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Doing Sled Pulls with a Bulged Disc?


I have a disc bulge in L4 so I'm trying to avoid loading weight on my spine. I'm looking to alternatives to squats to continue training my legs at least for awhile. Does anyone know how pulling a weighted sled would distribute weight on the spine?


Hi friend i am currently recovering from L4-5 L5-S1 bulges in my back!!! i cant hlp with the sled pulls but i do one legged squats 'one leg on ground one leg on bench' as i weigh 100kgs i hold a 10kg plate and knock out 8-12 reps and man its hard work with no real pain in my lower back.

Sled pulls might be ok but u gotta look out for any 'jolts' when ur pulling.. maby u could try hill sprints with hill lunges(running pose..u do one lunge in running pose then do a lill skip jump into the next lunge)then some body weight squat jumps

i know this has worked for me good range of motion and some burning legs :slightly_smiling:


If you do decide to use a sled, the safest way to do it would probably be to attach the sled to a belt around your waist rather than to pull with handles as I believe this would activate your core muscles (abs and low back) more and therefore could induce some compressive forces on your spine, which you're obviously trying to avoid. This is avoided if you use a belt.

If you have the machine available, then belt squats are also a good choice, but these are a bit on the rare side.


I do these also. One legged squats are quite effective. I do them with dumbbells to avoid any load on my spine, but they don't have the same neurological effect as full-on heavy ass squats. I was hoping the overall effects of sled pulls may replace that aspect of squats.


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I have never aggrivated any lower back issues with the sled drag. Remember that it is for GPP and you should keep it light; if you are looking for some heavy weights to do hypertrophy training then you may want to do some back-supported machine work in the gym as well.


I have been working with an athlete who is recovering from a hernaited L4-L5. We have successfully been able to work into some forward and backward sled pulling. The key is making sure you maintain a neutral spine and depending upon which way your disc is bulging, avoiding any kind of flexion or extension is crucial. By keeping your lower abdominals stout and pulled in, I find it's easier to maintain the right position. I say go for it!

Ryan Englebert