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I need some help with muscle gaining. I want to gain some more muscle in my thighs. My thighs currently are a bit large, and I'm afraid to do a lot of muscular exercises because I have patellofemoral pain syndrome in my knees.

My foot doesn't have a curve, which makes it very flat. So every time I bend my knees or workout, I'm really hurting my patella. A lot of the shock and vibration you get from things like running doesn't get absorbed properly like it does with people who have a curve in their feet. I've had this condition for quite a long time now, so my knees are very swollen compared to other people. I can still work out and be a bit active, but there's a limit to how much I can do.

SO, I was wondering, what kind of exercises and activities can I do that can harden my thighs and butt and give it a bit of muscle WITHOUT having a painful effect on my knees? Please note that I don't have a gym membership and I don't have much access to workout equipment.

Thanks guys!
 

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Put your back against a wall -- flat. Hold as much weight against your chest as you can.

Bend your legs (keeping your back flat against the wall) until they're around 90 degrees at the knee.

Stay there for a few minutes. You'll quickly get the idea.

It's great -- for only 1 "rep" on your knee, you'll get as much quad and glute burning as you can tolerate, requires no equipment, can be done anywhere, no pounding on your feet, safe for your back.

Lotta stuff like this on the net if you look around.
 

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Wide-Eyed and Stern
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Squatting should hurt him. If you brace against something, like the wall, could you squat with the pressure on your heels instead of the 'whole' foot without pain? Do those wall sits speedracer told you about, should work.
 

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Do deadlifts with a trap bar..google it! Huge warning though...find an experienced personal trainer, or do research on the form, as the right form is KEY for not getting hurt. When done correctly, your legs (including hamstrings and glutes) will get very strong very quickly. Also, when done correctly, there is minimal emphasis on the knee joint.
 

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Both deadlifts and squats tend to put a lot of stress on your knees. Deadlifts less so, but it really depends how you do them. Regular, stiff-leg, what have you. It also depends on your leg proportions. As mentioned, make a visit to a trainer or expert and half them show you/evaluate your form. You can really, really mess yourself up with bad form deadlifting.

Or, you can do farmer's walks. Get yourself a couple heavy-ish weights and walk up the steepest hill you can find. Works the glutes, the calves, the hamstrings and quads. Make sure you push off with your toes for good calf activation. You should push off anyway, but lots of people don't know how to walk, sadly.
 

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Average Joe
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Do deadlifts with a trap bar..google it! Huge warning though...find an experienced personal trainer, or do research on the form, as the right form is KEY for not getting hurt. When done correctly, your legs (including hamstrings and glutes) will get very strong very quickly. Also, when done correctly, there is minimal emphasis on the knee joint.
+1

Form is critical in exercises like that. Also, don't force out extra reps at the expense of lost form. I learned that one the hard way in April. It's almost December and I still have not recovered from it- I still have a hard time bending over to tie my shoes. I'm going to have to pretty much start over on squats and deads since it has been so long away from them... :(
 

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I'd second the farmers walk with dumbells, UP HILL.

Deadlifts are way to problematic, form is super critical. I too speak from experience, I used to squat BIG weights, but stopped that many years ago.
 

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Also, don't force out extra reps at the expense of lost form. I learned that one the hard way in April. It's almost December and I still have not recovered from it- I still have a hard time bending over to tie my shoes. I'm going to have to pretty much start over on squats and deads since it has been so long away from them... :(
+1 Cant agree more on the not forcing extra reps at the expense of form!!! Made that mistake as well and took about 4 months to recover...had to start all over again to work my way back up

Haven't tried the farmers walk, but I have heard that there is some form that goes into that as well, also I would think it would be somewhat jarring on the knees, and the OP said that is what makes them hurt. I would still recommend springing for a good personal trainer for at least long enough to get the forms down (even on the farmers walk) Try to find one that is an actual Strenght and Conditioning Coach (meaning they have a degree) as opposed to just finding the buffest trainer at the gym
 

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+1 Cant agree more on the not forcing extra reps at the expense of form!!! Made that mistake as well and took about 4 months to recover...had to start all over again to work my way back up

