I'm looking for a good leg workout that doesn't put too much stress on your lower back bc I've had problems with it for years. I can squat just not as heavy as I'd like to. maybe body weight workouts? anything is appreciated. Thanks
I've found that working legs unilaterally puts very little stress on my lower back, so I do a lot of lunges particularly reverse lunges. You can use dumbbells for added resistance if desired.
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I'll second unilateral leg work. It can provide a strong stimulus while often times using 1/2 the weight. Rear foot elevated squats (DB or BB and even BB front squats), lunges, etc
AVOID LEG PRESSES
they can be very stressful on the lower back. if you do them, do them at the end, dont go too heavy, and really really be careful with where you put your feet and how far you come back
people often start doing heavy leg presses for when their back is injured and that rounding at the bottom of the ROM is VERY dangerous!
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I have low back problems and find legs difficult to do sometimes because of it. Ill third single leg movements. I do single leg presses but light and concentrated I don't let press more then 4 plates ever.
Also front squats works well. I find I don't have a lot of stress on my low back compared to normal squats. Hack squats as well
I third the single leg lifts. Have same prob with back. Wall sits to pre exhaust the quads, pistol squats, and lunges for sure. By then even med weight dumbells give a great pump. Slow and controlled.
when u guys do lunges do you use barbell behind neck or db at side? also stationary or walking?
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I like the suggestion of employing unilateral work to address leg hypertrophy while trying to combat lower back pain. Bear in mind though that you should still be trying to strengthen your lower back in another way if not through squatting and deadlifting properly (improper form of course can lead to excess stress in the lower back and consequently pain down the road). And front squats are great because you can't lean too much with those anyways, or else you lose balance and dump the bar.
Check your form: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/exercise-science/190675-proper-techniques.html