Help.Coming off a couple injuries. Improvement in leg size, strength, and stability.

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    Help.Coming off a couple injuries. Improvement in leg size, strength, and stability.


    Long story short I've been out of lifting for 4 months. Out from almost all exercise for close to two months and just coming back from and inguinal hernia surgery this thursday. This summer I injured my right lower back doing deads. (just a little background. I'm worried about injuring it again and not sure if it has healed all the way for some reason. The pain was not on my vertebrae and as i said was on the right lower so i figured it to be a muscle pull although it's hard to tell because muscle strains can feel so much different than other muscle strains.

    So, i have a few questions of what you guys think.
    So obviously i'm going to have to come back kind of slow but I also have some big goals I want to hit in the off season before the season starts again at the end of August. I'm one of the taller guys on my team, i play soccer, so one big goal of mine is to gain a bit of weight and strength. Thinking about it now I guess this post will pertain pretty strictly my legs. I'm not sure exactly how relevant the level of competition may be but I play for a top ranked team in division 2 college ball. After not playing for a few years my body was not used to the repetition of competition and games and I think that played a relevant role in my injuries. Unfortunately our season is over now. I'm 21 and about to be 22 in January if that may help with any other questions. We do have an athletic trainer at the school that will most likely want to work with my rehab, and no offence to him, but he is young and while he his educated and can give good advice, i'm looking to get the best advice i can get.

    I'd like to put strength in my legs and add a good amount of size as well. I'm looking to be even stronger on the ball and not get hit off. Also a factor that this can benefit is winning air balls and holding my ground. I'm aware of how beneficial squats can be, and my previous habits have not shown me to be one to pamper my legs and not lift hard and heavy. BUT, considering my injury, just coming back, and also considering how important core stability may be, does anybody have some ideas to increase stability, size, and strength? Also, i've always been able to squat a good amount (up to 315x5 this summer) but not very much size comes to my legs. I feel i maybe used my lower back for too much of the lifting for one... :/ I've tried really focusing on full range squats and really focusing on mind muscle connection on sets from 135x12-15 to 225-10-12 THESE LEGS DON'T SEEM TO GROW THOUGH Are full squats necessary? I've heard that going slightly under 90 degrees is enough to engage the muscles looking for improvement and that going ALL the way down can be detrimental to the knees. Any confirmation on this?

    So gist of my questions:

    What are some good exercises to start with for me when coming back from surgery and injuries while addressing stability? I imagine that at the beginning the size and strength will start to increase dramatically due to muscle memory and how small they have become from being off for so long. Increases seem to be easy right at the start but i'd like to come back right and injury free. I'm not looking to backtrack and take of things that may cause injury later.(I'm also looking to increase flexibility, core strength, and i'm foam rolling to trying and release some of that myofascial tissue tightness.

    Any tips on how to make these legs grow after i have gotten back to my previous fitness? (of course i understand how important diet is. everything else seems to grow besides my legs)

    Full squats vs 90 degrees vs just over 90 degrees?

    Sorry for the novel. I figured I'd try and cover any knowledge I had or false knowledge I obtain to be corrected and move forward rather than you guys having to ask a million questions or make suggestions that maybe I had already addressed. Thanks for any and all help.

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    A lot to read but the gist is in the bold if anybody can help. Thanks.
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    I've worked with a few D1 and D2 soccer players, and my current thesis research involves the soccer team at a D3 school.

    The easiest question to answer is the squat question. In simple terms, the shallower you go, the more stress is put on the knee joint. When you go to a full squat, the glutes and hamstrings are recruited to a greater degree, and assuming that techinque and flexibility is good (lack of flexibility in achilies tendon and hipflexors, in conjunction with weak glutes, local core, and erector spinae will cause you to go onto your toes) the stress will taken off the knees.

    A couple things come to mind. First, what are you limited to. This would be a question for your surgeon or pt/at. Once we know this, we can start prescribing exercises.

    Second, we'll need to evaluate you for muscular imbalances. Correcting these will greatly improve strength and power output, while also reducing risk of injury.

    There is more, but a student just walked into my office hour...I'm sure others will add.

    Br
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    The hernia surgery should not hinder you once you're healed. You should be able to get a definite go or no go from a doctor. You could follow it up with your surgeon or doctor, but I think any doctor can check you out and tell you that you can basically pretend it never happened. The only problem is the incision area anyway.

    Hard to tell what happened to your back, but probably permanent muscle damage. If it doesn't hurt anymore, then you can probably resume normal activity. However, you are almost certainly going to re-injure it every now and again. It's a common injury that a lot of people deal with. Keep your deadlift and squat for perfect, and get a good belt for heavy squats. I have some back issues, and find that squats are the major area for concern with re-injury.