Haven't tried the farmers walk, but I have heard that there is some form that goes into that as well, also I would think it would be somewhat jarring on the knees, and the OP said that is what makes them hurt. I would still recommend springing for a good personal trainer for at least long enough to get the forms down (even on the farmers walk) Try to find one that is an actual Strenght and Conditioning Coach (meaning they have a degree) as opposed to just finding the buffest trainer at the gym
It depends on your walking form. For a lot of people, walking is more of prolonged, slightly-controlled stumble. This usually ends up in heel spurs, messed up tendons in the feet, bad knees, hips and back.

It's one of the biggest condemnations on society these days that we've forgotten the most base movement techniques.
 

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The Celtic Prepper
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I'm a recreational powerlifter; I have the good-fortune of a solid pair of legs, both in strength and definition.

If you can't get to a gym, try reading some articles on home workouts involving sand bags, water jugs, and a mix of high-endurance interval sprinting. - Keep in mind this will not yield "the best" results.

If you CAN get to the gym...

Check out Wendler's 5/3/1 training protocol. Muscle and Strength has a good write-up for it.

Generally speaking, you want to focus on heavy, free-weight compound movements such as Back Squats, Stiff-legged Deadlifts, Good Mornings, DB/BB Lunges, and the Sled (traditional angled platform leg press). - Towards the end of your workouts, focus on pump exercises such as prone leg curl and seated leg extensions.

You want a good mix of low-rep and high-rep training, which is why I recommend Wendler's program. Three weeks involves a low-rep cycle, and then your de-load week is high rep.

Check out the articles on Elite FTS. TONS of great information from some of the best lifters in the world.
 

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Indefatigable
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Had to check and make sure the OP was a girl first - LOL
BELLY DANCE! Any age or size, all women can do it. Most moves don't put any pressure on your joints, just avoid those that do. You don't need a teacher, you don't need equipment. 20 minutes a day. Good for your sanity as well as your body. Here is a good place to get started - shes a great teacher -especially for beginners and ALL lessons are FREE. http://www.tiazzarose.blogspot.com/ If you want more info or some inspiration PM me.
 
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Stationary bike, lots of resistance, only thing i'd recommend considering your knees.
I was thinking the same.

I was going to suggest a real bike, along flat surfaces with the odd gentle uphill.

If that works okay, then a daily circuit. Use a stopwatch, pedal faster as the days go by, trying to beat your previous time.

My wife's knees aren't the best, but she finds bicycling to be no problem.

And what about front leg raises on a weight machine?
 

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Threepin'
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I need some help with muscle gaining. I want to gain some more muscle in my thighs. My thighs currently are a bit large, and I'm afraid to do a lot of muscular exercises because I have patellofemoral pain syndrome in my knees.

My foot doesn't have a curve, which makes it very flat. So every time I bend my knees or workout, I'm really hurting my patella. A lot of the shock and vibration you get from things like running doesn't get absorbed properly like it does with people who have a curve in their feet. I've had this condition for quite a long time now, so my knees are very swollen compared to other people. I can still work out and be a bit active, but there's a limit to how much I can do.

SO, I was wondering, what kind of exercises and activities can I do that can harden my thighs and butt and give it a bit of muscle WITHOUT having a painful effect on my knees? Please note that I don't have a gym membership and I don't have much access to workout equipment.

Thanks guys!
do lighter deads with solid form.
 

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I'm getting the impression that you are generally sedentary, you have knee pain, and your physician said you have PFPS, so now you think it's just something you "have" and you're afraid of exacerbating it with full-range exercise. I recommend NOT avoiding full-range exercises for your knees. Many people have muscle and joint pain because they sit all day. It manifests commonly in the knees and lower back. If you cannot squat all the way down, work on that first (free squats, like mentioned above). DEEP squats. Light deadlifts also. Farmer's walks are good. Try them without shoes on.
 

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I am not sure, but maybe kettlebell swings could be something for you.
You can also do squats with (or without)a kettlebell.
 
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