Masters Novice with limited knee flexion Masters Novice with limited knee flexion

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Thread: Masters Novice with limited knee flexion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Question Masters Novice with limited knee flexion

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    Hi all, longtime lurker, first time poster, thanks for taking my call.

    My mother-in-law has decided to start training (hooray). She has a lot of knee issues (boo) and some shoulder issues (boo).

    She is in her late 60s. In January 2017 she had her right knee replaced. She was diligent about doing her various exercises and regained full range of motion ca. September 2017. In December 2017 she slipped on a walk in the woods and broke her right leg in two places, above and below the knee. She was laid up for several months, then used a wheelchair for several months, then a walker for several months, then a cane, and now is able to walk again unassisted. But much scar tissue built back up.

    On the squat, she can go maybe about 20 degrees above horizontal. The limiting factor is not her strength, but her flexibility. Her PT over the past few years has resulted in a highly attenuated degree of right knee flexion. I suspect it is probably too late to address the scar tissue to anything other than progressively and gradually going just a little bit lower.

    Her shoulder mobility is such that on the overhead press, she cannot quite press overhead. Maybe about 15 degrees in front of vertical.

    On the rest of the lifts her mobility is fine and I anticipate a standard novice masters linear progression per the Barbell Prescription.

    So I am soliciting the collective wisdom of the forum.

    1. What do y'all recommend about her squat? Go as low as possible, and progressively load the weight? Pin squats? Something else?

    2. What do y'all recommend about her OHP? Stretch the shoulders to try and get the bar directly overhead? Or Rip's favorite, the incline dumbbell press with both chains and bands? Something else?

    I appreciate any response. My MIL is a great lady and I'd like to keep her around as long as possible.

    An Internet Rando

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    New York, NY


    1. Assuming she has the strength to do body weight squats at her current ROM, yes you can just have her work that and progress in weight conservatively. She will likely gain some additional ROM.

    2. Older individuals have to be careful stretching as there may be underlying issues with the joints that cannot be solved in this manner. If she wants to try some stretching she can, but I would have the Bench Press be the focus for the time being.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2017


    Thank you!


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