T Nation

Help with Leg Day Exercises


A little background to start off, I had a nasty accident in 2014 that left me without the ability to work out or ride a bike. The latter of which has been my main sport for the last ten years.

In january of this year I was finally cleared to start doing sports again, I weighed in at 130 lbs, I was more or less a walking skeleton. Granted I’m only 5’7, but it’s a bricklike 5’7.

I joined a gym and started lifting, the last time I had touched a dumbbell was ten years earlier before I joined the army.

Fast forward 11 months and I’m a much healthier 170lbs.

And here’s the reason for my thread, most of this weight has packed on from my waist up. There’s very few leg exercises that I can do without pain.

I can’t squat below parallel, I can’t have the bar behind my neck, nor resting on my chest. (Goblet squats kind of work, but still no below parallel.)

Any suggestions for something I can do twice a week in a ppl split?



How would you fair with any of these?

Heavy prowler
Trap bar deadlift (off blocks)
Regular deadlifts with hips low (again off blocks)
Barbell hack squat (off blocks)
I don’t like squat belts, but squat belt
Leg Presses - single leg or two (you may fair better with the hammer strength ones rather than the 45 degree version)
Then there are split squats/lunges/etc with dbs instead of a bar across the back/chest

and good luck man, it’s awesome that you are doing whatever you can to rebuild your body.


due to issues some leg day work outs i can only squat about halfway down
somedays i go lighter than i want to
so sometimes do not worry about what is right do what works for you
as in squats bar placement depth
look at exercise list for legs find the ones you can do modify if you need to
make it your leg day
belt squats maybe?


Zercher squats
Lunges holding weights on the side
Farmer walks
Machine hack squats


I t would be helpful to know where the pain/injury is. cervical/thoracic/lumbar spine, hips, knees, ankles? The answer will determine any good recommendation.


[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
I t would be helpful to know where the pain/injury is. cervical/thoracic/lumbar spine, hips, knees, ankles? The answer will determine any good recommendation.[/quote]
Agreed. More info should help narrow things down better than just “no deep squats, no chest-supported, and nothing behind the neck”. Ben Bruno wrote a bunch of articles about lower body training with a bad knee, after he had knee surgery. Might be worth looking through them and seeing what you can pluck out: https://www.t-nation.com/all-articles/authors/ben-bruno

It sounds like having weights at your sides, like dumbbells or a trap bar, would be a main way to go. And that’s fine. Can you deadlift? Between deadlift variations and lunge/step-up up variations, you could have plenty of pretty simple and thorough lower body sessions.

Are you still doing rehab for anything/everything that isn’t working right?

Specifically which exercises can you currently do pain-free?