Alternative to lunges (for bad knees)?

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    Alternative to lunges (for bad knees)?

    Hi everyone,

    I have pretty bad knees and struggle with lunges. I've seen online that using something to (literally) step-up on is a good alternative to lunges, but at the moment I don't have anything to step up on. So does anyone know of some good alternatives to lunges? I am more focused on strength/toning though cardio suggestions are welcome

    Thank you!

    #2
    "Bad knees" like you have weak musculature supporting them or you have bone-on-bone and loss of connective tissues or you have inflexibility of the calves, quads, and hamstrings, or is it more like a traumatic event and here's physical damage? The alternative is going to depend on your physiology and why you have bad knees.

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      #3
      Stairs with railings are great alternatives and work like step ups. Hold onto the railings and do step ups (1 or 2 steps). You can vary this in a lot of ways: add weights to a back pack, use more or less railing support, add depth with increasing stair steps, modify tempo, modify landing, conduct lateral or reverse step ups.

      The other benefit with the railing is you can really nail down form since the railing will work to stabilize the movement. As such you can figure out what amount of depth or what positioning your legs respond well too. It also allows for bilateral strengenthing.


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        #4
        You could try reverse lunges - that seems like it might work for your strengthening / tone goals as well as not being so hard on your knees!

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          #5
          cgonz0803 ... what Warmaker said.
          Do you have weak knees because you have not worked those muscles?
          Do you have weak knees because your cartilage is shot?
          Do you have weak knees because you suffered an injury?
          Hugely important questions if we are to try and help.

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            #6
            Reverse lunges and Bulgarian split squats (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C-uNgKwPLE) usually work for me and i have pretty bad knees from skiing injuries.

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              #7
              Originally posted by DaithiMeyer View Post
              cgonz0803 ... what Warmaker said.
              Do you have weak knees because you have not worked those muscles?
              Do you have weak knees because your cartilage is shot?
              Do you have weak knees because you suffered an injury?
              Hugely important questions if we are to try and help.
              Good question (and point!). My knees are bad due to genetics; most of my family has bad knees and ends up arthritic. I can feel the onset of this and thus things like lunges put a lot of strain on my knee.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Pseudonymravid View Post
                You could try reverse lunges - that seems like it might work for your strengthening / tone goals as well as not being so hard on your knees!
                I will try these next time, thanks!

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                  #9
                  Hi cgonz0803 reverse lunges as was mentioned are definitely easier for the knees. I also recommend this chanel:
                  https://www.youtube.com/user/physica...=knee+exercise
                  they're not video editing experts but the explanations are good.

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                    #10

                    I normally regress as follows:

                    Normal Lunge (Most difficult)
                    Reverse Lunge
                    Reverse Lunge holding onto something for support
                    Static Lunge aka Split Squat (Easiest version)

                    After that I go for a shallow squat - in other words not going to the normal depth but somewhere above a 90 degree bend.

                    Depending what you are trying to work you might also opt for a hip thruster either double leg or single leg which would at least hit your glutes. You could do that off a sofa/bench/bed or even from a shoulder bridge and squeeze your glutes as you do it to ensure they fire properly in the movement.

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                      #11
                      Also wide gap squats with your toes pointed outwards

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                        #12
                        cgonz0803 ... at your age and weight, my guess is you are anticipating arthritic knees. And not giving them enough attention.
                        My wife, a few years older than I, has had arthritic knees for ... 15 years? She got some shots which helped rebuild the cartilage, which helped for ~a decade.
                        Tried again, didn't work. switched to a salve that kinda-sorta helps, and different shots, which seem to be helping.
                        Stairs (down) can be a chore but she still plays codger-tennis. She. Won't. Give. UP!
                        So, hold on to something and give those Reverse Lunges a shot.
                        Sez the guy who's afraid of doing a bunch of them (Cardio Go Day 21) tomorrow.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by DaithiMeyer View Post
                          cgonz0803 ... at your age and weight, my guess is you are anticipating arthritic knees. And not giving them enough attention.
                          My wife, a few years older than I, has had arthritic knees for ... 15 years? She got some shots which helped rebuild the cartilage, which helped for ~a decade.
                          Tried again, didn't work. switched to a salve that kinda-sorta helps, and different shots, which seem to be helping.
                          Stairs (down) can be a chore but she still plays codger-tennis. She. Won't. Give. UP!
                          So, hold on to something and give those Reverse Lunges a shot.
                          Sez the guy who's afraid of doing a bunch of them (Cardio Go Day 21) tomorrow.
                          I will definitely be trying out those reverse lunges. Thank you so much, you're wife is awesome!

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                            #14
                            I love those guys lol
                            I subscribed to their channel a long time ago.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by cgonz0803 View Post
                              So does anyone know of some good alternatives to lunges?
                              See if the advice in this article helps: Modifications/Exercise Alternatives
                              The seated leg extensions in these workouts are a regression for the lunges. You can add ankle weights or use elastic bands or tubing.

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