Hey all. I need help. I have a serious set of chicken legs and am a "hard gainer" to begin with. Over the years I've built my upper body up but egad . . . the legs.
The problem is that I can't do the good leg lifts like squats and presses because I have serious pain in both knees. Apparently, I have a two-pronged problem. First, my quads are small and weak and so they don't do much to keep my knee in its groove. Second, my hamstrings are super tight and also seem to be "stretch resistant." This compounds the problem by also pulling the knee out of its groove, causing extreme pain during deep knee bending (as in squats and presses).
I try to build up the legs doing curls and extensions, but this doesn't get me very far (I need to be able to do the squats damnit)!!
I found a way that has helped. I ride the stationary bike and do leg curls and extensions to warm up the leg. Then I stop, and before proceeding to squats, I go to the mat and stretch out the hams. This worked nicely for me a couple times. I was able to do DEEP squats with no knee pain. However, I went in yesterday to repeat this protocol and my knee went out bad on my 4th set of squats ending my day.
Once the knee goes, usually it's all over for at least a few days.
Anyway, through trial and error and this most recent workout, I'm convinced the tightness of the hams is THE CENTRAL PROBLEM.
Accordingly, please let me know all the ways I can best warm up my hams. Keep in mind please, you are giving this advice to a person whose hams are, apparently, tight as carmen electra's ass. Also, b4 my workout I rode the bike for 10 minutes and did lots of leg curls. YOu woulda thunk that would warm em' up.
I'm not going to repeat what I have said many ties...try a search on squats and look for my comments...."squats done propperly 'should' help your knees vs extensions which often are the cause of knee problems"
I'm starting to work with SLDL but need the squats, as they are the king, I also need them for quads, and I'm a hardgainer. I've seen many sports therapy doctors who have diagnosed weakness of the medial quad and tight quads and hams as the problem. Hence, my trying to strengthen the quads with extensions and loosen things up with the stretching.
Fit Freak, my form is top notch. In fact the last few times I was in I was aided by a powerlifter with a masters degree in sports physiology who told me my form was perfect.
I'm looking for ways to BEST WARM UP THE QUADS AND HAMS so I can stretch them out better.
Have you tried squats on a angled smith before? I know many don't like the smith but it may help you to focus more on your quads and not worry so much about your form. The don't have to replace free squats but can be used to achieve full range of motion a little safer.
Try stationary squats with a barbell over your shoulders.
As for warming up try some like cardio...then some dynamic stretching like that used to warm-up in group fitness classes...then do some static stretching...hold static stretches for 30-60 seconds. Then hit the squats. That's a lot to do to warm-up but if your body needs it it's worth the time!
Good luck. As for going deeper than 90 degrees being better for the knees....I would be careful about the odd study here and there...go with what the majority of studies say..."avoid deeper than 90 degrees."
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