T Nation

Balancing legs after injury

This is my first post on these forums so hi to everybody.

I broke my left leg about 3 years ago. Obviously I lost a fair bit of muscle during the recovery time.

Once I was cleared I went back to normal training thinking my left leg would catch up.

Now 3 years on its still quite a bit smaller. I’m not to worried about symmetry but I’ve been told by my physical therapist that I need to balance out my legs to hopefully alleviate some back pain.

I’ve put together a workout to hopefully balance things out. One important thing is I cant do squats or anything involving a bar on my back due to a whiplash injury.

Heres the workout:

Swiss ball squats 2x15
Barbell hacksquats 3x10
SLDLs 3x10
Single leg, left leg only squats 2x8

what do you guys think there? any ideas?

Welcome to the forum Pikeking. In order to balance out your legs, you need to be a little more aggressive with your program design and include more unilateral movements. The article listed below is from issue #70 and it’s first in a 3 or 4 part series which includes many single leg movements. Do more reps/weight with the weak leg until it catches up. These articles do include some squats, so you will need to modify the program some.

Twelve Weeks of Pain, Part I
Limping into October
By Ian King

Absolutely. Ian King’s exercises would fit you to a T. Modify as necessary to even things up.


ok I’ve read the limping series now and I’ve put something new together. So here goes:

ball squats 2x15

single leg extension and curl 2x15 each prefatigue.

single leg squat or king deadlift, not sure which yet, the squat seems too hard for me to do with any consistency. 2 sets strong leg, 3 weak leg.

single leg deadlift 2 sets strong leg, 3 weak leg.

walking lunge 2 sets strong leg 3 sets weak leg.

might add single leg presses depends how well I can walk at the end of that little lot above.

Anyway, you think thats more like it guys?

Looks pretty good pike. Just watch your form carefully on the walking lunge. When one leg is a lot weaker, people have a tendency to either not go as deep or lean way forward when the weak leg is in front.

Follow the above advice. I had minor knee surgery in 1988, but contracted a staph infection while in the hospital. After six months in the hospital I went back to school (my soph. year of high school) and the coaches just started me back on squats. I started back with just the bar (and that hurt) but within a year I could parallel squat 450 at a bodyweight of 165. HOWEVER, now, 15 years later, my left leg is still a good inch and a half smaller in diameter which is a HUGE difference. Unilateral is definitely the right approach.