Degenerative Disc Disease, Deadlift Alternatives?

anyone have any suggestions for alternatives to deadlifts for someone with degenerative disc disease and advanced lumbar spondylosis?
Was thinking maybe hexbar? but any other ideas greatly appreciated…

What does your medical provider say?

hi bulldog…General practitioner has ‘advised’ avoiding deadlift, bent over rows and heavy squats…3 of the big ones, I now do chest supported dumbbell rows, light squats followed by heavy leg press but feel I’m missing out on deads…I have heard sumo or hexbar may help keep back in a better position but just reaching out for a bit more guidance or suggestions…

Hexbar is much easier on the back, it’d be better than sumo. But it’s a deadlift, and it’ll compress your spine. Be careful.

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thanks man, I’ll start out light, make sure form is locked in tight…don’t care about looking a lame ass in the gym, just wanna be able to walk in and still be able to walk back out again after :grin:

Perhaps just not deadlift at all then? Why risk it?


This was kind of my point - hex bars can make it easier on the back, but picking up heavy shit off the ground is going to tear your back up more than the average persons. Pull-ups and lumbar-friendly row variations are sufficient to build your back without compressing your spine. You are the most likely eventual candidate for spinal fusion surgery. Pro tip: you do not want spinal fusion surgery.

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How about putting in the work on a combination of hamstring curls and hip thrusts?


If you aren’t, you still need to work your lower back. If you don’t, you are going to keep hurting it.
Hypers, reverse hypers, etc.


hey Flappinit, you sure?, I’ve heard fusion is great fun! … :wink:
thanks for the heads up man, yh at 50 I really don’t fancy screwing myself over anymore than I already have,…perhaps I’ll just become ‘That Guy’ who just does chest and arms lol

Who cares? You’ll look jacked at 50?? Sign us all up!

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:rofl:… rarely take my shirt off so yh, fkk it :joy::rofl:

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I agree with the dudes above. Deadlifting may be more risky than rewarding. But you shouldn’t ignore your back, hips, ass and mid-section muscles. You’ll need these muscles to be strong :-Onot get hurt in your life outside the gym. And if you can’t do one lift to hit everything, you’ll need a few lifts.

Chest supported rows and pulldowns or chins for mid back and lats. Back raises or reverse hypers for low back. Hip thrusts and band through belt walks for glutes. Leg raises off a bench and hanging knee raises and sidebends for your guts. Hamstring curls, glute hams, etc, etc.

To make it Feel intense like deadlifting you can try fun stuff like heavy Rest/Pause for chest supported rows. And string small exercises together in super sets and giants sets like, hamstring curl x8, then leg raise x15, then 45 Degree Back raise x20 to make them more challenging and less boring.

cool, thanks flatsfarmer (& you other guys) all appreciated :+1:

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High rep Dumbbell RDL to get the hamstrings nice and juicy
GHR and reverse hyper if you have access to it.

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I have 2 herniated disks and do single leg dumbbell RDLs. Works great for hamstrings and no issues with back.