    Both of these problems are likely not going to prevent you from working out normally after some light rehab time, but both really should be checked by a doctor. I don't think you will be given any complicated rehab schedule, just a clearance to workout with the caveat that you should take it easy for a while.
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    Well, to the squat depth, I guess i better increase my flexibility so I can benefit from some deep squats.

    I was not given any limits but I guess I am pretty skeptical considering previous misdiagnosis by the people that are attempting to give me rehab exercises. There's a much longer story to that but I simply don't trust the guy.

    As far as muscular imbalances go, upper crossed but it's not awful. On a scale of 1-10 i'd say the tightness is probably a 2-3. Possibly a 4 as a gander due to having some shoulder difficulties with pain and flexibility. (painful to go full range back and down with DB military press)

    Always had lower back tightness. It hurts to stand or walk long amounts of time. I could of course play a 2 hour match and run many miles and i wouldn't feel any pain in my lower back but to stand or to walk for long amounts of time it ends up causing a pretty good amount of pain on my lower back.

    Hip flexor and groin tightness also end up causing chronic injuries. Doesn't help how much those muscles can be used to cause overuse and wear and tear strains in soccer as well.

    Was born with Q angled hips so when i was younger my legs would flare out like how you may see some girls run. Of course yes it's just a thing considered to be in women generally but men have it as well. The AT and I are working on running form to make sure it stays corrected but it is something I have to remind myself of. I also have a huge issue with my hip flexors firing. It causes me to be unable to really drive my knees when running and it has been suspected that is also a factor to some of my chronic injuries. I am seeing a chiropractor and he helps to "turn them on" as weird as that may sound. The muscles just wouldn't fire... and after a while of not seeing the chiropractor they turn off again.

    Calves are tight, hamstrings are tight (probably least flexible of all muscles. Any time i get these better I get injured in something else and then gotta go through that hell to get those flexible enough to touch my toes), and when i do squats my right foot flares outward. I'm pretty sure my knee flares out as well which i guess may be common kinetic chain sense but the foot is just more noticeable.

    It's not like I have recognized these things and done nothing because I do realize flexibility may be the biggest thing to help to prevent from injury but possibly it is that I am not consistent enough? It's brutal because most of the guys on the team can eat like crap, do no dynamic stretching before (or any warm up for that matter), and no stretch after and they do not get injured the entire season. In the mean time i'm realizing and being told how much I need to increase flexibility, ankle and knee stabilization, and whatever else.... and being told i need to ice bath after every training. I'm one of the top players on the team and I'm looking to take a leadership/captain role on the team but i seem to be always injured so basically I'm looking for any and all sound advice to help to prevent injury and increase my performance as much as possible.

    So maybe the answer is simple and for most of my issues i need to sac up and stretch and be patient? To be honest the stretching has never seemed to help my lower back much but that could just be the hamstrings and me just not being patient enough i'm guessing.

    Thanks for any help I really appreciate it. Taking a break from my lovely all nighter and i'm sure lack of sleep isn't beneficial to... well anything at all. Thanks again.

    Should I just be looking for the most beneficial exercises for strength, stability, and size after I get my flexibility down?
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    Always had lower back tightness. It hurts to stand or walk long amounts of time. I could of course play a 2 hour match and run many miles and i wouldn't feel any pain in my lower back but to stand or to walk for long amounts of time it ends up causing a pretty good amount of pain on my lower back.

    Hip flexor and groin tightness also end up causing chronic injuries. Doesn't help how much those muscles can be used to cause overuse and wear and tear strains in soccer as well.
    Tight hipflexors can lead to lower back pain because of the pelvic deviations they cause (anterior pelvic tilt). This will also result in lack of flexibility in the hamstrings, due to the change in relationship of length. Sounds like you have lower cross body syndrome, a simple test is to do a body weigth squat. Your back will arch excessively as you descend until the hips reach a certain degree of flexion and the hip flexors 'release' at which point the tightness in the hamstrings will then pull your pelvis beneath you (rounding of lower back) as you squat deeper.

    Was born with Q angled hips so when i was younger my legs would flare out like how you may see some girls run. Of course yes it's just a thing considered to be in women generally but men have it as well. The AT and I are working on running form to make sure it stays corrected but it is something I have to remind myself of.
    Definetly want to work on hip abductor strength and increase adductor flexibility.

    Work on increasing active range of motion via static stretching of the antagonists and strengthening of the agonists. You can still train for strength, and I would recommend training to at least maintain strength and power while improving flexibility and ROMs. Don't forget the importance of plyometrics either was you begin to improve.

    Br
  

  
 

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