I recently received a question about a knee meniscus injury from a follower of WLC who lives in Australia.
He was following the Weight Lifting Complete guidelines and started having a few knee issues.
You must remember that proper weight lifting technique is vital with weight lifting.
If you're not sure how to do the exercises properly, you must spend the time learning and practicing the exercises. Once you have your form perfect, then you can start increasing the amount of weight you are lifting.
This is a must! Learn proper weight lifting techniques before you start increasing the weight!
Sometimes, though, some of your joints aren't as perfect as they should be. You may have worn them down over the years in a job that you've been doing or maybe you were just given less than ideal joints through your genetics.
We're not perfect.
So sometimes you might run into some joint pain or you might even injure yourself. You have to ensure you are lifting with proper form and technique so you cut down the chance of injury.
Read the below questions and answers between Gary and myself. Some of this might help you if you have a knee meniscus injury.
Questions and Answers About a Knee Meniscus Injury
Subject: Knee Meniscus Injury
Question From: Gary M
I have your excellent Weight Lifting Complete Program and I've been on the Phase I program for a while now and recently injured my left medial meniscus.
My doctor has advised me to stop squats for at least 2 months until the injury has healed.
I can still continue with deadlifts, however, I have been told to do them from just below the knee (aka rack deads).
I was wondering if you might be able to advise as to how I might incorporate an additional upper or mid body exercise in place of squats until my knee has rehabbed.
Much appreciated and I look forward to your response.
Response About Gary's Knee Meniscus Injury
Can I ask more about your injury? Just tell me anything else about how it happened, etc if you don't mind.
Have you thought about incorporating foam roller exercises and mobility exercises as warm ups before your workouts? They could really help and prevent future injuries. I do them myself regularly and they've really helped my knees, posture, and my entire body.
Were there any other exercises your doctor may have mentioned? I don't want to go against what your doctor tells you BUT I would try to incorporate sled pulling and dragging exercises that work your legs very well. I mean very well. And it's just like walking which shouldn't bother your knee at all.
Trap Bar Deadlifts are another great exercise for the overall body (I mean great too!!!) but this may put too much stress on your knee right now.
I also don't want the injury to happen again to you. Have you used the Starting Strength book for proper form or have you seen the free exercise videos? Have any ideas what may have caused the injury?
I just want to make sure you have everything you need. Let me know.
Thanks for getting back so quickly!
I'm quite happy to tell you more about my injury – for a few weeks I was having post workout discomfort in both knees (usually the next day).
Not sure they liked squatting 3x week nowadays, as I am 56 years old now and still think I'm 30!!
Unsure if arthritis might be starting to rear its ugly head, hopefully not. Anyway, my knees had been a little sore and I wasn't doing anything strenuous at the time (mopping a floor) when I felt a sharp pain up first the outside of my left knee and then it moved to the inner side.
I had problems straightening my leg as this would give me a sharp dose of pain. End result was diagnosis of medial meniscal damage. I don't have an issue standing or walking around etc and have done upper body workouts plus (lighter weight) rack deads.
My doc (who is an avid gym-goer) said it would be preferable for me to focus more on working upper body for a couple months. I'm OK on cardio machines such as stepper and bike but I do have probs walking long distance.
I have a foam roller and use it post-workout – never thought about using it with my warm-up though so that is a good tip and thank you for that.
I have seen the sled pulling and dragging exercises on some of the strongman sites – that possibly could be a great substitute, for sure. I feel that once I can walk distance then I might be up for some further work.
I really appreciate your response and wish to say that, thanks to your great program, my workouts have been fantastic and strength is on the up and up. I have been keeping right on top of my meals and really trimmed down on some bodyfat as well, (monitoring my caloric intake and getting my digital calipers onto skinfold) – it's all good there, so I'm really pleased with my progress!!!
I have taken some before pics and hope to get updated ones mid December for comparison. Will shoot them through for you to see. Will remain positive and just hope this damn knee situation won't set me back too much.
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Response from Josh
So what type of rehab are you going to be doing for your knee injury?
Even light sled pulling and dragging would really keep your leg strength up. I highly recommend it if your doctor says it is ok which I believe that he would.
If you've never tried mobility exercises like front to back leg swings, cradle walks, etc, you might want to take a look at them for your warm-ups. They are also called dynamic stretching exercises.
Mobility exercises will help you so much and keep you mobile throughout your life. Since you have knee issues, I would do a warm-up routine of many different mobility exercises before AND after your weight lifting workouts.
Can't wait to see the progress pics. Keep up the great work. And always think positive. The knee injury will not hold you back at all. Always being positive leads to even better results.