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Lunge Modifications for Knee Issues

by Mark Withers
(Monrovia, CA )

I have really bad knees. So many of the otherwise GREAT exercises involve bending or stressing the knee which is something I cannot do - even a little. I'm looking for core and upper body exercises that will help me burn fat without using my knees.

My aerobic exercise is spinning which for whatever reason does not bother my knees. But lunges, etc. - oh boy. I can barely do them. And if i push, I cannot walk the next day. Suggestions?

I've got most of the exercise patterns you've sent, but still need others to build a good reliable routine.

Mark Withers

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Lunge Modifications for Knee Issues

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no need for lunges but...
by: Monica

Hey Mark

I've had this question from a few people (for different reasons). If lunges cause you that much pain then you should definitely stay away from them for now but at some point you might want to correct the postural imbalance that's causing the pain.

I find that for most of my clients who are 50-80 the problem is tight glutes and really tight hip flexors and quads or tight hamstrings, calves, hips and inner thighs. Getting length in any areas that are tight will make a huge difference and allow you more range of motion without pain plus improve your spinning workouts too.

Now on to the modifications. There are 3 exercises I highly recommend for fatloss that involve zero lunging and virtually no leg work if done correctly. All the exercises below primarily work the core, glutes, and lats and they also burn tons of fat.

Dumbbell Swings or Kettlebell Swings which can also be done with a clubbell, or sandbell. If done properly you will feel nothing on the knee or shoulders and your entire core and glutes do all the work. Once you can perform an overhead swing your lats will get involved too. The alternating 1 arm swing is pretty cool too. Check out some great options at the link.

Renegade rows with or without pushups which is one of the most vicious core and upper body exercises around. When doing it properly and with a decent amount of weight your heart rate will soar and you will sweat buckets. Check out your options at the link.

Finally my favorite is the clean and press. This is an amazing exercise that works the glutes, core, and entire back. It can be done so many different ways (I like the db version). Notice how Rasul bends back from the hips (not a squat, 100% core) then drives through the hips to clean. Zero knee strain when done correctly and will blast fat like you wouldn't believe.

Other great options are muscle-ups, heavy rope work, rope climbing, most kettlebell, sandbell or clubbell exercises and TRX workouts.

So many ways to burn fat so little time!!

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