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Michael Snyder 08-17-2008 02:18 PM

Training people with prior serious knee injuries
I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for helping train people with serious knee injuries in their past, bost sport and combat related. I am starting up the CF program in my unit and there are many people who have injured their knees/ lower extremeties in the past and I want them to get the most out of their workouts but their flexibility, strength, and trust in their knees isn't there and all the squat movements are proving very difficult. Thank you for any help.

Robert Callahan 08-18-2008 01:59 PM

Re: Training people with prior serious knee injuries
I have found the best thing for people with a history of pain/injuries is getting their strength up before anything else so that their joints have the support they need. So doing something like Starting Strength for at least 4-6 weeks just to get a base line strength and get them comfortable with the basic compound movements. I have had success with this approach with a 73 year old man with a full knee replacement and several back surgeries as well as a 23 year old athlete after an ACL replacement.

The most important thing to this approach though is to start light and work your way up. So begin with air squats, get them comfortable with that, then maybe a 10-15lb bar, slowly add weight and work your way up to a 45lb bar. If you do not have access to a 15lb bar, load up weight on a pvc or broom stick. If they cannot air squat, get a box behind them and have them sit down and stand up and mix that with partial squats as low as they can go.

Basically get them comfortable with the movement then slowly start ratcheting up the weight, it may take longer or shorter depending on the person but they will get stronger and thats what is important.


Becca Borawski 08-18-2008 02:39 PM

Re: Training people with prior serious knee injuries
Agreed, I've had a number of students who've gone through ACL surgery (mostly due to jiu-jitsu!) and they've been able to come back after their physical therapy as long as they were responsible about ramping things up and not diving headlong back into things. Work on range of motion first, as that gets better you can start adding weight. I'd be careful with really explosive movements, even unweighted, at first, too.

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