What can I do instead of squats and deadlifts on leg days?

  1. JosieFitForLife
    JosieFitForLife
    So, my pics went up on the 17th. I'll be starting a week late since it will first time in the gym tomorrow after a very long 7 months. Had to wait for my doctors approval first. I injured my back and learned that I have a disc bulge at L1-2 and 2 herniated discs, L4-5 right lateral herniated disc, central and left paramidline herniated disc, L5 nerve root impingement, L5-S1 broad disc bulge, Degenerative disc disease also known as Spondylosis, and arthritis on my neck shoulders and entire back. As well as a pinched nerve caused by a herniated disk in my lower spine, which puts pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of my leg which is what happened last year when I entered this transformation and couldn't finish it. I was home for 3 weeks unable to walk or sit. After all types of tests, then I got diagnosed with all these symptoms.

    Anyways, would like any input as far as what I can substitute on leg day when it calls for deadlifts or squats. I think I was told leg presses would be o.k since my back would be supported. I also got my belt which I will be wearing when working out. Is there anything else that targets these muscle groups?

    Hope to make it all the way through this time around.
  2. triggsta
    triggsta
    Leg presses for squats. As for deadlifts, are you allowed to work your lower back? I've seen some people (older folk mostly, so possibly they have bad backs too) who use the row cable machine to do a deadlift type move. Instead of pulling with your arms into a row, you just lean back just like a deadlift or hyperextension.

    If deadlifts are in your program simply as a hamstring movement, just use other hamstring exercises. ALSO you can use the leg press but just put your feet up at the top of the foot plate. That will engage your hamstrings a lot more.
  3. sterlingstauch87
    sterlingstauch87
    Basically I would assume you should stick to any machines available for support. So, leg press and then leg extensions- quads, seated leg curls- hamstrings, seated calf raises- soleus calf muscle. those would be the ones that I would assume would have enough support that you shouldn't have any issues.
  4. mrclark09
    mrclark09
    I hope this helps: walking lunges, step ups, leg extensions, seated hamstring curls. I'm sure there are a lot more but this was off the top of my head. Check out the exercise page on here to see if there is anything else you could incorporate into your training. Wish you the best of luck!
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/lookup/filter/muscle/id/8/muscle/hamstrings
  5. fawad213
    fawad213
    I would stay away from leg press as it does put pressure on your back. Leg Extensions and seated hamstring curls, high reps and less weight will do enough muscle damage that you'll be proud of. The reason I say to stay away from leg press is coz I had back pains, nothing serious but it kills my back, lower and middle. Safety first, go with the flow
  6. go4dagusto
    go4dagusto
    The leg extensions and leg curls seem like the safest path, for sure. Maybe DTP or some other time under tension workout where you don't have to go incredibly heavy to see results? If you try the leg press go light to start and get a feel for it. If it does put pressure on your back, bail out and head for the leg extension. Also, dang you're tough. The next time I don't feel like squatting because my back hurts a little I'll remember the tough chick that wants to squat and can't. Thanks for the wakeup call.
  7. MountainmanX
    MountainmanX
    To keep your back completely out of it I'd say leg extensions, ham curls, and seated calf raises are the three safest ways to go. They won't build as much functional strength but you can still sculpt some nice "wheels".
  8. TinK22
    TinK22
    Hack squats.
  9. Kevin2point0
    Kevin2point0
    be careful, go light, ask your doctor, and go by what feels ok.
  10. velvet5900
    velvet5900
    Take it easy whatever you do. We don't realize how much we use our backs for everything, until it's injured. Youtube has a substitute for everything, so don't forget to go there and find out all the different things you can do on leg days. As the others said, you can do the seated leg press machine (not the one on the floor where you're pushing the weight up), leg extensions, leg curls and seated calf raises (you can also do those on the seated leg press machine). Whatever you do be careful and no matter what, you do whatever you have to do to make it to the end. You got this!! ;o)
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