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Thread: Knee Strength?

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    Default Knee Strength?

    So after practicing martial arts, weight lifting, jogging, and factory work for years, my knees are starting to feel a little off. I only experience pain every once in a while, but they don't feel as solid as they once did. Does anyone know any way to strengthen the knee joint? I've heard plyometric jumping, as well as thigh exercises will help reinforce the knee, and help it track better? Any supplements anyone has tried that work? I've heard a lot of hear-say on the subject.
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Avoid plyo's until after you've been in some basic conditioning program for 4-6 months; they can be great for people looking to fine-tune parts or performance, but shouldn't be part of an initial program. Intermediate to advanced, fine; beginner, no.

    Knee stability tracks as part of a kinematic chain that goes from roughly your lower waist, to where your feet touch the ground. So, to improve stability, you want to address the whole chain. (a kinematic chain is "all the parts that go from point A on the body, to the end point of part B at the end of a limb", such as from shoulder to finger-tip, or pelvic girdle to toes).

    "Closed chain kinematics" refers to when a body part closes a circuit, so to speak, by touching/pressing solid earth, a fixed wall, or some such thing. Doing a bench press or leg lifts are "open chain", because they do not touch a solid, fixed point of reference. Wall push-ups and squats are "closed-chain" because they DO touch a fixed reference point.

    Why do I mention this? Because closed-chain, core, functional training will best prolong your functionality and health, and stave off dyskinesia (screwed up length, strength, and motion relationships between related parts) and dysfunction longer than other options.

    Lots of exercises out there; the ones I usually start my clients on is to have them pick up a 40 to 70 pound body-bar, and start with a "hundreds" program on sissy-squats, dead-lifts, and stiff-legged deadlifts. A 100's program is basically to do 100 non-stop. If you tire at number 35, you rest for a moment, then pick it back up at #36, and go until the next time you cash out, and so on. When you can actually do 100 straight through, then we can manipulate the frequency, intensity or duration, as well as introduce some new exercises to train synergists and modify load vectors on the main working muscles.

    Even though none of these are directly related to "knees", per se, I would go so far as to guarantee a substantial improvement in knee stability if you kept to this program for 4 to 6 months.

    As far as supplements...there are some great options, but most are unecessary if you're giving yourself the gift of supportive nutrition in the foods you eat. Specifically, if you plan on doing this or any strength training program to improve your knees, be sure to increase yout protien and mineral intake. Natural food sources are better than supplementation, but if you have to use some shakes to up your protien, go for it. And if you opt for a mineral supp., use a chelated form (i.e., calcium GLUCONATE, not CARBONATE). Some forms demonstrate better bioavailability than others. But as always, getting it through better foods is best.

    If you want to get funky, find a healthcare provider near you who can order AR-127 from Brion Herbs for you. It's a modified Ginseng & Astragalus combination (which boost energy, tonify vital energy/qi & strengthen muscles); eucommia and achyranthes (TCM liver and kidney tonics to strengthen bones and ligaments), chiang-huo, mastic, clematis and cnidium to expel wind & damp, activate blood circulation, decrease inflammation, and relieve pain. Excellent formula for any recuperation for musculoskeletal rehab, martial arts training injuries (both to repair and prevent), and to support energy levels as we creep into later years but remain active. You might also go through two bottles of their LI-485 for ligament, muscle, and bone health...more Chinese herbs that do some rather interesting things. Sometimes lower extremity pain or weakness is related to a Kidney Yin deficiency, so a Kidney Yin tonic is in order...my patients have had excellent results with the LI-487 for these symptoms...both seniors, and young athletes.

    Good luck,

    Dr. Dave, DC, CSCS (expired, and unwiling to keep them rich)
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    As far as supplements...there are some great options, but most are unecessary if you're giving yourself the gift of supportive nutrition in the foods you eat. Specifically, if you plan on doing this or any strength training program to improve your knees, be sure to increase yout protien and mineral intake. Natural food sources are better than supplementation, but if you have to use some shakes to up your protien, go for it. And if you opt for a mineral supp., use a chelated form (i.e., calcium GLUCONATE, not CARBONATE). Some forms demonstrate better bioavailability than others. But as always, getting it through better foods is best.
    Thank you for saying that. Finally somebody gets it LOL. Supplementation is the last restor. It is supposed to cap things off.
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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    Thank you for saying that. Finally somebody gets it LOL. Supplementation is the last restor. It is supposed to cap things off.
    Finally? Most of the supps that hit the market are marketing capitalizations on the foods being taken in by members of the body-building community. About a decade before conjugated linoleic acids or flax-oil capsules, body-builders leaning down for a show would have flax-seed versions of gruel for breakfast in the AM, noting that they shredded up much faster. Some youngster looking for something to do for a masters project in sports nutrition eventually notices these trends among his buddies at the gym, and looks for possible constituents in the foods and pathways in the body. Later still, some enterprising entrepeneur will take the kids research, and use it to isolate the identified constituent, bottle it, and sell it to the open market for a handsome profit. What's missing now are all the other good things present in flax seed gruel.

