T Nation

If I Won't Train Glutes, Will my Squat Numbers Rise?


#1

(Had bad phrasing on my last question, rewriting it) I want to train lower body but I need my squat/deadlift numbers to stay the same to avoid more spine pressure when I lift heavy stuff on my job, at home, etc. I mean, if my squat/dl is 100 kg/220 pounds, I won’t lift more than that, and spine pressure won’t be high. However if it I can lift 150 kg in squat, my spine will be under high pressure while training, wrestling etc, and I don’t want that (my family has bad spine history). However I want to train leg muscles, at least some. If I will train all lower body without spine pressure, then when picking up 150 kg/330 lbs many times, my spine (which is trained for example for 100 kg) may get some medical problems. So I’m asking if I can train for example quads but not train for example glutes, to have strong quads etc, but still unable to lift more than 100 kg to avoid snapping my spine some day? Just maybe without stronger glutes my dl/squat will stay the same, while I still can train quads or hams for example?


#2

This is the weirdest fucking question I have read.

Keep training your legs. If you happen to get stronger doing leg press, hack squats, etc, AND have the potential to lift over your arbitrary threshold, who cares, unless you actually put the weight on your back?

Is your family overweight? Are they active in any way?

Have you ever been diagnosed as a hypocondriac?

Like I said above, if you have the potential to squat/deadlift more than your arbitrary numbers, but never do so, you aren’t putting yourself in risk of ‘snapping your spine’.


#3

Not sure what you’re asking?

Can you train legs without squatting or deadlifting? Yes.

Can you train quads and hams without glutes? Yes.

Can you train legs without getting a stronger squat? Probably … Just don’t squat … Not sure why this is a concern?


#4

I wouldn’t worry. Sounds like you’re one of those people whose mentality will ensure you never, ever get even close to strong enough to worry about any weight ever injuring you.

Seriously though, grow a set. You know what can make your back safer? Getting stronger. Squat. Start light, progress slowly and use good technique.


#5

if your family has a history of degenerative back disease then maybe dont squat. But otherwise, squatting is extremely valuable.

Training glutes has exactly zero to do with not squatting. In fact, if there is one sure way to hurt your back eventually, it is to not train your glutes and your core. Those structures underlie almost all back problems—because they are weak or inactive. Volunteering to make them weak and inactive by not training them is a terrible idea.

Train legs. Just because you don’t squat doesn’t mean you don’t train legs.

dumbbell lunges
dumbbell step ups
goblet squats
hip thrusts
glute bridges
glute ham raises
waiter bows
back extensions
loaded carries/farmers walks
rsck pulls or romanian deadlifts

…these are all valuable, all build muscle, and all help you be healthy and strong.


#6

First off, have you had your back evaluated by a professional? If not, then if at all possible with your family history, I would prioritize that. This may help you be able to decide how cautious you actually need to be.

I’m not sure why you would want to omit training any part of your lower body or back to avoid spinal issues. This would actually more likely lead to injury on the mat. There is a way to work every leg and back muscle with limited spinal pressure. Having muscle and strength will actually help prevent injury on the mat. It’s a form of armor building and can build health movement patterns. Also, if you’re totally outclassed in strength with similar skill with your opponent it’s not hard to imagine that you would be more vulnerable than if your strength levels were equal or higher.

In fact, not training your glutes can lead to back problems in sport and every day life.

Now before you totally write squats off, there are squat variations that don’t put a lot of strain on the lower back. Here are some examples:
*Front Squats- even for people with healthy backs, this can be a bread and butter lower body builder for nearly anyone instead of back squats.
*Goblet Squats- extremely limited back strain. The biggest problem is that you can’t use much of a load, but if hypertrophy is the goal many people respond best to rep ranges 20 and higher for quads
*barbell hack squat
*Manta Ray Squat with Raised Heels- The manta ray attachment essentially makes your a back squat a ‘higher high bar’ squat. This keeps you more upright.

All of those options are more quad dominant so you’ll need to do more work than many people working on your posterior chain with other exercises.

Here’s back friendly examples:
-glute ham raises
-hyper extensions- the only thing hyperextending is your pelvis. Don’t hyperextend your back.
-reverse hypers
-cable pull throughs- wider stance is more glutes and hips and narrow stance is more hams and back
-dumbbell romanian deadlifts- much more back friendly than its barbell cousin
-1 legged 1 dumbbell that’s opposite hand of the leg your standing on- this can help prevent back problems
-bridges- be careful not to hyperextend your back
-thrusters- basically bridge with your upper back on a bench

There’s many more, but that’s way more than enough for a start.