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I have chondromalacia patella under which the cartilage has become a lot thinner than a normal person's.

I have no idea why that happens to a young man like me.

I have not had any external injuries. However, I still hope to exercise my legs.

Squat leg workout, I think, does not fit me at the moment, so I have tried seated leg press.

Is that the right way to start ?

Because my knee caps really are not feeling good and I can hear "click, click" all the way during the workout. That is a little intimidating to me.

I wanna ask, in my current situation, what might be the best way to progressively increase my leg muscles without hurting my poor cartilage?

  • This is a question for a physical therapist. – rrirower Nov 14 '17 at 17:35
  • Unfortunately, I think that @rrirower is correct. This is something that you should be working on with a professional in a one on one type of situation. – JohnP Nov 14 '17 at 17:45
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Please consider quitting seated leg presses and other machine-based movements. These can bias your exertion toward quad-dominance, which may exacerbate imbalances in forces in your knees.

Instead, do low-bar back squats to proper depth (which is not maximum/"ass-to-grass" depth). Squats will strengthen both your posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes) and your quads in a way that minimizes the net anterior-posterior stress on your knees (and their cartilage).

Consider these threads:

  1. "dem crunchy knees (chondromalacia patellae)"
  2. "Squats and chondromalacia patella"

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