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Knee Popping During Exercise?
Old 03-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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Knee Popping During Exercise?

I just added leg presses back into my routine again a few weeks ago. I noticed there is some popping and minor shifting just above my knee cap on both sides during the exercise every time now (I rest my hands there when I do the exercise, and I can feel it). There's no pain at all before, during or after and no change or injury, past or present. I don't think it's the knee/joint itself, it seems to be tendons/ligaments, maybe where quads attach/end? Doesn't happen during leg curls or leg extensions, though each exercise works different muscles. Never had this sensation with other muscle groups/exercises, except on an exception basis.

Anyone else ever noticed this? Something to be concerned about, or just (welcome to) 57 yo old knees?

Probably doesn't matter but 2 sets x 24 reps x 300 lbs on a Bowflex in case it does...
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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My guess is "welcome to 57 yo old knees" since you're not having any pain. But there are others who will know better.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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My guess is "welcome to 57 yo old knees" since you're not having any pain. But there are others who will know better.
I was thinking the same thing. If there's no pain or instability, it might just be growing old. But I'm not a orthopedist or a personal trainer, so it's not like I'd know.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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Midpack,

I think I know what you mean. I can feel similar sensations when I do leg presses, and sitting leg raises. I decided that as long as I don't get sharp pain inside the knee then it's okay
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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I'm sure you've heard the advice to not have the knees angled less than 90 degrees, and don't extend all the way.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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I'm sure you've heard the advice to not have the knees angled less than 90 degrees, and don't extend all the way.
Yep thanks, we don't go past 90 with knees or elbows (even have an old mirror beside the Bowflex) and don't lock on extension. Good suggestion though...
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Ha! My knees have been popping since I was in my 30s! I have lots of knee problems, but I'm still able to do lunges, squats, etc., as long as I'm careful.

Make sure your form is good. Make sure your legs are stable side-to-side and no twisting. I'm talking about lateral stability - don't know if this makes sense. I also used to "pronate" my knees - let my arches on my feet collapse inward when am standing or walking. I'm careful not to do that anymore.

Some people wear a compression tube thing around their knees to help maintain knee stability. I haven't needed that even with my two imperfect knees.

Here is what happens when I hurt my knees: They might get "crunchy" - the kneecap doesn't move smoothly over what's underneath; they may get stiff for a few hours; they may become sore and inflamed in which case ibuprofen takes care of most of it. I have learned my limitations, to avoid overuse, and to work up gradually to new activities. Pops? No problem! Even if I have bend and straighten my leg to get a pop worked out.

I hope your knees do you better than mine!

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Old 03-13-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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Some people wear a compression tube thing around their knees to help maintain knee stability. I haven't needed that even with my two imperfect knees.
This is what I use when I am playing tennis, or doing vigorus aerobic exercise such as circuit training, kick-box aerobics and the like. I don't need them when I'm in a very controlled environment, including cycling, where I am unlikely to use bad form.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Tennis is a good example of where you can hurt your knees moving from side to side and turning. The shoes really matter too.

I have to be very careful hiking, especially downhill. It's very easy to inadvertently twist one or more knees. I usually have poles when hiking non-flat terrain, and they're not for the ascent!

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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Tennis is a good example of where you can hurt your knees moving from side to side and turning. The shoes really matter too.

I have to be very careful hiking, especially downhill. It's very easy to inadvertently twist one or more knees. I usually have poles when hiking non-flat terrain, and they're not for the ascent!

Audrey
Fully agree on both counts.

It's surprising how hard it is on the knees hiking downhill, and that is when poles are great, to give you that stability you need.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #11
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My knees often pop when under stress. There is no pain - it sounds and feels much like cracking knuckles.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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I just googled 'why do my knees pop'

Several of the results included descriptions of why knees pop and when you should be concerned about it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #13
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I am a very active 52 year old and have had this with one knee for quite some time. I asked my orthopedic surgeon friend about it and he said it's no big deal. He had some name for it, but I don't recall what it is. I do recall he said everything is fine. Hope you are in the same boat. Enjoy!
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #14
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I regularly use 19 weight machines, but the leg press machine is one that I omit due to bad knees. It hurts.

But, I noticed a similar popping on the back extension machine when I first started using it. You'd have thought my spine was made of popcorn too, crunchy and popping. It concerned me enough that I asked a trainer about it. He said it was OK as long as nothing hurt.

After I used the machine for a few months, things tightened up and I seldom hear any popping any more.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:16 PM   #15
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Mine pop a little, grind a little. The last time I talked to an orthopedist about it he said it was probably the beginning of arthritis. I started having knee pain under the kneecap a few days ago. Luckily the weather is changing and I can switch from running to biking.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I just added leg presses back into my routine again a few weeks ago. I noticed there is some popping and minor shifting just above my knee cap on both sides during the exercise every time now (I rest my hands there when I do the exercise, and I can feel it). There's no pain at all before, during or after and no change or injury, past or present.
I've been told "crepitation without pain doesn't count"...

It's sinovial fluid and tendons moving around. The more you strengthen your quads & hamstrings, the more stability & less movement there'll be.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:04 AM   #17
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I don't think leg presses are a particulary useful exercise. I do squats, leg curls/extensions, dead lifts and occassionally some standing long jumps instead. I sometimes get noise (eg clicks) coming from the knee joints (even when I walk up the stairs). Probably not too much of cause for concern unless your getting pain with it. That said, jogging would probably do more damage to your knee joints over the long term than any leg presses ever would, unless your pressing too many lbs.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #18
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I don't think leg presses are a particulary useful exercise. I do squats, leg curls/extensions, dead lifts and occassionally some standing long jumps instead. I sometimes get noise (eg clicks) coming from the knee joints (even when I walk up the stairs). Probably not too much of cause for concern unless your getting pain with it. That said, jogging would probably do more damage to your knee joints over the long term than any leg presses ever would, unless your pressing too many lbs.
I like to mix it up every couple of months, that's why leg presses were out of "rotation." I do the same with all muscle groups...the only exception is bench press, always included (I rotate other chest exercises). I suspect Nords is correct, and putting it back into rotation after a long absence is the cause, and I suspect the noises will stop again eventually.

I still walk for cardio, but my running days are definitely over.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:01 AM   #19
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57 here with no popping sounds. But I don't do exercises stressing the knees. Years ago I used to do squats with weights over the shoulders, but one knee became tight and my body told me to stop doing those. Or so I heard. But I do lot's of walking with the mutt. We do a 5 mile trail up and down hills 3 times a week. The other days we get in 2-3 miles/day around the neighborhood. Knees generally feel great.
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