T Nation

Exercise Substitutes In Best Damn Workout

Hello Coach,

I am 48 and have a lot of miles on this body. I have had T-Spine surgery (fusion at T-8-9,9-10), have arthritis in my spine and something like 11 different Disc Bulges. My ortho just said “go ahead, just listen to your body” when I asked him if it was ok to weight train. Same with Hockey. Anyway, whenever I try to add dead lifts back into my program, my back is sore for a week. Muscles spasm and its miserable. Same with squats. What could I sub out for the heavy Dead lift day? I am trying Zercher squats and my first session wasn’t bad, but I can’t go to heavy on those yet so we will see once I get stronger, but primarily I do leg press for heavy leg day. I added farmers walks and I really like those. Any suggestions on some alternatives?

Do single leg exercises. Lunges, step ups, split squats, single leg RDL. You can still get a good training effect with less loading. Also single leg allows you to focus on keeping torso upright, less leaning forward is easier on the back. Also try some Pallof presses for your core.

Also hip thrusts are easy on the back

1 Like

I would continue to ask myself “Why am I training?”. Choose exercises that make your life better because you do them, not worse. We all know people who insist on doing certain exercises (dead lifts, over head press, many others) that cause them to be in a constant state of pain or discomfort away from the weight room. Don’t feel the need to do anything specifically just because it’s a bread and butter of most training programs.

That said, masfonos’ suggestion of single leg work is a good one. I would also see how you respond to more bodyweight work, weight vest walks, yoga, etc… as well.

Thank you for the suggestions. Really my focus is on fat loss now. Although you can not tell from my picture in the training logs, I have a pretty good amount of muscle mass and I am ok with where my strength is at. I guess my issue is that on Dead lift day- when I skip it I feel like I didn’t work hard. But I will try some of the suggestions (Will have to look up Pallof presses) and see how that goes.

If it’s worth anything to you Single-Leg training has aerobic effects too, since it’s literally twice the number of sets for the same amount of work per leg

Best would be first to try exercises that are the same pattern (hip hinge) so hip thrusts, good mornings, back extensions. If they hurt, well then hamstring exercises: nordic hamstring curls, leg curls etc… If these hurt as well then just try some of the single leg exercises suggested