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Old 06-13-05, 04:16 AM   #1
j.foster
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How can i increase leg strength without doing weights?

I know for more power and strength with hill climbing and sprints people usually do weights in some form or another. My knees really tend to object to all this kind of training and the ligaments start clicking horribly afterwards although i never get any problems like this through cycling or running. Are there any alternatives to weights for strengthening my legs or do i need to tackle the problem with clicky ligaments?
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Old 06-13-05, 05:41 AM   #2
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If you're getting clicky noises while strength training that's not right. What exercises do you do?

You probably then also don't want to put your legs under the same torque by doing power intervals or hill sprint intervals.

To get a better sprint, sprint. Do it after you have some base (~1500 miles?), do it after a rest day so you're fresh, and do it to absolute 100% effort.

Again, it will probably bother the same clicky problem. Bottom line: I think a doc is in order.
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Old 06-13-05, 05:05 PM   #3
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If you've got clicky noises in your joints, you need strength training more than the average person! The idea is to make your surrounding muslces strong enough that they take the weight and pressure off your joints. All your joints should do is bend; your muscles should be absorbing the force.

You might want to try some weight machines, instead of free weights. These tend to be a lot easier on your joints, taking pressure off the joint itself by transferring some of it to the mechanics of the weight machine. Poke around your gym and see what machines they have. Also, gym employees or the trainer there can show you how to do the lift properly, so your joints don't get too stressed out.

If you absolutely don't want to do weight lifting, all you need to do is add some type of "resistance" to the activity you're doing. If you're on a bike, do hills; if you're running, add some sprints (although with bad knees, you probably ain't running). You can also get in the pool, because moving your limbs through water is more resistant than moving them through air.

Intervals are also a great way to add strength, as they super-tax the muscles in a short period of time. So maybe try a spinning class.

Good luck to you!
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Old 06-13-05, 07:33 PM   #4
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If you're worried about clicking noises, you should have your knees looked at by a doctor. If there's something goofy in how your knees are constructed, knowing what's up might help you identify the "ideal" exercise...
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Old 06-14-05, 11:11 AM   #5
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Another rec for a doctor... if you have one, use her/him...
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Old 06-14-05, 03:09 PM   #6
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Righto i'll go see the doc! The only reason i didn't bother before was that i can still happily run and cycle as much as i always used to without any problems - no clicking, no pain. It's only the weights that do it but with the clicking they do cause a certain amount of discomfort.
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Old 06-14-05, 05:21 PM   #7
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You can strengthen your leg muscles by staying seated on hills and using a low cadence, around 50 to 55 per minute. See how your knees respond to this.
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Old 06-14-05, 06:44 PM   #8
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Try an "air chair." Stand with your back against a wall. Bend your knees and hips as if you were sitting in a chair, while keeping your back straight against the wall. Hold it as long as you can. Rest a minute, then repeat. Time how mwny seconds you can do it, and you will soon notice an improvement.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Try an "air chair." Stand with your back against a wall. Bend your knees and hips as if you were sitting in a chair, while keeping your back straight against the wall. Hold it as long as you can. Rest a minute, then repeat. Time how mwny seconds you can do it, and you will soon notice an improvement.
"Clicky noises". Not accompanied by pain. Are most often nothing. Everyone has them sometimes. Some people have them all the time. With continued training they will probably decrease or go away. Do a pubmed search. Clicky joints are no big deal and squats are NOT bad for your back or knees. Those are what we weightlifters like to call "excuses".
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Old 06-20-05, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.foster
I know for more power and strength with hill climbing and sprints people usually do weights in some form or another. My knees really tend to object to all this kind of training and the ligaments start clicking horribly afterwards although i never get any problems like this through cycling or running. Are there any alternatives to weights for strengthening my legs or do i need to tackle the problem with clicky ligaments?

What are your goals in cycling? Do you plan to compete...endurance or sprint events?

Are you looking for a faster century or faster kilometre times?

Weight loss or lean mass gain?
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Old 06-20-05, 10:30 PM   #11
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I've been doing these for a bit. Strength training exercises You might want to take it easy the first time. Do 2 sets of 12 and see how you feel the day after. Try to do them on off days or easy days. The first time I did them my legs felt burnt out for 3 days, had to take 2 days off to get back to normal. So I cut it down to 2x12.
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