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Training with Knee Issues: Step Ups and Slow Tempo Split Squats



  1. Mark Mammoser, [12/04/2023 18:20]

so say i work with an athlete with knee issues and trains 3x a week. do you think doing persay, patrick step ups each of his training days would be beneficial, or cause overuse? split squats cause him pain, even in the highest elevation he can find. that’s why i feel step ups and rhythm VMO squats (not full range) can benefit him for sure

Ben Patrick, [12/04/2023 19:04]

If can’t do split squat,

1. Yes, short range can still increase strength! This is the PRIMARY value of step ups. You can still make the knee and quads stronger.

2. Flossing can be a great warm up.

3. Split squat regression at SLOW tempo is underrated. 5 reps, 5 seconds down, 5 second pause. 5 x  Major gains. Less risk.

And keep jacking up calves and hams since they improve cushion at bottom of squat and also help stabilize the knee.

Mark Mammoser, [12/04/2023 19:07]

that’s where i’ve been utilizing the step ups and the rhythm squats too! so tempo really is key here with the split squat regression? he feels pain at the bottom in full flexion so maybe even work to a point SLOWLY lowering to where he experiences no pain and continue to work there?

he’s a soccer player, ACL surgery in left and now feels pain in his right knee just as much, if not more. nagging pain, maybe from compensation of weakness in the left? hard to say, but he does nordics and can’t ever feel his left hamstring activate, only the right 

SL ham curls and elephant walks is where i was going to start him for hamstrings, of course tib raises, KOT calf raises and FHL raises too

Ben Patrick, [12/04/2023 19:33]

Maybe, but I wouldn’t force it. There are so many tools you can be working at to increase protection, it’s best to focus on the ones you can get a lot of wins with.

It’s very common to have problems with the other knee after surgery. Very very common.

Sled, flossing, step ups, hamstrings, can all give a lot of knee gains as you allow split squats to feel better.


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