have a friend that has had a cadaver's ACL put in his knee when he tore his. He does cleans and olympic lifts and squats fine.
    Cadaver option is most commonly used with a PCL injury. I think the achilles tendon is generally used. Pretty extreme option for an acl, which is generally fixed surgically without having to resort to grafting. Patella tendon is a last resort when reconstruction of the acl fails or is impossible, and the acl must be removed. Glad to hear you were able to avoid such extreme measures, as grafting always comes with risks and possible complications. Good luck with your further progress.

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    interesting thread and some good advice. leg training so integral to overall physique would be hard to not be able to train them.

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    Same recent injury, waiting on Obamacare to fix it for free since my deductible is $5000!

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