    Unfortunately, chemical constituents work synergistically with other stuffs in the food sources to create effects. Take ephedra herba for example. As an herb, there are hundreds of identified chemicals in there...some act as synergists to tame the negative side effects. In clinical practice, ma-huang is one of about a dozen other herbs administered along with it, to keep it mellow and prevent side effects. We enterprising westerners get hold of it, isolate it, celebrate our cleverness, and sell products that kill athletes. Some things are just better left in the context in whioch nature provided them: Food. One of the reasons I like Chinese herbal medicine is that many of the combinations are simply concentrated teas made from ingredients found in common asian cooking spices. Natural food sources.

    Thanks for noticing; it's a bandwagon many have been on for quite a spell, but not nearly enough.

    D,
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Thanks for your reply, that's a lot of helpful info.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    ...Lots of exercises out there; the ones I usually start my clients on is to have them pick up a 40 to 70 pound body-bar, and start with a "hundreds" program on sissy-squats, dead-lifts, and stiff-legged deadlifts...
    Why sissy squats instead of full squats? It seems like the former would be harder on the knees? How many reps do you suggest one do? Should I do 100 sissy squats, then do 100 dead lifts, followed by 100 stiff-legged, or what? Also, I assume I should stop my regular program of squats, dead lifts, leg extensions, and leg curls while doing this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    ...Specifically, if you plan on doing this or any strength training program to improve your knees, be sure to increase yout protien and mineral intake. Natural food sources are better than supplementation, but if you have to use some shakes to up your protien, go for it. And if you opt for a mineral supp., use a chelated form (i.e., calcium GLUCONATE, not CARBONATE). Some forms demonstrate better bioavailability than others...
    My diet is perfect. 100% natural, lean cuts of meat, tons of fruits and veggies. No processed anything. I do not drink milk however, as I don't deem it necessary. My calcium requirement thus falls short by about 200mg or so. I've made up for this by taking Calcium Citrate. Should I hunt down Gluconate instead, or will Citrate work as well? I doubt there is anyone around here who would order those herbs for me. Who would I look for, a naturopath?
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    My calcium requirement thus falls short by about 200mg or so. I've made up for this by taking Calcium Citrate. Should I hunt down Gluconate instead, or will Citrate work as well?
    There are other food alternatives to calcium though. Yogurt and Brocolli amoung other things. Event fortified things like Orange juice fortified with Calcium. You do not want to fall short with calcium since it has to mainly deal with your bones amoung a few other things.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Yogurt=milk product. I eat a lot of broccoli and spinach, which is how I get 80% or so of my RDA of calcium. I don't drink fruit juice. Only liquids I consume are water and green tea.
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Yes; do 100's on each of the 3, and set aside your usual lower body split for the 4 months it will take your body to engineer and reinforce new paths. Sissy squats loads the weight further anteriorly (towards the front) than regular squats; controlling the shift in the center of gravity commands different cooperative strategies from the muscles in the movemewnt range, and engrains new movement habit patterns in the kinematic chain...helps to re-program the dyskinesia. If you want to load more posteriorly with an eye towards knee strengthening, try hack squats with your feet a little further up, away, and out then usual. It'll target hams and glutes, which will do more to balance the length/strength inequities then strengthening quads.

    Seat thigh extensions...place them on hold for a spell...most people rely too heavily on VMO recruitment to press the weight and lower the negative half of the rep. If you feel you must continue them, try turning your toes slightly in. Seated ham curls, toes turned slightly outward, would be a good addition when your 4 months of the 'Knee Three" 100's are up.

    Citrate is fine; it's another chelated form with high bio-availability. By the way you described your diet, it sounds like you're paying attention to the food types you respond well to; keep it up.

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    What's a sissy-squat? Is that where you only go down to a 'sitting on a chair' position and not all the way to the floor?

    And I've found that riding the stationary bike has helped both of my knees in their recovery.

    I hate having to get off my butt and go do it, but I always feel better afterwards.

    I do the 100s with weights for blocks and punches too. Inwards, upwards, outward/downwards and punches. 100 seems like a lot at first and you'd think doing it with only 3lbs. would be a snap, but it's not so much when you're doing that many.
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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    Yogurt=milk product. I eat a lot of broccoli and spinach, which is how I get 80% or so of my RDA of calcium. I don't drink fruit juice. Only liquids I consume are water and green tea.
    Yes yogurt is a milk product, it also has other stuff in it also like good bacteria for your digestive system. So I am taking it as you don't ingest anything that has to do with milk?
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    What's a sissy-squat? Is that where you only go down to a 'sitting on a chair' position and not all the way to the floor?

    And I've found that riding the stationary bike has helped both of my knees in their recovery.

    I hate having to get off my butt and go do it, but I always feel better afterwards.

