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How To Build Strong Legs With Knee Pain

Knee pain.

It sucks. Plain and simple.

And there are a ton of reasons why you could be suffering from knee pain (reasons I will be getting to at a later date).

But no matter why you have the pain, it generally causes you to avoid leg exercises that could help you develop stronger, more powerful legs.

Lunges and squats generally cause pain. And even traditional deadlifts or sumo deadlifts may be uncomfortable.

But just because you have knee pain doesn’t mean you can skip leg day.

Actually when you have knee pain, you NEED to develop stronger legs, especially stronger glutes. Strengthening your glutes can often help alleviate knee pain (even though weak glutes are not necessarily the direct cause of knee pain).

Single leg deadlifts and straight leg deadlifts can both be great options. If your knee pain is a result of a previous ankle injury, single leg deadlifts can be a great way to also work on and improve your balance.

HOWEVER, I have found that one of the most torturous standing glute exercises isn’t a variation of the deadlift, it is the Anterior Reach Lunge by Nick Tumminello.

This move is so great that I love using it even with uninjured people. It seriously is a deceptively hard move and one that is sure to make your butt SO SORE the first time you do it.

How to do the Anterior Reach Lunge:

lunge for knee pain

1. Start standing with your feet together. Beginners should start with bodyweight while more advanced lifters can hold weights by their sides. Intermediate lifters or people suffering from low back pain may want to do the lunge with a front reach instead of adding weight.

2. Step forward with one foot. Beginners can keep the step forward smaller. A bigger step forward will make the move more difficult.

3. Step forward and bend the front knee slightly as you hinge over. All of your weight should basically be in your front leg with your back leg used for balance and support.

4. While you are stepping forward, your weight shouldn’t continue to go forward as you hinge over. Your front heel should be firmly on the ground while your back leg stays straight.

5. Your back should also be flat as you lean/hinge over.

6. The more you lean over, the harder the move. DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK TOWARD THE GROUND. It doesn’t matter if the weights touch the ground or if you can only lean over a little bit. It only matters that you push the butt back, keep the core engaged and the back flat as you hinge over.

7. If you do the reach instead of holding weights, you will reach your hands overhead and in front of you as you hinge over. Do not round as you reach.

8. Feel a nice stretch in your glute and hamstring as you hinge over. Make sure your weight isn’t going forward into your front toe. The heel of the front foot should be firmly planted on the ground. After you hinge over, stand up and step back.

9. You can choose to complete all reps on one side or alternate legs as you go.

Knee pain is no excuse to skip leg day, especially GLUTE DAY. For more great glute strengthening moves that could help alleviate your knee pain, check out these 10 Mini Band Moves.

P.S. For some reason this move does really make me think of the bend and snap…Anyone else get that!?!

A look inside the randomness of my brain…

So this week’s random thoughts and facts…

  • Thank you Francine for this article about a Paleo restaurant in Europe!! So awesome! I want one here! (Not to mention I love the fact that the US New’s Diet Rankings is torn apart at the end!) Do you think a Paleo restaurant will be successful?
  • Did you know there is such a thing as caffeine loaded beef jerky? There is even a brand called Perky Jerky. Maybe you don’t need 80-100 cups of coffee to kill yourself with caffeine….maybe you just need 60 cups and some Perky Jerky!
  • Apparently, you can make cheat meals healthy…HA! How to turn 10 fat-happy foods and drinks into fat burners
  • AND I just found out that wearing nude high heels can actually make you look slimmer! OMG! This is really what is making headlines?!?! I don’t think it is the high heels that made her look slimmer…I think it is her posture…but that’s just me…

  • Why when you type into Google’s “news” search can you find a ton of recent articles about dieting but not a ton about fitness or health (unless it is about a fitness center closing or a health tax)? Oh wait it’s because the dieting industry is like a bazillion dollar industry that consistently tries to convince us that there is some SECRET formula to weight loss!
  • Why does it seem like pull ups never get easier no matter how much you do them? Even when you can do 10 in a row, one still feels near impossible…Anyone else agree?
  • Did you know that a lot of “knee pain” is caused by tightness of another muscle around the knee such as the IT band or even the quad? I know most people jump right to something being wrong with the knee instead of considering the fact that there may be other issues in their kinetic chain! Remember the parts of your body work together…an ankle injury could lead to problems with your knee even!
  • I love chocolate…so I looked up whether or not chocolate addiction exists…it doesn’t seem like it does…but if it did…I’m a recovering chocolate addict.

  • Can someone please help me finance a study about hibernation in humans? I’m super convinced it exists! 😉
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