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Helping GF lose weight but she has a bad knee.

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by Blinkbear, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Blinkbear

    Blinkbear Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone. My like I said I'm trying to help my gf to lose some weight along with me cuz she wants to feel better too. Problem is she has a really bad knee. I told her too losing some weight will help it feel better. We've both gotten pretty comfortable and subsequently pretty fat since we've been together. She's about 5'8 and 180. Gained about 35-40 lbs since we've been together (but then again, so have I) and we're both 21. So we're trying to get this taken care of.

    A few years ago it popped out on her kinda of out of nowhere (carrying a tray at work) and did the rehab thing and it's been known to cause her some pain every now and again. For cardio I have us both doing a fasted 45 mins of cardio in the AM on the recumbent bike. That doesn't seem to bother her much if at all. I also have her lifting weight as well. She does really well upper body...for never lifting in her life she puts decent effort in, though I'm workin on her pushing through those last couple reps that I know she can get when the muscles start to burn, instead of giving up...but that will come with more time in the weight room for her.

    Now on lower body days, it's really hard for her. I have her doing stuff similar to me like leg presses, leg extensions, and leg curls (not squats or deads like me)...but obviously those aren't the best for her knee. For her it's a combination of the pain and being really afraid of pushing herself for fear of her knee popping out again. It really pushes her to tears sometimes. She feels bad cuz she wantsto do it but the pain is too much for her. We can't afford to go see a doc or a trainer right now so she's jsut kinda stuck.

    My question is...is there any low impact exercise she can do that won't stress her knee so much but maybe even strengthen it a little? Or maybe cuz she likes to swim (used to be on the swim team in high school) and we have access to a pool, on leg days can she just do some cardio-like swimming instead? Any suggestions? I know my way around a weight room quite well but I don't have any experience working with someone who has any kind of physical limitations. It's easy enough for me to just say work through the pain but that's probably not a good idea in this case.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone :)
     
  2. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    What is her exact knee injury? Patellar dislocation?

    Anyways, I would buy Starting Strength if I were you and read the squat chapter and try to get her started doing squats via his technique as in my experiences it is the most friendly on the knees.

    I have knee problems too but his squats seem to be the best suited for my problems and the pain is negligible.
     
  3. Blinkbear

    Blinkbear Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember exactly what it was that happened to her. She's at work right now but when she calls on her lunch, I'll ask her. I'll look into that book. Though she really is terrified of putting any sort of weight on her and bend her knee. I'm tryin to work on her confidence.
     
  4. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    You may want to have a more complete understanding of her diagnosis and its implication before you two do a lot of weight-bearing exercises.

    I know for me, noise and pain in my knee is not a sign of it getting worse. This is patellofemoral syndrome, and I can ignore the pain without aggravating my condition. This is not normal. Also, fear of a particular movement may be her brain telling her "DO NOT do that. It will hurt." When my orthopod was working on my knee, he held my quad in a particular way and asked me to flex so that my kneecap would move. I thought about it for a second and looked up at him. He laughed. That hesitancy to move was an indicator for which he'd been looking. Her fear may arise from a real knowledge of what will cause her pain.

    She might benefit from a very inexpensive chro-pat strap but again, that needs professional advice.

    Leg extensions put a whole lot of potentially shearing force on the knee. I don't do them, and won't do them due to my knee. You might want to evaluate whether or not they should be part of her program. There are a lot of mat-based and/or bodyweight exercises out there that can help strengthen the knee's supporting cast, and make the whole joint stronger.
     
  5. Blinkbear

    Blinkbear Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like the kind of stuff I'm looking for, I just don't have a lot of knowledge in that kind of stuff myself. My expertise lies mostly in jsut pushing around the iron. Would you happen to have a website or a reference with examples of excersizes like this that I can look at. I would like her to do some sort of lower body resistance training to go along with the upper body, but i don't want her to hurt herself worse either. So if it's not a good idea I'd like to know how to go about the alternatives.

    Thanks for that great info. I really appreciate it alot and I'm sure she will too.
     
  6. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    I remember doing a lot of hip adduction/abduction in four directions (in front of me, behind me, to the left, to the right) with a resistance band. I had the band down near my ankle. I should probably still be doing them, but I hate PT. :o I bet you can find a lot on the 'net.

    :gl:
     
  7. Blinkbear

    Blinkbear Well-Known Member

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    I think I know what ur talkin about. I'll do some searching. The gym has those Hip Adbud/Adduc machines at the gym. I assume those would be good to use cuz I can imagine her not bein too thrilled with the idea of lying on a mat flappin her legs in the air regardless of how much i tell her "ya gotta do whatcha gotta do" lol
     
  8. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    The problem is that those machines and exercises will do little to strengthen her knee. I'd rather spend my time being slow and steady with a genuine exercise rather than working around it.
     
  9. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Another thing about patella problems is it is often caused by muscular imbalances. I find that I do a lot better when I do a lot of deads and posterior chain exercises with minimal knee flexon. If you get quad dominant, it makes the situation worse, especially if you have weak hips. So deads, romanian dead lifts, rack pulls (if you want to really limit knee bend), etc are her friend if it is a tracking problem. They will help strengthen the hips.

    If her condition is anything like mine, she can still work legs, she just has to experiment and work strategically to help improve the situation.
     
  10. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    JC: I do them with the band attached to my dining room table. 20 in each direction.

    Another thing my orthopod told me was that while everyone thinks patella problems are aggravated by tight hamstrings, tight quads and hip flexors are almost as much of a problem. So for me, the trick is strengthening combined with thorough stretching.

    I have no idea if my problems are similar to hers, but that's all I've got for ya. :) Best of luck to both of you! :nod:
     

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