    I do the 100s with weights for blocks and punches too. Inwards, upwards, outward/downwards and punches. 100 seems like a lot at first and you'd think doing it with only 3lbs. would be a snap, but it's not so much when you're doing that many.
    With sisies, instead of setting your butt down underneath you like having a seat in an outhouse, you sort of lean back a bit. With a body bar, instead of loading the bar accross the back of your neck, to cross your arms in front of you like Barbara Eden about to blink, and rest the bar accross the tops of your delts, stabilized on each side by the other side hand. Yahoo/google "sissy squat" images and you'll see the general back-swaying motion of a sissy.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Greetings.

    The exercises given are great to create stabiloty in the joint. I would also recommend some static posture training to see if it suits you...

    you know, basic chinese posture drills, like holding a horse stance, or a wall chair (deep horse with back against a wall), doing deep bows and cat stances (not too deep, though). You can do upper body exercises and isolations and even applications.

    Some people like this, others don't. That's ok. More for the options bag.

    On supplements, I use my recipe for Ultra Gatorade. I got it from Doc LaTourrette's super water, except I add Gatorade powder.

    You just get powdered vitamin C and powdered MSM.

    put 1/2 teaspoon of both powders and add water. For better taste and to use it for rehydration, use the gatorade. Good precursors for collagen regeneration. Good for joints.

    Also, peanut oil massages on the knees, for recuperation and rejuventation, for 10 to 20 minutes, morning and night, or after a good workout.

    There's also the castor oil joint wraps... they've worked on me wonders.

    All these give results within a week. So you loose nothing by doing them now and have a lot to gain by doing them. Or not.

    Hope this helps!

    Enjoy!

    Juan M. Mercado

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    Yes yogurt is a milk product, it also has other stuff in it also like good bacteria for your digestive system. So I am taking it as you don't ingest anything that has to do with milk?
    That's correct. The idea of ingesting something meant to nurture baby cows doesn't sit right in my brain. The very first person who decided to pretend they were a baby cow and suck an udder has some serious mental issues, I think. Tomorrow is my leg workout day, and I'm really looking forward to trying these exercises out. I messed around with the sissy squat, and it definitely works your legs in an odd way.

    While we are on the subject of joint strengthening, can you recommend any good exercises to strengthen the shoulders, and other vulnerable parts of the body? Are there books out there that I could look into? I'm very interested in 'bulletproofing' my body before serious issues develop instead of trying to fix the issues later.
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    I find isometrics to work well for shoulders and knees. For shoulders bring your hands into chamber in a horse and tighten up your shoulders and do slow reverse punches as shoulder level ( 4 count out 2 count back) with tension in your shoulder the whole movement. for knees, while sitting, contract your knee as hard as you can (your calves and quads sould activate) for 10 to 20 seconds ten times each knee.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]When in doubt, go for the groin.

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Dr. Dave, DC, CSCS (expired, and unwiling to keep them rich)
    About time!

    Good for you.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by profesormental View Post
    On supplements, I use my recipe for Ultra Gatorade. I got it from Doc LaTourrette's super water, except I add Gatorade powder.

    You just get powdered vitamin C and powdered MSM.

    put 1/2 teaspoon of both powders and add water. For better taste and to use it for rehydration, use the gatorade. Good precursors for collagen regeneration. Good for joints.

    Also, peanut oil massages on the knees, for recuperation and rejuventation, for 10 to 20 minutes, morning and night, or after a good workout.

    There's also the castor oil joint wraps... they've worked on me wonders.
    Juan M. Mercado
    Very good Juan.

    You are a very studious person. I love it.

    Here's a couple of extra comments.

    So the super water. Mix a 3/4 teaspoon of vitamin C power into a warm glass of water.

    It absorbs into the stomach and intestinal track very fast.

    And it's low enough dosage that you will NOT get the squirts (hopefully?).

    Do that 3 times a day.

    An alternate method I now use is to mix it with bottled green tea, and then sip the green tea mix all day long. NOT all at once. All at once will give you the squirts. NOT fun.

    My second comment is to take 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily. You do it for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks go down to 1 table spoon. After another week go down to 1/2 a tablespoon.

    All knee pain goes away.

    On the above castor oil method, the best method is to use castor oil as a massage, with a heat lamp. Be sure and coat the back of the hand doing the massage in castor oil also, so it don't get burned.

    These are all quick easy and very effective methods, but only effective "IF" you do them.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    My second comment is to take 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily. You do it for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks go down to 1 table spoon. After another week go down to 1/2 a tablespoon.
    Interesting. It just so happens I like olive oil, too. I've been hearing about the health benefits of it for some time now, but what would it do to specifically help my joints?
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    Default Re: Knee Strength?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    Interesting. It just so happens I like olive oil, too. I've been hearing about the health benefits of it for some time now, but what would it do to specifically help my joints?


    It would help make the ligaments stronger. It would lubricate all joints. It helps in the healing of arthritis in the joints. It seems to work within days. Its cheap. The government cannot regulate it. Etc.

    Its an Edgar Cayce Remedy.

    It is well written up in The Edgar Cayce Remedies by William A. McGarey, M.D., and also in the Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy by Dr. Harold J. Reilly.

    It is most often used as massage oil, where it also has healing benefits.
    is one of the most effective agents for stimulating muscular activity or mucous-membrane activity that may be applied to a body.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette


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