Food & Fitness

Day 17 of the 200 Reps Challenge

Yesterday I found that those side lunges wreaked havoc on my knees- it was really painful to perform that exercise, so I didn’t complete the reps as required (I traded ’em in for regular lunges). Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone know why this would occur? I’m always very careful not to let my knee go over my toe and to keep my body straight and in line so I’m not sure why it hurt. If anyone has some ideas for what might have gone wrong, it would be greatly appreciated!

Today’s challenge:

20 Stability Ball Chest Flies (targets pectorals)

20 Standing Hamstring Curls (targets the hamstrings)

Repeat this set ten times for a total of 200 Stability Ball Chest Flies and 200 Standing Hamstring Curls!

For the Stability Ball Chest Flies:

1. Rest your shoulders and upper back on a stability ball with your feet flat on the floor; your knees should be in a straight line with your back so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you don’t own a stability ball, you can perform this movement on a bench.

2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your elbows so that your upper arms are almost parallel to the floor; your palms should be facing inwards.

3. Raise the weights up and together so that they meet over your chest. Your arms should be almost fully extended but with a slight bend in the elbows, creating a diamond shape with your arms when the dumbbells meet above your chest. Slowly lower the dumbbells to starting position. This is one rep.

TIP: Use your chest muscles to perform this movement rather than getting your arms to do all the work! That way you’ll target the appropriate muscles.

For the Standing Hamstring Curls:

1. Stand with feet hip width apart, arms at your sides. Raise your foot and bring your ankle up behind you so that it almost touches your butt.

2. Lower the leg and repeat on the other side. This is one rep.

TIP: Wear ankle weights or hold dumbbells to make this a little bit trickier, or alternatively do the movement quickly to get your heart rate up.


  1. Sagan Morrow

    Kris & Diane- That’s really interesting! I wonder why lunges bother us? And I wonder how many other people are affected by lunges and find them to be hard on the knees? I’d love to talk to a personal trainer about that and see if they’re an exercise that people maybe shouldn’t do as much of…

  2. Dr. J

    Your knee pain is probably from overuse. Cut back a little on knee stressing stuff. like squats, etc. If you are getting a patello-femoral problem, do some leg extensions with very low weight and high reps several times a day. This will balance out the stress on the patella so it will track straight, although you didn’t say that specifically was the knee problem, it’s very common, but easy to fix. Use a book bag with a few rhetorical books in it and hang it on your ankle, put your leg over the back of a chair, and do the extensions. 30 times 4 times a day. That’s QID for when you go to medical school 🙂

  3. The Candid RD

    I really want one of those stability balls. I hear they are really helpful and they may even benefit me as I sit at the computer all day. I hear they help with posture, perhaps? As for lunges, I don’t do them often, but when I do I get VERY sore in my bottom!

  4. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman

    I’ve been reading your blog and really enjoy it. I’ve been dealing with knee pain (chondromalacia, or Runner’s Knee) for a couple years now, and I’m glad to hear you stopped doing the exercise when you felt pain. Usually it’s an overuse injury that causes pain during exercises like lunges. (Especially if it wasn’t sudden sharp pain with an audible pop.) When the knee doesn’t track properly (I have this problem) exercises that put a lot of strain on the knee, like lunges or squats, can cause inflammation and irritation. In my case, constant overuse led to cartilage damage.

    As for treatment, rest is the best remedy. Building other leg muscles can help maltracking. (If that is in fact your problem. I’m not sure.) Make sure you target your hamstrings and quads, hips, and glutes. (I know, I know, that was the point of the lunges.) I do side steps with a resistance band to target the glutes: put a resistance band around your calves, squat, then walk from one end of the room to another in squat position. Repeat leading with your other foot.

    I have to disagree with Dr. J, though. I know from experience that leg extensions are really bad for knees. All four orthopedic surgeons and one physical therapist I’ve worked with were adamant about skipping that exercise because it does further damage.

  5. Sagan Morrow

    Dr. J- GIGGLING over the rhetoric books. Thanks for the advice!

    Yum Yucky- Yay stability balls! They’re super.

    Gina- Using them correctly, they’d be great for helping with posture. What I really want is one of those stability ball chairs- those things are SO cool.

    Tracey- Thanks so much for your input! I like the idea of targeting the other leg muscles to build up the strength and all. The side steps sound like a great exercise, as well.

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