Hello from a new member in the UK.
I've just found this primal world and really pleased because it just seems intuitively right and my first couple of weeks are showing some positive results unlike many things I've tried in the past.
I'm a 48 year old man, 6'4" and 265 pounds (in american money :-)). I'm naturally broad/muscularly built and when much younger I was well toned and muscled (serious competitive rugby does that to you!). However the years and a desk jockey lifestyle have taken their toll so I'm now somewhat overweight as you can see from the numbers and I have definitely lost most of the muscle I used to have.
I joined a local gym last year and started their cross-fit sessions. They were quite fun but I found them too competitive - maybe my problem - and the coach pushing too hard. In January I ended up tearing the cartilage in my right knee - 20 years ago (in the rugby days) I had surgery on it to rebuild it after multiple dislocations.
Shit happens so I could have lived with that and recovered and gone back but I'm not happy with the fact that the gym instructor never called me back to discuss the tear and what we do next despite repeated phone calls to him after the incident.
Anyway, in March I had surgery to remove the cartilage and I'm now committed to doing things my way at my pace. The diet is going well, full plank is fine; press ups from knees - I can do 50 and can see myself working to full ones fairly soon. Pull ups is one for the long haul but I'm doing the stages Mark suggests.
My problem is the squats. The pain has now mostly gone although it's there on bad days but laterally the knee still feels weak and I am certainly not going to risk pushing it given my medical history. So my question is if I can't (yet) do squats, what should I be replacing them with?
Thanks for your advice.
Try out lunges. First bodyweight, and if that feels good you can pick up some weights in each hand. Do your standard forward lunges, and backwards as well.
Aside from lunges, maybe the leg press machine.... only other thing I could think of. Not sure if it'd be good or not.
[QUOTE=Metric;849637]Aside from lunges, maybe the leg press machine.... only other thing I could think of. Not sure if it'd be good or not.[/QUOTE]
OP- Can you sit on a chair and get up? If so, you're doing squats already.
Having "bad" knees myself I would say lunges have the potential to be harder on the knees because of the motion involved. My massage therapist (a powerlifter) says lunges are very hard on tall people and you need to be very careful with them.
Not sure if this would help or if you have access to it but have you tried doing trap bar dead lifts?
[QUOTE=Fernaldo;849838]Not sure if this would help or if you have access to it but have you tried doing trap bar dead lifts?[/QUOTE]
If he doesn't have one, a trap bar's a great investment anyway. But an overweight, out-of-shape guy with a knee problem might not be ready for it yet. I'd start off with body-weight box squats (sit down. stand up. that's a body-weight box squat) and come up with a progression from there.
At 6'2" lunges are harder on my knees than a correct form squat. With proper technique your knee should be under very little to essentially no stress (other than vertical compression) for squats.
The squat is by far one of the safest exercises for your knees as long as you use proper form and and perform a FULL squat. Stopping in the middle of the descent, or "half-squats", are what cause the tension and pain.
To go with what NicMcCool said, look up some exercises for your glutes and hamstrings. Imbalanced muscles between the front and back of your leg can make knee problems worse. Squatting low requires you to use your posterior chain, but I'm sure there are other exercises you can do as well.