"I CAN'T do that! I have bad knees!"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2008 2:33 PM GMT
    I'm sooooo sick of hearing that.

    Okay, 5 days a week, I teach a Group Fitness (Boot) Camp....I have anywhere between 6 and 30 participants on any given day....

    I'm leaving out some details, but with each new session I'd say roughly a third of the participants will immediately start with the "I have bad knees" whining....

    Before anyone starts in my class(es) I require a clearance from their primary care doctor AND we provide an exam and consult with a D.C. prior to....so, I know who has bad knees and who just doesn't want to give 100%.....however, I'm looking to expand alternative exercises to those people who either can't or refuse (if I don't kick them out) to perform activities that may require your knees participation.icon_surprised.gif

    Since this is an outdoor camp, we don't use alot of equipment...so I'm looking for ideas for lower body workouts that are not hard on the knees....so when I have my class doing height jumps, I can say..."okay as an alternative you can do"........blank.

    Any suggestions? I mean, I have a menu of other stuff, but I'm hoping to hear something new, I've not considered!

    Thanks!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Oct 23, 2008 2:39 PM GMT
    I went through PT for tendinitis in my knee and the therapist said one of the main culprits was that the stabilizer muscles were weak and my thigh and calf muscles were too tight. Maybe you could look into exercises to strengthen their knees and make them do that instead, eventually making it so they can't use the excuse anymore.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Oct 23, 2008 3:30 PM GMT
    As suggested above me, maybe balance type's of exercises?
    Or Yoga style exercises?
    As long as it's not the first thing, they should be fairly warm and reasonably flexible.

    In Yoga, we do it slowly, but we do a move where we put our feet hip distance, and then put our hands out in front of us, palms down, fingers together, and then sit down into an imaginary chair. It's basically a squat, but you go down really slow, then hold it for a long time. (Can't remember the name).

    On top of that, there are other balance moves as well (dancer's pose and eagle in particular). These definitely strengthen the knees, but are just body weight. And done long enough, they are muscle building.

    Something else my trainer has had me try to do is single leg squats and single leg deadlifts. The single leg squats are body weight only, and won't work for people with bad knees. The single leg deadlifts can be with dumbbells held in front of you (as a counter weight), and don't hurt the knees as much (for me at least).
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    Oct 23, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    When I taught college Army ROTC, one of my supplemental courses was "Military Physical Conditioning." It was mandatory for the ROTC cadets, but also open to all students on the campus, and indeed about half were non-ROTC.

    My course design stressed activities that could be done outdoors without equipment, which is how physical training (PT) is often conducted in the Army. But I also attracted a number of teaching degree students, who might find themselves conducting PE programs that also lacked extensive equipment for their elementary & secondary students.

    And also for them to just have some exercise options to give their future PE students. I additionally stressed how to organize the participants in a PE class when outdoors or in an open gym, so the teacher wasn't facing a gaggle of students bumping into each other.

    Your situation sounds not unlike what I was doing. Rather than try to list & describe all those exercises, I've provided some links. I'm sure you can find many more with Google searches on words like Army, PT, APFT, physical training, etc, and perhaps Marines as well.

    Some are actually quite hard on the knees (and likely why my own are now shot), like squat thrusts and jumping jacks. But I know you'll recognize those that are best suited to the special needs you mentioned.

    http://www.physicallytrained.com/

    http://lsoe.net/products/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=35_42&products_id=124

    (Chapters 7, 8 & 9 of the above Training Manual will have most of what you would want for outdoor use)

    http://www.amazon.com/Official-U-S-Physical-Fitness-Guide/dp/1578261317
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    Oct 23, 2008 6:57 PM GMT
    This is where fantasy and reality collide for some people, and now you have to deal with the mess. I'm sure it adversely affects how you can conduct your class for the maximum benefit of those who are serious and more fully aware of their bodies.

    I'll never forget the time back in college when I was hiring a house painting crew. Halfway into day one I had a guy tell me he didn't want to paint the second floor because he could not climb ladders due to a crippling fear of heights. I guess he thought it would be cool to be a house painter, but forgot about what it actually entials.

