Knee (hyperextension?) and elbow

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Knee (hyperextension?) and elbow

Postby Hephaestus » Apr 08, 2006 23:18

Greetings.
I recently started getting serious about my strength and flexibility in the hope of building a stronger foundation for martial arts. Lately I've decided to pursue Tom Kurz's method from the bottom up, beginning with core strength. I've been doing sit-ups, incline barbell press, bent-over barbell row, back extensions (floor), crunches, and reverse crunches. I do the bodyweight exercises 4-5 days a week, doing weights on two of those days (resting on Wednesday and Sunday). I also practice Horse Stance and Empty Stance on my lifting days.

Now, here are my problems. Firstly, is my left knee. I first noticed this some time ago, and I had hoped that through my training I might correct the problem. However, it has instead gotten worse.
I don't have pain in my knee, rather, it seems as though I'm incapable of activating the muscles/tendons surrounding it. Whenever I extend my knee (walking, kicking, etc) I feel a catch/click sensation in the center of the joint that I believe is the knee hyperextending (as it has this curious "loose" feeling when it happens). It seems almost as though the muscles/tendons/ligaments in that knee region aren't strong/stable enough to prevent this from happening. Let me try to explain further with another example. When I kick with my right leg (front snap), I feel the power come from the muscle tension in my quad and glute, running past the knee, into my lower leg and foot. When I try this with my left knee, I feel it in my quad, but it doesn't seem to "skip over" the knee as with the other leg. I feel the brunt of the snapping action in the joint rather than at my foot where the power is supposed to go. Obviously, I have stopped kicking with this leg.
Any thoughts on how I might correct this? My stances don't give me any trouble, I'm seeing decent results, and this started occuring long before I began to focus on them regularly. I've considered working Hindu Squats into my training on my stance days, but I'm worried about exacerbating the problem. I obviously need to do something, as this loose click sensation occurs every time I step with that leg unless I forcibly tense the leg, or shift my center of gravity low by bending the knees slightly, forcing the knees to work harder and activate more. Could it simply be that the stabilizers in my knee are weak?

Second problem is my left elbow. I feel a very different sort of "catching" sensation in my elbow when I retract my arms in a barbell bench press or incline press. I don't have this problem with the shoulder press. The only way to keep it from happening is to do my presses from a drastically reduced range of motion, using a wide-as-possible grip and only lowering the weight until my upper arms are at the same level as my torso, so that my elbows to not flex beyond 90 degrees. I can punch with this arm just fine, my muscles activate in the area to stop the joint from hyperextending with ease, so I figure it is likely different from the aforementioned knee difficulty, but perhaps it is also simply weak? I'm not lifting terribly high weights, I just went up to 50lbs (bar included) this week on my incline press. I worked it up gradually from an empty bar. It only started having this problem around the 30 lbs mark, and it doesn't do this when it isn't supporting weight.
A note: my eblows are somewhat weak in any case. I'm currently working off a medication-related weight gain from 2.5 years ago. I'm still probably about 20 lbs overweight (having gone from 254 lbs to somewhere in the region of 200-210), so I'm practically incapable of push-ups, which is half the reason I'm doing lifts in the first place.

Thanks for any advice, I really appreciate it.
~H
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Postby dragon » Apr 10, 2006 05:37

In both cases(the knee and elbow),the first thing you should do is get them checked out by a good doctor.
If you get the go ahead i'd say a good strength program would be the way to go.
If the knee feels weak it could be the connective tissues(this could be due to the weight gain you say you experienced.You gained additional mass without the strength to go with it).
High rep lunges,side lunges,squats would help(along with a good strength routine too).

The elbow:-I find barbell bench presses irritate my right shoulder.I can however,perform dumbbell bench presses.
The hand/arm position is locked into place with a barbell.Dumbbells allow you to find a natural path/hand position that may help with your elbow problem.
The only hinderance with dumbbells is getting them into position/setting them down again when you get into heavy weight territory.
You either need 2 good spotters or i use a product called "Power Hooks".These are hook that hang from your barbell that attatch to the dumbells.You can rack/unrack them just like a barbell.Each hook has been tested to roughly 1000 pounds of pressure so they can certainly take the weight.

Also,i think you may be doing too much,too soon.You should look at your program to make some changes.I'd advise more rest days.

Dragon.
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Postby Hephaestus » Apr 11, 2006 00:01

Thanks for the input. I'll definitely get them both checked out (particularly the knee), and when I get a chance I'll see how my elbow reacts to a dumbbell press. Thanks for the recommendation on the power hooks, too.
I certainly hope that my knee problem is simply a matter of weakness of the connective tissues, and not some previously unnoticed damage.

Regarding the dumbbell press, is it considered improper form (or a different exercise) to rotate the dumbbells to a parallel position on retracting? Such positioning could well eliminate my elbow problem, if it isn't a detrimental practice.
~H
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Postby dragon » Apr 11, 2006 05:53

Your knee problem sounds(from the way you described it) like a muscle/tendon problem,not a structural one.Still needs to be checked though.
The dumbell press:-You can do it with palms facing forwards(conventional grip),palms facing backwards(reverse grip),palms facing each other(neutral grip),and anywhere in between,including twists throughout the movement from one hand position to another.
They all work the muscle in near enough the same way.The only thing i would make sure of is that both hands do the same thing.


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Postby Hephaestus » Apr 11, 2006 16:10

Great, thanks again, dragon. I'll see if I can book an appointment at the clinic. If the GP can't help me, maybe he can refer me to someone.
~H
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Re: Knee (hyperextension?) and elbow

Postby Thomas Kurz » Apr 14, 2006 19:49

Hephaestus wrote:I'm still probably about 20 lbs overweight (having gone from 254 lbs to somewhere in the region of 200-210), so I'm practically incapable of push-ups, which is half the reason I'm doing lifts in the first place.


How about wall push-ups and push-ups with hands on a table, and so on?

Fixing your knee and elbow problems for good requires finding their cause (not weakness of muscles controlling these joints but the cause of the weakness).

It is very easy for a knowledgeable physician to change tonus of a muscle, for example, of popliteus, which when lax can let your knee hyperextend. But quick fixes that do not address the root cause of the muscle disfunction are not likely to “hold.”

There are very precise tests of muscle function—way more precise than what an orthopedist or a physiotherapist might do. To have an accurate diagnosis and successful recovery see a physician who knows Applied Kinesiology.
Thomas Kurz
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Postby Hephaestus » Apr 22, 2006 01:58

Thank you as well for your advice, Mr. Kurz. I've actually recently begun trying wall push-ups -- my elbow is still bothered by this, but not as much if I keep the elbows tucked.

Sadly, there are no listed physicians with a knowledge of Applied Kinesiology in this area. According to the database, there is one chiropractor in the general vicinity who has studied Applied Kinesiology, but is not a titular graduate.
~H
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Re: Knee (hyperextension?) and elbow

Postby flowrencemary » Jul 21, 2010 23:06

think this may help you :)

Podiatrist Melbourne
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