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Old 02-29-08, 08:51 PM  
bfit
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
weak quads - what to do?

I have always had weak quads (and I don't know why), but now that I'm in my 50s and recover more slowly than before it's bothering me more. If I do a lot of running or step my quads get sore and tired, and then if I keep exercising through that I get sore knees (probably I assume because my quads are too tired and stiff to support my knees and keep everything aligned the way it should be). If I'm sick or otherwise take a break from exercise when I start up again nothing else gets sore except my quads. I do stretch so I don't think they are unusually tight. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the exercises that are supposed to strengthen the quads like squats and lunges also make them tired and sore and then I'm into the old vicious cycle with sore quads and sore knees and not being able to do any quad exercises. Does anyone else have this problem? Any ideas on how to strengthen my quads without hurting myself or my knees?
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Old 02-29-08, 10:01 PM  
Vee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfit
I have always had weak quads (and I don't know why), but now that I'm in my 50s and recover more slowly than before it's bothering me more. If I do a lot of running or step my quads get sore and tired, and then if I keep exercising through that I get sore knees (probably I assume because my quads are too tired and stiff to support my knees and keep everything aligned the way it should be). If I'm sick or otherwise take a break from exercise when I start up again nothing else gets sore except my quads. I do stretch so I don't think they are unusually tight. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the exercises that are supposed to strengthen the quads like squats and lunges also make them tired and sore and then I'm into the old vicious cycle with sore quads and sore knees and not being able to do any quad exercises. Does anyone else have this problem? Any ideas on how to strengthen my quads without hurting myself or my knees?
I think you should get a PT to recommend exercises based on the range of motion that will not aggravate the knee. People come in for knee rehab to the gym where I work out and a lot of them have weak quads. The physio runs tests to see how bad the knee is and how weak the quads are. They start off with doing unweighted work - squats, seated leg raises, single-leg squats but with a partial range of motion so that the knee is not aggravated. Other exercises are a seated exercise on the floor with legs outstretched and a foam roller or bolster under the knee, where they press down with the knee on the foam roller/bloster. Also lying face-up in bridge and extending alternate leg out for a few counts. The routine is interspersed with stretches to improve flexibility in areas like the IT band, hips, quads and hamstrings, and with balance training to improve proprioception in the knees. The thing is, the routine is always customized based on the person's weaknesses. Some people come in for just one or two consultations, learn the exercises and then do the exercises themselves at home until they get strong enough to come in for the next level of testing/more exercises. Almost all who are regular proceed after some time in PT to full range of motion and to lunges. Also everyone with a knee problem is given gentle low back strengthening. No idea why.
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Old 03-02-08, 08:47 PM  
videofit
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
I always have to be mindful when doing lunges, dips and squats, which is why I love floorwork.

I've noticed that since I've been doing more floor quad work via Karen Voight's Great Weighted Workout and others, my quads have gotten stronger and more shapely, which actually surprised me. You don't need to buy any DVDs, cuz it's really simple:

Sit on the floor, then lean back supported on your elbows and forearms, legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Holding your knees together, lift and lower one foot over and over until you can't do it any more. Change legs. You can also lie back on the floor and do this. As you get stronger, you can add an ankle weight. This is something you can do while you're watching TV.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:07 PM  
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Join Date: Nov 2001
When my knees were bothering me a few years ago, I did wall-sits. These are great for strengthening the quads. Some PTs recommend them and some don't. They didn't hurt, so I did them.

http://exercise.about.com/b/2007/01/...-wall-sits.htm

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Old 03-02-08, 10:51 PM  
dnna
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
One dvd that has quad strengthening work is Debbie"s Shape it Up and that is one dvd that is hard for me. It is the exercise described above, she does it with weights ( ow!) She talks to her sister who is a pt while she is doing it -about how this strengthens the knee. I always feel it the next day!
good luck
donna
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