    There's also a guy in my softball league who "doesn't like to run"...even to first. But I guess softball isn't as serious so whatever.
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    Oct 23, 2008 9:02 PM GMT
    this is why group exercise is bs.(no offense)
    exercise is like medicine..if you have depression you're not going to take an advil and if you have a headache you're not going to take prozac.

    we all have different body types, some have tight quads some have tight hamstrings etc etc

    this is why exercise should be personalized...lets face it, 90% of people have muscle imbalances and group ex is not going to help at all.
    i know first hand with clients that i work and worked with getting hurt in these classes.
    you don't have enough man power to make sure every single person in the class has perfect posture and form while exercising.

    on that note most dr's don't know jack about exercise and diet.
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    Oct 23, 2008 9:09 PM GMT
    RealMasc saidthis is why group exercise is bs.(no offense)
    exercise is like medicine..if you have depression you're not going to take an advil and if you have a headache you're not going to take prozac.

    we all have different body types, some have tight quads some have tight hamstrings etc etc

    this is why exercise should be personalized...lets face it, 90% of people have muscle imbalances and group ex is not going to help at all.
    i know first hand with clients that i work and worked with getting hurt in these classes.
    you don't have enough man power to make sure every single person in the class has perfect posture and form while exercising.

    on that note most dr's don't know jack about exercise and diet.


    I agree with some of what RealMac said. As a group exercise instructor, I had one class (a muscle conditioning class) where I had too many participants for the space involved.

    But you also have instructors who have not been teaching that long and don't know how to survey the class and make sure everyone is doing the exercise properly so he or she will not get hurt.

    And if this is a Boot Camp class, why not let participants know this is an advanced class and not designed for those with "bad knees"?
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    Oct 23, 2008 9:13 PM GMT
    nikeathlete said
    RealMasc saidthis is why group exercise is bs.(no offense)
    exercise is like medicine..if you have depression you're not going to take an advil and if you have a headache you're not going to take prozac.

    we all have different body types, some have tight quads some have tight hamstrings etc etc

    this is why exercise should be personalized...lets face it, 90% of people have muscle imbalances and group ex is not going to help at all.
    i know first hand with clients that i work and worked with getting hurt in these classes.
    you don't have enough man power to make sure every single person in the class has perfect posture and form while exercising.

    on that note most dr's don't know jack about exercise and diet.


    I agree with some of what RealMac said. As a group exercise instructor, I had one class (a muscle conditioning class) where I had too many participants for the space involved.

    But you also have instructors who have not been teaching that long and don't know how to survey the class and make sure everyone is doing the exercise properly so he or she will not get hurt.

    And if this is a Boot Camp class, why not let participants know this is an advanced class and not designed for those with "bad knees"?


    Because he still wants their money
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    Oct 23, 2008 9:16 PM GMT
    Exactly! icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2008 9:31 PM GMT
    And here I thought this topic was going to be about something else....icon_twisted.gif
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    Oct 24, 2008 3:44 AM GMT
    Our program is a six week class. The first week we refer to as basic training....the first day of basic training we perform a series of "performance evaluations" on each and every participant....based on objective stats and objective observations AND their medical history we place the participant in (usually) one of three groups....beginner/moderate/advanced....for the final five weeks of camp. We have turned people away based on medical conditions and even a few who after our initial performance evaluation decided they were not really committed to giving 100%. We don't want people in the class that are going to make half-assed attempts @ completing the program. You either commit or you're out and we do in-fact return your money (minus any classes you've already participated in.)
    We have a 5 to 1 ratio of participants to trainer. I'm not the only one...I simply manage the program. I do agree that some people should not be in group fitness camps and need the one on one specialized training...which we do (of course) offer. We've been very cautious about our particpants and avoiding injury....we've been doing this program since December of 2006 and we've had only TWO injuries, both involved people tripping and falling while going to grab water bottles...no one has been injured actually performing an activity/exercise. All I was looking for was some other ideas and I appreciate the ones some of you guys gave....thanks!