T Nation

Building Legs with an Injured Back

Hey coach,
Im a new indigo user looking to use indigo to help rebuild after an injury. I have a bulged disk in my lumbar region. I have been doing leg extensions and leg curls ( as tolerated. If the nerve is aggravated I avoid the curls).I will also load up the prowler and sprint ( if tolerated). Shorter ROM leg presses dont seem to aggravate the spine but I am not sure if they are beneficial.What would you recommend to maintain or build leg mass while sparing the low back and avoiding spinal loading? Thanks

Leg presses tend to be very bad for discs because your lower back is in flexion, putting stress on the injured side of the disc.

Extensions and curls usually won’t hurt, as long as you don’t round your lower back. Try to keep it in a slight extension (hollowing it) to avoid injury. But even if you don’t do these perfectly they are very forgiving since they don’t load the lower back. If you get sciatic pain in your leg on the extensions, don’t force past it.

Single leg work with dumbbells, if done with perfect form, does not stress the back as much (since you only need half the weight for the same effect). For example, lunges backwards down from a step while holding dumbbells. But start light because you can get hurt if your form slips even a little. I would recommend Stuart McGill’s books if you want to know everything about rehabilitating and sparing your lower back.