T Nation

Nagging Injuries, Leg Strength Program?

I’m 45, in reasonably good cardiovascular fitness. 6’1", 170 pounds, body fat about 12%. Have had 2 back surgeries most recently about 3 years ago.

Goals: To possibly try some sprint triathlons or sprint duathlons in the next couple years. Would like to get stronger and avoid injury/be more durable.

Problem: Everytime I squat or deadlift even small amounts, I start to get recurrent sciatica, and I have no desire to have a 3rd back surgery. I would like some options to improve leg strength. Am I going to be limited to a leg press machine? Even light dumbbells with single leg lunges can aggravate my back.
Would love to hear some ideas from those more experienced.

What kind of back surgery? Fusion or diskectomy?

How much CORE work have you done?

Would like to see videos before reccomendations but…Can you sit down on a toilet or in a chair without pain? If so continue reading if not get an MRI of your lower back and hip region.

Practice sitting down in chair and getting up for reps of 20.

Then progress to doing these with a weighted vest (keeps load off of spine)

This I would do for a couple of months 3 times a week^^^^^^^

BTW most sciatic nerve pain is caused by an over tight piriformis brought on by sitting (like at your job).

Hope this helps.