Achy Knees No more!
Part 2
By Sean Lim
Welcome back! If you're new to this "series", go back to Part 1 [HERE]. If you've read and applied Part 1 to your training, well done!

There are a plethora of reasons as to why knees hurt but it all boils to the very fact that knees are very unstable by nature. As such, it is imperative that we do all we can to strengthen the ligaments surrounding it by placing ourselves in a proprioceptively enriched environment (unstable environment in English).

You've probably heard of these exercises and they are fantastic exercises but what we're going to do now is to add the 4-2-2 tempo into each of these exercises. Reason being most of us have super strong prime movers but our connective tissue and ligaments are not strong enough to keep up with our prime movers. 4-2-2 or 4-2-1 tempo is primarily used in the Stabilisation phase (Phase 1) of the NASM OPT model and its purpose is to build a strong foundation before loading. 4-2-2 tempo simply means 4 seconds on the eccentric portion of the lift (the descent), 2 seconds on the isometric portion (holding at the bottom), and 2 seconds on the concentric portion (the ascent). The reason why we're going to use 4-2-2 tempo here is to focus on strengthening the connective tissue and stabilising muscles surrounding the knee. For all 3 exercises, it is advised to stick within 1-3 sets and the rep range of 12-20. Pick a weight that is around 50-70% of your 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM).
Reverse Lunges

Lunges is a wonderful exercise. It's a fantastic quad and glutes builder but for most with knee pains, like myself, the thought of lunges alone can bring nightmares. However, there are many ways to "skin a cat" and in this case, many ways to lunge. What's so different about reverse lunges since they're both working in the sagittal plane? The difference of reverse lunges lies in the shin angle. With standard lunges, the knee is required to travel a lot further which can cause a lot of discomfort for those with knee problems. However with reverse lunges, the shin tends to stay upright thus taking a lot of pressure of the knee cap.
Single Leg RDL

Romanian deadlifts are a staple in workout programs that seek to build a strong posterior chain and a fantastic butt so expect the single leg Romanian deadlift to be just as good especially with the added need to balance one's self. The need to maintain balance is a great way to strengthen cranky knees. You'll definitely have knees of steel in no time!
Box Squats

Now you no longer have an excuse to skip squats. With box squats, you can still do pain-free squats! Just set up a box or bench and squat yourself onto the box. You want to recruit all muscles (prime mover and stabilisers) so never ever bounce off the box and use momentum.
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