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Old 02-28-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
Mikhail Rubinshteyn
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Please help my legs!

I am really excited to finally become a member of this forum! It is pretty amazing how helpful, intelligent and bada$$ are the folks here! I do not CF yet but am aiming to get there soon. Below is my situation-- any advice, thoughts or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated. I apologize in advance for the long read.

Last June I found myself at 230 pounds at 6"1, easily pushing about 33%+ in BF (25 years old). I used to be active with sports, hiking, jogging and the weight room (isolation routines)-- but corporate life started getting the best of me. I found myself very unmotivated and depressed. Something had to be done, so I joined a martial arts gym and started making workouts part of my daily routine. A month later I tore a miniscus in my left knee and had to get arthiscopic surgery. What I believed to be a freak accident at the time, I now attribute to too much body weight and lack of flexibility. The accident made me rethink my eating habits and focus a more on lifting weights and doing low impact cardio (all I could do was the stationary bike).

I started lurking on this site and in turn eliminated all machines in my "routines" and stuck with exercises like weighted push ups, dips, chins, etc. I have lost about 30 pounds in the last 6 months and am finally feeling like my old self. I can knock out about 12-16 dead hang chins, 30 dips, 80 push ups, 150 sit ups, and bench my body weight for a few reps. While all this sounds dandy, as many of you have noticed I have wrote nothing about squats or anything lower body related. Here is where problem lies, I have managed to hurt my knee three times since my surgery to the point where I limped for a few weeks. Twice came from kicking and kneeing pads or heavy bags, and once from trying to run 6 miles three weeks after surgery. My knee is almost always swollen. I have tried PT with limited success. I ice my knee every evening. I have started experimenting with yoga and I have began stretching every day as well-- I am about a foot away from touching the ground in a forward bend.

While I am able to do lounges-- I cannot squat at this moment-- the bottom position is very taxing on my knee. 50 Air squats as of right now will guarantee me limping for two days.

Any advice how to get out of this predicament without overdoing it? I really want to CrossFit and my knee should be at 100% right now-- it has been six months. I am obviously doing something wrong. I WANT BEASTLY LEGS and I figured this was the best place to ask. I am tired ignoring my legs and watching them shrink.

Thanks everyone!

Some additional info -- this week I began trying workouts that add in one leg movement per day without going crazy. My legs are extremely weak right now and a serious "leg day" makes me sore to where I can barely walk (and makes my knee the size of a grapefruit).

Friday I did:

3x8 dead hang chins
3x50 sit ups
3x15 dips
2x 30 body weight lounges
2K on the Rowing Machine for time.

My legs and knee feels fine as of right now.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:58 AM   #2
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Please help my legs!

Mikhail, this may get more visibility if it's posted in injuries maybe?
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
Jay Cohen
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Re: Please help my legs!

Mikhail;

Good jub on your progress and desire to get stronger. IF you do not have a structural issue with your knees, I suggest you try to get to a CF affiliate and take some private coaching, or order Coach Rip's new SS DVD or buy the book.

Good form is critical. Squats/deads done right, should not cause knee issues. Poor form on the other hand is not good!

Squats and Dead's are the bomb for building overall strength.

Good luck
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
Mikhail Rubinshteyn
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Re: Please help my legs!

I actually own SS and Practical Programming. I just am kind of paranoid about starting that strength program with my current lack of flexibility and my knee not being close to 100%.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:16 PM   #5
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Please help my legs!

Get the SS DVD as well. I have ordered it, not yet received it, but can only imagine it is awesome, especially at only 20 bucks. I agree with Jay that a decent CF trainer should be able to help quite a bit as well. Post vids on here, too.

You need to squat. You know this. Work it in, slowly, and ramp it up, carefully. Squatting is the best way to ________.


I looked at an old pic of myself yesterday from about 9 years ago, before I started squatting. I was a little shocked when I realized that I used to have little girly legs. I don't think anyone would say that about me these days. I have had knee problems since I was in high school, but I have found that proper squatting is the best medicine for them.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
Mikhail Rubinshteyn
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Re: Please help my legs!

Thanks Jacob, I think that is what I need to hear.

Has anyone ever had problems with the bottom position of a squat?

My left knee feels a lot of pressure (from prior injury). While my back is straight, it is also collapsing forward, i.e. I cannot get my chest up. Would doing squats slowly facing the wall help? I am thinking if I have bad form, I would just fall back. And work on that?
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:31 PM   #7
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Please help my legs!

Honestly, it's tough to diagnose this sort of stuff without a vid. I'd get a vid of your air squat and put it in the digital coaching section. Get that air squat perfected, then move on to BB squats with the bar, post more vids, get a warm fuzzy feeling that you're safe, and then start putting more weight on it every workout. Eat/sleep/profit.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:22 PM   #8
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Please help my legs!

Though we can't diagnose, you really can't go wrong with adding wall squats to your routine, whoever you are.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:55 PM   #9
Mikhail Rubinshteyn
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Re: Please help my legs!

Ok it is done. First CrossFit scheduled for this Saturday!
Lets see what the trainer thinks.
Thanks guys!
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