i love doing squats but lately my back problem( flattened disc at L2-L3, herniated disc at L4 and L5 and a cyst sitting on a nerve on L5 in my lower back ) has started making it very painful to squat. i have been trying to fight through the pain but it has gotten to the point of being unbearable. i have already been to the doctor for all this and there is nothing they can do for the pain, so i was wondereing if any of yall had any good replacement excerises for squats besides leg presses and hack squats. thanks for the help
According to dr Stuart mcgill, leading expert on spinal biomechanics, if you have low back problems doing the leg press will likely make things worse. Avoid it. Hell, even with back problems squats are better and safer than the leg press.
But due to pain try front squats, bulgarian split squats, belt squats, and step ups.
you can call me "ozzie" for short.
I strained my lower back a few years ago and couldn't squat for a time. It felt like the weight was resting directly on my spine. And just like asooneyeonig said, doing leg presses hurt my back worse just because of the bending it made me do to get into position on it.
Front squats however were my savior during the time as I was able to do them without any back pain.
This was just a strain and not an actual spinal problem.
try goblet squats, bulgarian split squats, or dumbell lunges
dumbell lunges might be your best friend because theres no spinal compression
Have you tried any chiros or PT's or ART specialists?
It is also not unusual to get 3 different diagnosis from 3 different kinds of doctors.
Low back pain is pretty widespread and there seems to be quite a few different venues for relief, so I would not give up or marry one "I'm stuck with it" mentality.
2 more cents...
That all said, what about trying a parallel bar dead lift or a a trap bar with elevated handles?
I would think it could only help long term, keeping the area ie: (hips, low back, legs) somewhat stronger, flexible and trained if you can do it painfree.
I like doing one legged squats with dumbbells in each hand and one leg resting on a bench
I know one doctor told me once that disc degeneration is kind of a typical sign of aging and can show up in people as young as their early 20's.
Are either of the doctors you have seen lifters? Just wondering!?
I have pain all the time just some days worse than others and no I doubt either docs r lifters
I agree with front squats but save any squat until the end of your workout. Pre-exhaust the hell out of your quads. Extensions, lunges, sissy squats, step-ups, (all other recommended mentioned above ^^^^) and squat last. Go slow and controlled on the negative and squeeze your thighs on the top. Make the light weight seem heavy. Good Luck!
Oddly enough, regular squats hurt my back some (herniated L1-S1, stenosis), but 16" box squats don't hurt at all.
I'm not implicating your form at all, but how is it? Even after YEARS of squatting, I can shoot my hips up first and really f*ck myself up. Box squats help with the issue, and I think I keep my spine more erect, primarily when fatigued.
Don't worry, man, someday I'ma be nobody too.
You do realsie that asking for advice on a forum about something like this may result in you being hurt? You need to consult someone who knows your condition and is in a place to recommend exercises which will not place stress on your injuries.
I believe that there are plenty of great options of exercises mentioned above including; bulgarian split squats, DB Lunges, Sissy Squats, Belt Squats, Front Squats, etc..
Also, for clients that I've had with similar problems I focus more on the core strength to get pressure of the lumbar spine. Along with doing manuel resistance exercises (need a partner strong enough to resist you instead of using weight). These exercises can be carried out lying down and avoid unnecessary pressure on the spine.
As much as I like the idea of being helpful to come up with replacement exercises I can't help but think with something this severe it would be dangerous to do so.
Spinal issues effect people differently. Which exercises you complete would depend on your own kinetic chain. For example, bulgarian split squats might be a valuable tool for one person but for anyone who has tension in their iliopsoas or rectus femoris you will likely encounter subsequent lumbar extension due to insufficient hip extension capabilities which for some people would make their back condition much worse.
You need assessing to know what is safe and what is not.
It would be safest to go directly to a professional who can work alongside your doctor to prescribe appropriate exercises.
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Front squats should put any pressure in the back if done correctly.
After sitting down with my doc and pt I will going with front squats. Thanks everyone for your input