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Thread: Quad iso blues

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    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Quad iso blues

    I have absolutely been spinning my wheels with quad isolation for a long time. Sissy squats fatigue my lower back before my quads even get going, and leg extensions **** up my bad knee before my quads get anywhere near failure. I can’t use any amount of weight that I can sneeze at because my knee takes a hit before I can even do the first rep. Same issue with the knee and low narrow stance leg press. Split squats are cool, but I feel like they’re practically half a set of hamstrings, and I’m not trying to add volume there. What can I do?
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    Which portion of the leg extension rep causes knee pain?

    Try ATG split squats. You can do them such that they are essentially a one-legged sissy squat but with your torso more upright so that your lower back should not be an issue. Hold onto something with one arm for support whole doing them.
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    What about wrapping the knees before the set?
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Which portion of the leg extension rep causes knee pain?

    Try ATG split squats. You can do them such that they are essentially a one-legged sissy squat but with your torso more upright so that your lower back should not be an issue. Hold onto something with one arm for support whole doing them.
    Right before I kick off, and no pain at full extension. My only leg extensions option is on the cable machine, one leg at a time with an ankle strap, if it makes a difference.

    The atg splits, is that with the front foot elevated? And what about weight progression? If I can do bulgarian split squats with a barbell surely I can do the same with these.
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    Originally Posted by TheShadowMan View Post
    What about wrapping the knees before the set?
    What would you suggest? I was in PT for patellar tendinitis a few years ago and I recall he had me wrap my leg just below the knee with some sort of athletic “tape”, very flimsy stuff, catches on itself... I feel like it helped initially but eventually it didn’t do anything anymore and it felt more lie I was trying to force a placebo. Any idea what I’m referring to?
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Right before I kick off, and no pain at full extension. My only leg extensions option is on the cable machine, one leg at a time with an ankle strap, if it makes a difference.

    The atg splits, is that with the front foot elevated? And what about weight progression? If I can do bulgarian split squats with a barbell surely I can do the same with these.
    You may want to just do partial leg extensions focusing on extension if you can do those pain -free.

    You can have the front foot elevated if needed; you'll progress initially by lowering the front foot elevation. These are quite different than bulgarian split squats as the idea is to let your knee travel as far forward as possible and your heel can come off the ground (similar to a sissy squat). You can hold a dumbbell to add weight when you get to that point; these can be surprisingly difficult when first starting.
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    Have you ever tried doing Peterson leg presses?
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    Manage your work load better...
    (reps /sets /intensity/proximity to failure)

    Who cares if that means its light...

    And work your hams, adductors, ass & calfs harder. Quad only bros a) look stupid b) don't have much support at the knee
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    I have absolutely been spinning my wheels with quad isolation for a long time. Sissy squats fatigue my lower back before my quads even get going, and leg extensions **** up my bad knee before my quads get anywhere near failure. I can’t use any amount of weight that I can sneeze at because my knee takes a hit before I can even do the first rep. Same issue with the knee and low narrow stance leg press. Split squats are cool, but I feel like they’re practically half a set of hamstrings, and I’m not trying to add volume there. What can I do?

    Have you tried any of the following?

    Smith front squats?
    Barbell and or db hack squats, heels elevated?
    Bicycle squats variations ?
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    @Heisman I’ve tried positioning the chair relative to the cable machine in various spots/positions and no matter how much I reduce the range of motion at the bottom, I still can’t manage to initiate the movement without any pain. I even tried doing partial sissy squats (also use the cables) but my back can’t manage it. Well, it can I guess, but it feels like a low back exercise more than a quad exercise. Quads are definitely getting hit, but at 30 reps my low back has been unreasonably taxed despite my legs not yet approaching failure at all.

    @Beginner looks like heels being off the pad is the only difference between these snd low/narrow stance leg press, is that going to be enough to take pressure off the knees?

    @Ego I think that I manage it pretty well. But I mean the amount of weight that I can actually use without much (keyword much, because there’s always some degree of pain) interference with knees/low back gives me like 40 reps. Hams get 3 sets of RDLs abs 6 sets of leg curls, adductors get 3 sets of wide stance leg press. I really only want 3 sets of knee extension to isolate my quads without involving much else.

    @coach I already do barbell hack squats feet flat on the ground because after a while of doing feet elevated, my knee started to hate it. I can give cyclist squats a shot but I wonder if I’d run into the same issue. No smith machine at the gym though.
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    Alright, got one more for you to try. Closed-chain leg extensions with a band. One leg at a time, stand facing a pole of some sort and wrap the band around the pole and your knee. Stand so there is tension on the band when your leg is bent. Then fully extend your leg. The range of motion should start small. I am going to guess you will be able to do this without pain and then you can try to slowly build up over time.
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    40 reps is fine...
    Why wouldn't it be?
    I do sets of upto around 100 stuff

    Will build tollerence and connective tissue if nothing else.
    But it will build mass, especially if you take a set of 40 to failure-ish then 'myorep', rest pause or cluster a load more while fatigued.

    And look into "TKE'S" or terminal knee extensions.
    Either standing with a band or setup on the front leg of a split squat

    Ok, Reading Heismans post, that could well be the same thing suggested. So that's ab+1 for them.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    @Heisman I’ve tried positioning the chair relative to the cable machine in various spots/positions and no matter how much I reduce the range of motion at the bottom, I still can’t manage to initiate the movement without any pain. I even tried doing partial sissy squats (also use the cables) but my back can’t manage it. Well, it can I guess, but it feels like a low back exercise more than a quad exercise. Quads are definitely getting hit, but at 30 reps my low back has been unreasonably taxed despite my legs not yet approaching failure at all.

    @Beginner looks like heels being off the pad is the only difference between these snd low/narrow stance leg press, is that going to be enough to take pressure off the knees?

    @Ego I think that I manage it pretty well. But I mean the amount of weight that I can actually use without much (keyword much, because there’s always some degree of pain) interference with knees/low back gives me like 40 reps. Hams get 3 sets of RDLs abs 6 sets of leg curls, adductors get 3 sets of wide stance leg press. I really only want 3 sets of knee extension to isolate my quads without involving much else.

    @coach I already do barbell hack squats feet flat on the ground because after a while of doing feet elevated, my knee started to hate it. I can give cyclist squats a shot but I wonder if I’d run into the same issue. No smith machine at the gym though.


    I know some people with bad Backs and arthritis in the knees and they have some success with 1/4 squats and or carrying dbs up steps.

    My knees have been rebuilt but so far my back is good. Squats, leg press/front squats, leg ext ( which I do against medical advice) have gotten a million times easier with no pain. I cannot do unilateral stuff at all, too unstable.
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